Deep Dive Recap: Understanding the impacts of Climate Change, Gender Perspective and Security

On the 12th April 2022, the International Military Staff (IMS) Gender Advisor, Lieutenant Colonel Katherine Prudhoe and staff hosted their second Deep Dive Session focusing on the triple nexus of Climate Change, Gender Perspective and Security. This session highlighted the ecological risks for security and military planning as well as the importance of integrating a gender perspective.

Subject matter expertise was provided by Ms. Gergana Vaklinova, the Head of Concept Development and Experimentation Section for NATO’s Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR CoE), Lieutenant Colonel Matthias Duchscherer, the Gender Advisor for the German-Netherlands Corps, and Colonel Thammy Evans, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Centre. Participants of the hybrid event ranged from colleagues from the International Staff and International Military Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Allied Command Transformation (ACT), as well as members from various Centres of Excellence.

Each speaker shared their views of the various challenges, opportunities and ways forward on this crucial nexus. It was noted that a “gendered analysis [on climate change] could prove as a fundamental game changer for mitigating the potential impact on root causes and conflict drivers in the future”.  The fruitful discussion led to exchanges on the escalation of conflict due to increased climate vulnerabilities, the recognition of the impacts of climate change in both the Global North and Global South through a gender perspective, and the understanding that gender trainings can be considered the first step but further recognition of gender indicators and their implication for conflict or the environment must be developed.

“It is crucial to have a strong understanding of the gender perspective in drafting policies that will affect, not only NATO’s Allies, but the world overall. As the world is confronted by rapidly accelerating threats of climate change and conflict, speakers urged participants to remember that these issues affect everyone, just not equally”, concluded Lieutenant Colonel Prudhoe. 

Over the last few years, NATO has taken many steps to address the security concerns of climate change, and continues to advance in this topic with its upcoming Climate Change Impact Assessment, as well as the first Climate Change and Security Progress Report.


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