Tip Sheet on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA): Peace and Security
Main recommendations extracted from the SEA of the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) for Peace and Security Action Area
In compliance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, GAC has produced a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of its Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) and its action area policies. The purpose of the SEA is to assess the potential environmental effects, either positive or negative, associated with the FIAP and its action area policies and to incorporate the results in the development of these policies in order to reduce potential adverse environmental effects and enhance environmental and developmental outcomes.
Summary of the Peace and Security Action Area priority pathways: Canada will direct assistance towards three paths of action: improving multilateral management of peace and security challenges; supporting inclusive and gender-responsive violent conflict prevention, crisis response and sustainable peace in fragile and conflict-affected states, and; supporting gender-responsive security threat reduction and security system reform.
What are the environmental sustainability issues and linkages?
- Peace and security are impacted by environmental issues in at least four ways:
- Climate change as a threat multiplier. Climate change is recognized as among the greatest global threats to human security.
- Issues over natural resources fueling inequality and conflicts. Inequalities in access to resources and redistribution of associated benefits often create tensions and exacerbate conflicts.
- Environmental crimes (e.g. poaching and trafficking endangered wildlife species, waste, chemicals, illegal timber, fish, and conflict minerals (diamonds, gold)). funding terrorists;
- Pollution and destruction caused by military preparations and war, including conventional and potentially, nuclear warfare.
What are the potential environmental effects of the proposed pathways?
- Overlooking the environmental factors that can lead to or exacerbate conflicts could result in inappropriate and damaging intervention plans and solutions.
- Peace and security assistance can also have damaging effects on the environment, if not planned properly. Misconceived infrastructure, inappropriate disposal of toxic waste, fuel, arms, and solid waste, the use of scarce natural resources, the use of environmentally unfriendly products, energy inefficiency, and weak management practices could deteriorate water, soil and air quality and deprive local people.
What are the proposed measures to minimise potential adverse environmental effects and increase positive development outcomes?
A range of measures can be taken to address environmental issues related to peace and security and enhance positive outcomes, including:
- Cooperate within GAC and across other departments (ECCC, DND, NRCAN, etc.) to advocate for and strengthen collaborative efforts to mobilize actions and resources towards climate change mitigation and adaptation. This includes institutions such as the UN Secretariat, the UN Security Council, G7, G20 and other multilateral fora.
- Support the efforts of regional actors and developing countries to collaborate to resolve disputes and foster collaboration on transboundary natural resources issues.
- Integrate climate risks and environmental indicators into peace, conflict, and fragility risk assessments and encourage institutional partners to do the same.
- Advocate for and support low environmental impact peace operations and help strengthen institutions in this regard, including in their adoption of environmental safety measures and in developing standards and providing technical expertise and training.
- Support countries’ efforts to address climate risks and build people’s and countries’ resilience to climate change and implement effective response mechanisms that are non-discriminatory, equitable and fair, including using peacebuilding financing instruments.
- Help efforts to strengthen governance systems for the management of natural resources, especially regarding accountability, transparency, participation, environmental sustainability, and fair redistribution of resources as an effective means to reduce tensions and promote peace.
- Ensure that decisions regarding Peace and security programs have assessed and considered the environmental factors that may have led to, or exacerbated, the conflict. Plan carefully the peace building to avoid damaging the environment. This includes such things as promoting environmentally friendly management practices in training areas and during operations, enhancing energy efficiency and using renewable energy where feasible, and disposing of chemicals, armaments and waste adequately.
- Assist in recovery from conflict to help prevent countries from falling back into war by protecting and managing natural resources for local needs and export revenue.
- Assist countries with abundant natural resources to strengthen their governance systems to help prevent corruption, conflict, and violence.
- With customs and police support, help fight environmental crimes which fund criminal organizations, terrorism and war. Poaching endangered species and trafficking wildlife parts (ivory, rhino horn, pelts), dumping of waste, use of banned chemicals, illegal logging and fishing, and the sale of conflict minerals (diamonds, gold) all deprive countries of billions of dollars in future revenues and potential development opportunities.
For more information, consult the Public Statement: Strategic Environmental Assessment of Action Areas under Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
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