ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has called for making climate change a top priority in domestic politics given the importance of international co-operation in tackling the issue which has cross-border implications.
Defence Ministry Secretary Kapila Waidyaratne spoke of how countries need to be more proactive in their response to climate change at an international forum on climate change and resources security in South Asia
In his keynote address, Waidyaratne emphasized the fact that progress in international negotiations on climate change depends on domestic political support for cooperation.
Therefore this should be a top priority in domestic politics, he told the forum organized by the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and Consortium of South Asia Think Tanks in Colombo.
Sri Lanka also faces the threat of climate change as it can be a driver for instability and therefore an issue of national security, a statement said.
“In this context, Sri Lanka must work towards training its military to combat environmental security issues as well.”
There was also a call for a doctrine on military relief responses to be developed for the country.
The forum will also work towards supporting the development of comprehensive national and regional security strategies toward climate change and resource-related conflict prevention, thereby conceptualizing adaptation strategies for the security sector in South Asia, Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, Director General of INSSSL, said.
“The response of the South Asian region should be to develop a comprehensive security approach to climate change crises,” he said.
“It is not States alone that need to securitize on this issue but it is also a necessity to make people’s lives secure, as national security must be understood in terms of human security in this day and age.”
Abeyagoonasekera said the forum will discuss promoting the creation of think tank and expert networks in the Asian region as well as with extra-regional actors of Europe and the US on this issue.
“This will pave the way for further trans-regional cooperation.”
(COLOMBO, December 02, 2017)