CIVIL MILITARY COLLABORATION TO ADDRESS
ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN SOUTH AMERICA
Ms. Marcela Ramirez, CSL
Dr. Kent Butts, CSL
The views expressed in the document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
The economic vitality of South America is threatened by the effects of climate change.
Climate change often exacerbates existing environmental crises such as drought, water scarcity and soil degradation, intensifies land use conflicts (especially in the Andean and Amazon Regions) and triggers environmentally induced migration. Glacial retreat and natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes are becoming more frequent and severe, exacting a heavy toll on both the population and the economic infrastructure of the region.
Successful adaptation measures require multilateral cooperation to prevent destabilizing effects on government legitimacy and protect regional security. While civilian agencies will normally be the lead for proactively addressing climate change adaptation they may be insufficient or absent in distant frontier and border areas where only the military is present.
As part of its efforts to address regional concerns, U.S. Southern Command co-hosted two climate-change-related events in South America. The first one, in Colombia, was focused on climate change adaptation and the second, in Peru, was focused on low carbon sustainable economies. Both events emphasized civil-military collaboration on the issues.
Learn more about these efforts in this short Issue Paper.
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This page last updated on 11 May 2011.
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