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Climate Security in Latin America and the Caribbean

The devastating consequences of climate change have brought the planet and the communities that inhabit it into a crisis. The climate emergency effects are possibly the foremost threat to security, health, and socio-economic and health wellbeing.  

Due to cultural and social constructs, the climate emergency has differential gender effects. Men, women, and people of non-binary gender do not have the same expectations or the same levels of access, use and control of resources and decision-making platforms. 

Therefore, examining the relationships between the climate crisis and human’s security results imperative for disaster risk governance and environmental security. 

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Photo: Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad /DCAF

Outcomes/Workstream

The existing climate crisis has had devastating, differential, and gendered consequences on human security. The adverse effects of the climate emergency and ecosystem degradation have exacerbated existing inequalities faced by underrepresented sectors of society and aggravated their current conditions of food insecurity, further fuelling migration, tensions, and conflicts, as well as political and economic instability in the fragile countries where they live. Therefore, examining the relationships between the climate crisis, gender, age, and security in LAC based on people’s own experiences can provide critical input for future interventions in areas including disaster risk reduction and can inform local security priorities in affected areas. . 
 

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Despite the progressive approach taken by the international community and policy makers to measure the differential effects of the climate crisis, the nexus between this crisis with gender constructions and relations and human security has been limited. Beyond a linear view of causes and effects it is necessary to examine the women-climate crisis-security triad from a radial approach to identify and measure differential impacts and intersections caused by human or related actions, based on women’s own experiences.

This project seeks to contribute to addressing this challenge by developing and refining a set of indicators to measure the individual and collective impacts of the climate crisis on the security conditions of different groups of women, which can be replicated in other countries and regional contexts. Reviewing and (de)constructing indicators is central to measuring specific risks affecting women in terms of severity, frequency, and extent.

For this purpose, Colombia was taken as a case study where multiple ecosystems, ethnic groups, factors of violence, environmental problems and conditions of armed conflict converge. Specifically, the project was implemented in the department of Putumayo, in the Amazonian foothills, where women from rural areas and with different levels of organization and activism will be included. Likewise, and considering the central role played by the security sector in the actions aimed at the prevention and mitigation of environmental protection in the National Police of Colombia. Specifically, the variables considered by the police for the measurement of environmental security in the targeted areas were analyzed and their inputs will be collected for the refinement and validation of indicators.

 

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The Amazon is home to at least 10% of global biodiversity as well as 34 million people, including 385 indigenous groups spread across eight countries. However, men, women, and young people do not have the same expectations or the same levels of access, use, and control of resources and decision-making platforms. This means that the climate crisis is experienced and coped with differently according to gender and age. The impact of the dramatic degradation of the Amazon rainforest on human security is clear. Ecosystem degradation and disputes over resources are risk multipliers that have exacerbated human insecurity, conflicts over resources, and political-economic instability.

Therefore, examining the relationships between the climate crisis, youth, and security in the Amazon based on youth’s own experiences provides critical input for future interventions in areas including disaster risk reduction and can inform local security priorities in affected areas.

The project will critically analyze the effects of environmental factors on the security of younger generations living in the Amazon Region. Specifically, the project collected the narratives of young people and local organizations from eight countries which are part of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Surinam ) through a series of videos.

They can be used as innovative tools to share information which can inform security sector practices and serve as education and training material for future disaster risk reduction programming.

Watch more videos on YouTube

Photo: CEROSETENTA/ DCAF

 

 

 

 

PUBLICATIONS


A growing body of research recognises the gendered impact...

The existing climate crisis has had devastating, differen...

Contacts

Cristina Hoyos, Head of Latin America & the Caribbean Unit (c.hoyos@dcaf.ch)