ISPR Tag Line
New Emerging Security Threat

Security has been a hot topic since ever. Every living creature is ready to do anything when there is a question mark on its survival. National security is one of the legitimate interests of all the states. In history reasons of conflict among animals, human, tribes and states was land, food, and shelter as they were the principalneeds of existence. As time passed, there is an evident change in attempt to promote security due to awareness and advancement in technology. With the passage of time definition of security threats kept on changing.

During and before Cold war security was more depended upon military might and was state centric so is today but it has also included many other factors in its sphere such as, economic, political, human, and environmental security. It is assumed that weak states have been facing internal as well as external threats while on the other hand strong states are only facing external problem. But due to this changing nature of security threats both, weak and strong states are facing internal plus external problems at a time and are on the same platform. In 1987 the Brundtland Commission identified two great threats faced by man the first one is nuclear exchange and the second one is environmental ruins worldwide. Others have mentioned population growth, resources scarcity, terrorism, organized crimes, climate change, biological and chemical weapons use, wars and environmental degradation as one of top threat to international security. But most of all every state is more concerned about one of the threats which are not from any enemy or state but from nature i.e. environmental degradation, global warming.

Many states have declared environmental security as their legitimate interest. Eilen Claussen defined environmental threats in her words as those which are human caused and has, or can be expected to have serious economic, health, environmental and quality of life implications. Current environmental security challenges include soil erosion, climate change, global warming, and deforestation, depletion of ozone, loss of species and biodiversity, health issues, desertification and many more. Above mentioned are all contemporary world environmental threats which can have serious consequences if are not address immediately. The bad news is no matter how strong a nation is, it will not be able to fight back these threats alone.

There is a relationship which exist between environmental degradation and rise in conflicts globally. Human activity will cause change in environment and climate which will call political disputes, civil wars. These civil wars will become a root cause of regional conflicts and regional conflicts will then turn into global conflicts. Environmental degradation is interlaced with so many other issues facing by human kind. When ecosystem will be ruined whole system of life will be affected. It will call problems like poverty, health issues, economic instability, and recession and when there would be economic instability it would automatically invite political instability. As political instability leads to economic instability so do economic instability. When there would be resource scarcity obviously wars would be for the desire of more and more resources.

There are number of examples where natural disasters have proved to be more destructive then potential rivals. Maldives is facing threat due to environment degradation. As we can see during floods and earth quake of 2005 there was a massive destruction in northern areas of Pakistan.Climate change can have impact important choke points especially Strait of Hormuz from where world's oil and gas trade take place.

Deforestation due to urbanization is causing multiple problems day by day. Climate change is causing floods, earth quakes, and tsunamis. Increase in population is one of the major root causes of environmental degradation. There is a massive increase in number of people living on our planet; on the other hand resource scarcity is also on hype which is leading towards extinction of many species.

There is a need to work collectively to fight against these threats to protect common goods. Good news is that there are number of measures which can be adopted to fight against this problem. It is in our hand to bring an end to this threat. All the states must join hands and cooperate on different grounds to eliminate this threat. There are number of treaties between states as well as at international platform which have been signed but now it's a time to implement them to be both operative and productive.

Contributed by: Misbah Arif
"Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi"