Guest-blog by Wouter Veening, Chairman
Promoting security, peace and justice for man and nature by preventing environmental degradation and by restoring environmental damage where done, defines the programme of the Institute for Environmental Security (IES).
Founded in 2002 and headquartered opposite the Peace Palace in The Hague, IES attaches great importance to international law as an instrument to achieve the objectives of its programme and one of the elements of the IES is to emphasize the position of The Hague as Legal Capital of the World also in the field of the environment, especially when it comes to the compliance and enforcement of international environmental law. Of course IES wants to do this in cooperation with the relevant existing institutions and capacities in The Hague and elsewhere in the world.
As such, the legal perspective is a prominent feature in the interdisciplinary approach of the institute which attaches great importance to the (natural) scientific identification and interpretation of environmental problems such as climate change, deforestation, ocean pollution, flooding, droughts, e.a. and to political science and economics to identify the main actors in the problem area and to come up with sustainable solutions to the problems. Economic instruments, e.g. payments to keep forests intact and well-managed, to do large-scale tree planting, to maintain fisheries and restore mangroves considers IES to be key elements of solutions which will work on the long run.
Outreach to audiences in the security sector is part of the methodology of the IES. To prepare for the important Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009, IES set up the Military Advisory Council, now the Global Military Advisory Council (GMAC) to communicate the views of the concerned military to the negotiators at the conference. GMAC, realizing the military use of fossil fuels is one of the greatest causes of the climate problematique is also committed to drastically reduce this use and to go over to alternative fuels.
IES has a liaison office in Brussels which interacts with the environment and security spokesmen and officials of the European Parliament, the other EU institutions and with NATO. There are IES representatives in other parts of the world who act on behalf of IES while attending, conferences, communicating with media or contacting policy-makers.