The reaction to the prize is perhaps understandable in an era where security issues are dominated by concerns over terrorism and warfare in Iraq. However, the links between environment and security have been well known for more than a decade.
The 1990s saw the emergence of a signiﬁcant new policy discussion on environment and security, highlighted by the predictions of future ‘water wars’; the well-publicised White House brieﬁngs by Professor Thomas Homer-Dixon to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore; through to the creation in 1999 of a ‘Peace Park’ that straddles the contentious Peru-Ecuador frontier. Research since has conﬁrmed that in many cases lasting peace is dependent on sustainable development and democracy – exactly the criteria the Norwegian Nobel committee applied.
Commodities and conflict
The links between the environmental resources and security can be seen in several well-known conﬂicts: