Global Conference on Oceans, Climate and Security

Oceans, climate and security are fundamentally related. Scientists and policy-makers across disciplines are raising awareness about the effects of a changing climate on national and human security. Impacts such as ocean acidification and warming, melting polar ice and sea level rise each pose critical threats to human populations, natural systems and global security. Understanding the inter-connectedness between oceans, climate and security is increasingly crucial to our collective future.

Some threats are direct, such as impacts to global food security through drought or changes in ocean chemistry and temperature, or damage to civilian and military infrastructure caused by sea-level rise and increasingly frequent or intense storm events. Other threats are significant but less direct, such as decreased agricultural productivity, forced migration of coastal populations, and destabilizations of economies due to the ocean’s reduced capacity to regulate climate and provide for human needs. These conditions have the potential to disrupt societies around the world and force nations to change the way they keep population safe and secure.

The Global Conference on Oceans, Climate and Security (GC ’12) will address the current state and future direction of science and policy that is guiding international, national, and local responses to these issues in a discussion-driven conference that addresses the theme “Collaboration and Action to Address the Impacts of Climate-related Ocean Change on Human, National and International Security.”

Through distinguished keynote speakers, expert panels moderated by leading practitioners, and discussion sessions that engage expert international, national and local perspectives, GC’12 provides a unique opportunity to assess the current state of global climate change science and policy, and participate in developing recommendations for action. The conference proceedings and recommendations will be developed as a white paper to be submitted for peer-reviewed publication, and will be used as a blueprint to guide development of subsequent action plans by conference partners.

Keynote speakers, including Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will provide their perspectives on global climate change and address the challenges it poses to the marine environment, human populations, and national and international security.

Panels of experts will present materials for discussion that:

  • Assess the current state of the science; the impact of sea-level rise and ocean acidification on food security, human health, and coastal populations; how human and national security are affected by global climate change;
  • Identify key affected regions, strategic interests, policy gaps, and governance implications; and
  • Discuss current and potential future civil and military adaptation strategies and actions at multi-national, national and local scales

In discussion sessions led by leaders in the field, conference attendees will identify key interests and issues within priority geographic areas and develop recommendations for near- and intermediate term interdisciplinary action, including specific needs and opportunities for collaborative science, policy and place-based pilot projects.

Conference tracks include:

Science | Ecosystem Impacts and Human Welfare

  • Global Climate Change Science, Status, and Needs
  • Climate Change, Oceans and Human Health
  • Acidification and Other Impacts to Ocean Benefits
  • Insurance, Adaptation, and Ocean Observing Systems

Policy | Security Policy and Governance Implications

  • Arctic and Antarctic Regional Policy
  • Coastal Impacts of Climate Chang
  • Population Impacts, Including Migration
  • Natural and Built Systems Resilience and Adaptation

In addition, one plenary session will feature presentations on conventional and unconventional methods of communicating issues associated with climate change impacts, including presentations on the methods and results of gaming exercises conducted by military, non-governmental humanitarian and environmental organizations. The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security invites you to join the discussion with this diverse, high-level group of scientists, military and civilian policy-makers, and thought-leaders from all disciplines and participate in developing strategies and actions to address these critical issues.

To register for the conference click here.

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