Theme on Environment, Conflict and Security (TECS)

Theme Co-Chairs


Jennifer Mohamed-Katerere

Jennifer Mohamed-Katerere (South Africa and Zimbabwe)

What's New?

Chair of TECS, Jennifer Mohamed-Katerere (centre) with panellists Wasiul Islam (left) and Lamson  Maluleke (right).

Building conflict-sensitive approaches to protected area governance and management

At the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia (12-19 November, 2014), the CEESP Theme on Environment, Conflict and Security held a panel discussion on conflict-sensitive governance. This reflective session was held in collaboration with the World Commission on Environmental Law and the IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework Working Group. …  

13 Apr 2015 | Article

July 2014: Participants of the CAUX – Dialogue on Land and Security at the IUCN- CEESP booth, discussing the recently launched policy briefs titled Conflict – Sensitive Adaptation: Use Human Rights to Build Social and Environmental Resilience

IUCN- CEESP and IPACC Supported Policy Briefs Disseminated at the CAUX- Dialogue on Land and Security 2014

IUCN CEESP members Jennifer Mohamed-Katerere (Chair of Theme on Environment, Conflict and Security, Human Rights and Environmental Policy Expert) and young professional Omer Aijazi (PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia), represented the Theme on Environment, Conflict and Security at the CAUX Dialogue on Land and Food Security held at Caux, Switzerland from June 30th – July 4th 2014. …  

10 Jul 2014 | Article

TECS briefs on Conflict sensitive adaptation

Conflict-sensitive adaptation. Use Human Rights to Build Social and Environmental Resilience

A new set of briefs

TECS in collaboration with IPACC (Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee) has published a set of policy briefs on how human rights can serve as a foundation for making adaptation conflict sensitive. At the 2010 UNFCCC COP the importance of making climate change adaptation conflict sensitive was identified in several side events. This is a priority because adaptation if poorly planned could increase conflict by multiplying existing conflict stressors. In turn this could aggravate existing vulnerabilities making it increasingly difficult to achieve development goals and human security. Pre-existing factors such as weak tenure, gender inequality and the marginalization of indigenous people can contribute to adaptation choices that favour one group over another. The absence of inclusive governance incorporating legitimate processes for making decisions and resolving difference can compound this situation. In this set of policy briefs, TECS and IPACC demonstrate that by putting human rights at the centre of adaptation planning and actions, governments and other actors can help avoid conflict and be effective in reducing human vulnerability, building resilience and enhance human security.

TECS Conflict sensitive adaptation briefs

Theme Activities


The Theme on Environment, Conflict and Security (TECS) focuses on the intersection between environmental governance, environmental change and conflict and how this impacts on multiple dimensions of security.

The Theme is constituted on the understanding that building more effective environmental governance and policy can reduce conflict and ensure security from local to global levels. At the same time reducing conflict and conflict potential and strengthening security underpins environmental sustainability. From this perspective addressing conflict and security are essential to realizing IUCN’s vision of “A just world that values and conserves nature”. Policies that promote and build cooperation, secure livelihoods, protect human rights, and encourage fair, equitable and effective governance of natural resources can be decisive in reducing conflict in both contexts of scarcity and abundance.

TECS seeks to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to minimize the potential for conflict by:

  • Contributing to knowledge and understanding on environmental policies and action that reduces conflict and improves security
  • Networking and knowledge-sharing with key actors and participating in collaborative policy development
  • Supporting action that reduces conflict and strengthens security through collaborating with theIUCN secretariat, members and commissions and other partner organizations
  • Developing effective tools, policies, and governance processes and guides to reduce conflict and build security
  • Assessing conflict potential in disaster contexts and developing conflict management strategies

TECS is currently consulting with its members to identify a few priority activities that can contribute to meeting this objective.  Read More.

TECS Membership


The Theme currently has over 70 members.

TECS Membership Criteria:

  • TECS membership is open to individuals with experience and expertise relating to issues of environment, conflict and security.
  • Members offer their contributions on a volunteer basis, but can be compensated for their professional activities if funds are available through specific projects or programmes.
  • TECS is one of seven themes of the Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy (CEESP). Membership in TECS automatically involves membership with CEESP.
  • Membership is by invitation, which is issued by one of the TECS Chair. However interested persons can apply or be nominated, but in all cases acceptance will be based on an invite by the TECS Chair;
  • Membership requires contribution to work of TECS including strategic planning, reviewing of policy initiatives, sharing of case studies and liaising with national and regional IUCN members. Members may be more or less active depending on individual commitments and opportunities, and can focus their interest in one or more specific sub-topics, or in one or more regions/countries. The co-chairs may revoke membership where there is an extended period of inactivity. TEC’s membership is reviewed every four years however members can be added or removed at any time.


Past TECS Activities


Networking and Knowledge Sharing

  • Redefining Global Security: In March 2007 TECS organized the European launch of the Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World Report, which focused on “Redefining Global Security”. Two high-level events were organized. The first was held at the Peace Palace in The Hague and the second at the European Parliament.
  • The Military and Private Sector as Forces for Sustainability: In 2007 TECS organized a conference on Forces for Sustainability in the Hague Peace Palace. The conference discussed the (1) new roles for the military in promoting environmental security and (2) the responsibility of the private sector, especially extractive industries, to prevent human rights violations and environmental destruction, to compensate for damage done, and to accept the guidance of citizens councils in the areas of operation.
  • Climate Change and Conflict: In 2007 then TECS chair, Wouter Veening, addressed a side event at the Bali Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on the security aspects of climate change. In 2008 TECS and the Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) organized a side event on the same issue at the IUCN’s 4th World Conservation Congress in October in Barcelona.

Post Conflict Assessment & Policy Development.
In 2006, TECS provided financial support to Professor Richard Steiner of CEESP SEAPRISE to assess the environmental impacts of an oil spill in the Mediterranean following the Israeli Air Force bombing of the oil tanks of the power station at Jiyyeh on the Lebanese coast. In July 2006, TECS financed his follow-up visit to Israel to discuss the report with the Israeli government. In 2007 TECS commissioned a report on the legal (liability) aspects of the oil spill, which was published in February 2007 and submitted to the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law (CEL).


The TECS seeks to influence, encourage, and assist societies to minimize the potential for conflict, reduce conflict, and achieve the conditions for sustainability by:

Contributing to knowledge and understanding of how environmental policies and actions intersect with conflict and insecurity 

Networking and knowledge-­‐sharing with key actors whose actions and policies impact on environmental-­‐social security

Participating in and promoting collaborative and inclusive policy development

Supporting action that reduces conflict and strengthens security, including by
undertaking environmental security and vulnerability assessments and by
developing conflict-­‐sensitive conservation, development and adaptation approaches

Developing effective tools, policies, and governance processes and guidelines to reduce conflict and build security

Assessing conflict potential in conservation and (pre-­and post-­‐) disaster
contexts and developing effective conflict management strategies. The Theme has a rich membership of over 70 professionals from all geographical regions as well as from diverse disciplines, and cultures. It
is well balanced in terms of gender. Membership includes conservation and
sustainable development practitioners, social scientists, economists, experts from conservation and development organizations, and young
professionals with proven concern and capacities in sustainable development at the community, national, and international levels.
The TECS works in partnership with the IUCN secretariat, member
organizations, and commissions as well as other partner organizations and

Quick Links
  • Refugees flee CAR, 2014

    Refugees flee CAR, 2014

    Photo: Jennifer Mohamed Katerere

  • Conflict Timber Liberia, 2010

    Conflict Timber Liberia, 2010

    Photo: Yemi Katerere