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.
The dialogue was housed within the idyllic settings of the Caux Palace, overlooking Lake Geneva and Montreux. The dialogue provided an excellent avenue for policy makers, researchers and environmentalists to discuss emerging connections between land governance, conservation and human security. It attracted participants from all over the world including senior government officials, representatives of NGOs and U.N bodies, as well as graduate students and seasoned academics.
Jennifer and Omer used this platform to generate interest and disseminate the recently launched IUCN CEESP and IPACC supported policy briefs titled Conflict – Sensitive Adaptation: Use Human Rights to Build Social and Environmental Resilience.
The policy briefs introduce a human rights approach to adaptation planning and provide guidance on avoiding conflict, reducing human vulnerability, building resilience and enhancing human security. Printed copies of the briefs were distributed to interested stakeholders and their potential applications and conceptual framings were discussed. The CAUX Dialogue provided a generative space for the IUCN CEESP members to network and establish relationships to forward the work of the Commission particularly with reference to advancing the role of human rights in achieving conflict sensitive adaptation practices. Possibilities were explored with researchers from UNU to participate in the 2015 Community Based Adaptation meeting in Tanzania as well as at the Asia Pacific Forum in Malaysia. In addition, important conversations were held with senior officials from UNCCD and UNEP Disasters and Conflict unit for further dissemination and development of the policy briefs. The policy briefs will closely contribute to UNFCC’s Kenya Program and will soon be uploaded online on the IUCN- CEESP webpage for wider access.
In line with the spirit of intergenerational partnerships for sustainability, an important principle for IUCN CEESP and the Union in general, discussions were held with young and upcoming environmentalists on how they can also contribute to the Commission’s mission and more specifically how they can further develop the role of human rights and conflict sensitivity within adaptation practices. Overall the CAUX Dialogue provided a generative platform for fruitful exchanges of ideas, networking and relationship building.