Highlight 30/2023 – Applicability to Peru of the findings and recommendations of DCAF studies in Brazil and Colombia on climate and environmental security
Jean Carlo Manrique Vera, 13 October 2023
The concept of security has recorded a historical evolution, from focusing on states and war to focusing on other actors and threats, by two processes called deepening of actors and broadening of security issues. Among the new issues resides the climate and environmental security, which poses a crucial challenge to states, particularly as mitigation measures have not succeeded in reducing Global Greenhouse Emissions to the levels required to limit temperature for this century. As part of the efforts regarding adaptation to climate change, as well as the fight against environmental degradation, the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) has carried out two studies in Brazil and Colombia on the stocktaking of security sector roles on climate and environmental security, and on indigenous and rural women’s voices to address climate security risks, respectively. The important findings and recommendations of both studies should be expanded to similar contexts to cause a greater impact; consequently, it is crucial to analyze whether they are applicable to other countries part of the Amazon basin such as Peru.
The studies were based on DCAF’s recipe on Security Sector Governance and Reform (SSG/R), which encompasses three main characteristics: the broadening of the concept of security to human security, including economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community and political security; the deepening of the concept of security enlarging the number of key actors, including, among others, the civil society; and the focus on attaining good Security Sector Governance, that is effective, accountable and delimited by democratic civilian control, rule of law and respect for human rights.
Both studies have given recommendations to international actors, national authorities and security sector providers, and communities, particularly, on applying a multidimensional approach to security; building trust between state security providers and the population, including vulnerable groups such as women, indigenous people and migrants; improving the investment in capacities, including early warning systems; and enhancing oversight control.
In this vein, the studies in Brazil and Colombia on climate and environmental security are applicable to Peru due to two factors. On the one hand, there is a similar context, particularly as there is an important number of indigenous peoples in Peru, a country with the second largest territory of Amazon basin and tropical forests, after Brazil. In addition, Peru suffers from similar environmental issues such as flooding, draughts, illegal logging and mining – including crimes related to these illegal activities such as human trafficking and corruption –, drug trafficking, and threats – and murders – to environmental and indigenous leaders. On the other hand, Peru could benefit from these studies as the relationship between Peru’s National Police and the population has been affected due to the harsh response to recent protests in the wake of the coup attempt performed by former president Castillo; and a competitor of security provision, the self-defense committees, has been legally recognized, which is a sign of the lack of effectiveness in the work of the state security providers.
Jean Carlo Manrique Vera, Highlight 30/2023 – Applicability to Peru of the findings and recommendations of the studies carried out by DCAF in Brazil and Colombia on climate and environmental security, 13 October 2023, available at www.meig.ch
The views expressed in the MEIG Highlights are personal to the authors and neither reflect the positions of the MEIG Programme nor those of the University of Geneva.