Harnessing climate security opportunities at the Sthlm Forum

The Challenges Forum participated at the annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, and hosted a roundtable discussion together with the UN Climate Security Mechanism. The event was titled ‘Harnessing climate security opportunities in conflict-affected contexts: Experiences from United Nations field presences ‘. It was a successful oppportunity for UN field representatives, civil society groups and other stakeholders to exchange their experiences.

The roundtable explored how United Nations peace operations and country teams can support regional, national and local partners in addressing the climate–security nexus and play a catalytic role for managing risks and building resilience. Participants gave examples of tools available for analysing climate-related security risks, identifying opportunities for cross-sectoral partnerships, and distilling good practices regarding climate-sensitive conflict prevention and sustaining peace efforts.

Some of the key conclusions made were that climate adaptation and peacebuilding are indeed interconnected and require better cross-fertilization. Leadership and partnerships are key to overcome remaining gaps in the climate-security nexus. Moving from policy discussions and research towards operationalization and implementation is key in leveraging the potential of climate adaptation.

“Local communities are at the frontline of climate adaptation and need to be better listened to”, said Giovanie Biha, DSRSG for West Africa and the Sahel.

The need to focus on more long-term solutions including climate adaptation and resilience was also highlighted, with a shift towards local implementation and more and flexible financing.

“The key question is how to move from emergency response to investments in prevention and, in doing so, how to bridge the gap in meaningful participation of women and youth as the ones most affected by climate change”, said Nyachangkuoth Tai from The Mother Care Organization.

Per Olsson Fridh, Director General of Folke Bernadotte Academy and new chair of the Challenges Forum partnership, ended the session by emphasizing the importance of combining the short- and long-term perspective in the work against climate change impact and for peace.

Speakers from left: Per Olsson Fridh, Nyachangkuoth Tai, Judy Wakahiu and Jackline Odero.

Challenges Forum Booth

Participants at the Stockholm Forum also had the opportunity to visit the Challenges Forum booth, where they could learn more about the partnership, as well as try out the newly developed virtual tool for Senior Mission Leadership. CFIS enjoyed several conversations with interested participants, who learned more about the partnership through our films, or by recieving a copy of the latest Challenges Annual Forum report.

Discussants at the roundtable:

Giovanie Biha, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel
Alexandra Fong, Team Leader Policy Planning Unit, UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA)
Sharon Wiharta, Policy Advisor, Challenges Forum International Secretariat
Christophe Hodder, Climate Security Advisor, UNSOM
Hassan Mowlid Yasin, Executive Director, Somali Greenpeace Association
Jackline Odero, Civil Affairs Officer, UNMISS
Per Olsson Fridh , Director-General, Folke Bernadotte Academy
Pernilla Rydén, Director, Challenges Forum International Secretariat
Nyachangkuoth Tai, Special Assistant to the Advisor to the Chairperson on strategic relations, African Union Commission
Judy Wakahiu, Programme Advisor/Manager Peace and Community Cohesion, United Nation Development Programme In South Sudan

The ninth annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development was held on the theme ‘From a Human Security Crisis Towards an Environment of Peace’. The 2022 Stockholm Forum is co-hosted by SIPRI and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.