Environmental problems can be of concern for security both between but also within countries. Addressing these risks has been at the heart of Zoï’s work providing support to the the UN and the ENVSEC initiative implemented by a consortium of international organizations on Europe’s borders: South Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Video clip: ENVSEC
Through innovative methodologies for mapping and visualizing the risks we have contributed to flagship assessments with wide recognition throughout the region and world-wide. The assessment reports explain complex environment-security connections to normal people and politicians and help trigger solutions to problems on the ground. The assessments are participatory, focused, concise, attractive and easy-to-understand and widely recognized as powerful communication tools.
Zoï staff led and contributed to ENVSEC’s assessments by developing methodologies, desk studies and actual work in the regions and countries such as Central Asia, the Ferghana Valley, the Eastern Caspian region, the Amu Darya river basin, the South Caucasus, Nagorny Karabakh, the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Our on-going work focuses on assessments in the Central Asian Water-Environment nexus, transboundary environmental problems Eastern Europe (Dniester and other rivers), Mining in the Balkans, Central Asia and Armenia and keeping an eye on the environment in areas of frozen conflicts in the Caucasus.
We initiated the MEDSEC initiative, extending Environment and Security assessments to the Southern Mediterranean region. The current activities focus on Jordan, Egypt and the Nile river and Palestine.
The 1992 Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents is designed to protect people and the environment against industrial accidents. The Convention aims to prevent accidents from occurring, or reducing their frequency and severity and mitigating their effects if required. Zoï is providing support to the convention's capacity building programme in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Zoï Books are produced for the United Nations, the European Union, regions, countries and a growing community of readers world-wide. We closely cooperate with GRID-Arendal in providing environmental information for decision-making.
Our digital library is available here.
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Zoï and the Toxic Remnants of War Project have published an update of the environmental situation in war-torn eastern Ukraine. These three maps show the latest environment-related developments in Donbas, including fresh attempts to carve environmental policy on both sides of the line of contact.
This report presents the key findings of the research initiative “Drones in Humanitarian Action” (by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in partnership with CartONG, UAViators and Zoï Environment Network), which examines different uses of drones for humanitarian operations. The in-depth report is based on 14 case studies from 10 countries, as well as expert consultations, stakeholder meetings and a survey of humanitarian professionals in 61 countries.
SDC has started a dialogue to address the linkages between climate change, environment and disaster risks on the one hand, and migration and economic development on the other. The dialogue includes thematic inputs, e-discussions and a workshop organized in Morocco in March 2016, with a particular focus on North Africa. This brief focuses on the climate change/environment and migration nexus and synthesizes the main findings from this process to date, including the relevant literature. While addressing this nexus in general, this brief has a specific focus on North Africa and explores different types of migration.
These maps in Russian and Ukrainian display flood risks in the Dniester river delta and around Mohyliv-Podolskyi.
Dniester river basin (Russian, jpg):
Mohyliv-Podilskyi (Ukrainian, jpg):
Russian-language maps created for the project "Environment and security in Belarus" – assessing and monitoring floods in the Pripyat river basin.
Risk maps (jpg):
Probable damage maps (pdf):
This snapshot assessment of environmental damage to the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine, plagued throughout much of 2014 with fighting that still continues, was prepared through cooperation between Zoï Environment Network and the Kyiv-based East Ukraine Environment Institute. To assess the situation and compile the map, the experts used the best available information from governmental and other sources and media reports, as well as their own data, judgements and direct interviews with the affected enterprises and areas. As new data are being collected, this remains work in progress.
This report presents achievements of the ENVSEC (UNECE/OSCE/UNEP) project “Transboundary Co-operation and Sustainable Management in the Dniester River Basin: Phase III – Implementation of the Action Programme”. The activities were focused on developing and signing the Dniester River Basin Treaty between Moldova and Ukraine, transboundary water monitoring, fish fauna conservation, information sharing on the basin level, public awareness, and reducing vulnerability to extreme floods and climate change. The publication also provides recommendations for further activities in the Dniester river basin.
The goal of the “Reducing vulnerability to extreme floods and climate change in the Dniester river basin” project is to reduce the risks of possible consequences of climate change, identify the most vulnerable areas in the Dniester river basin and improve adaptation capacity in Ukraine and Moldova. This study in particular is aimed at analyzing and discussing the capacity for information exchange on flood risks and timely warnings to the population.
Zoï has contributed to UNECE water assessments and helped facilitate implementation of UNECE and United Nations conventions in Central Asia. Based on its previous work with Afghanistan, Zoï was invited to assist in the facilitation of the Afghan-Tajik cooperation process. In the development of this atlas, Zoï’s special talents for presenting environmental issues visually have been of particular value.
Economic development and natural resource management are top priorities for cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Tajikistan. For both countries the adequate knowledge and sharing of information about natural resources and hazards are important.
With 100 photos and 50 maps and graphics based on official sources and original research, this well-illustrated atlas presents information at the river basin – as opposed to the national – level, and portrays challenges from the regional rather than the country perspective. With the objective of supplementing information already available in each of the countries, the atlas is designed to help local policymakers and experts as well as readers outside the region, donors and the international community understand the basin’s natural resources, common needs and priorities. It starts with brief introductions to the countries, illustrates the Amu Darya River basin as a part of the Aral Sea basin and provides details on the Upper Amu Darya.
The report reveals in a striking manner the linkages between environment and security in the occupied Palestinian territory. The message is clear: environmental degradation in Palestine only increases the security risks. Solutions are complex and highly depend on fair and flexible accords between Palestine and Israel, eventually Palestinian independence giving full sovereignty over environmental resources.
The United Nations Environment Programme 2011–2013 strategy focuses on six thematic priorities – climate change; resource efficiency; disasters and conflicts; environmental governance; harmful substances and hazardous waste; and ecosystem management. As part of its effort to come to terms with these priorities, UNEP engaged Zoï to create thematic maps for use as objective tools for priority setting in the European region.
Did the changing climate ignite the Arab Spring? Did failures of Egyptian agriculture and the global increase in food process accelerate the fall of the Mubarak regime? The causes of the wave of revolt sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa are complex and multiple. This reports highlits the fact that environmental security and the preservation and just distribution of basic resources are the keys to peace and stability.
The prime aim of this report is to identify the environmental stress points in the Amu Darya basin which have, or may have, security repercussions for the states and population.The report then suggests solutions to the challenges identified during the assessment. All in all, the field missions covered more than 3 000 km. Participants included experts from the region and from international organizations. Almost 100 experts were directly involved or consulted during the process.
Jordan is an ideal case study to highlight the tension between available resources and rising demand in the Middle East, but also globally. Jordan is an extreme case in that it lacks all three key necessities for human civilization: food, water and energy. This report explains that in order to provide long-term answers securing the well-being of future generations there are no short-term answers, nor yet within the boundaries of the nation-state. Regional cooperation is needed to maximize shared benefits.
Over the last few years UNEP and its ENVSEC partners have been working to identify and reduce transboundary environmental risks from hazardous mining operations in South Eastern Europe, with the focus on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. This document seeks to provide an overview of the results and experience created over this period to facilitate related work in the future and ensure broad dissemination of the lessons learned to guarantee that the efforts made so far can be sustained.
This synthesis report makes these complex issues better understandable to decision-makers and a more general public. The concise analysis produced integrates the regional environmental and security, political and economical discourse.
This publication highlights the importance of recognising the region’s geopolitical positioning between the EU and the Russian Federation, improving energy security without jeopardising the environment, addressing the Transnistrian conflict in Moldova and strengthening cooperation over shared rivers and ecosystems.
Environmental protection is one of the areas where the Balkan countries still face a big challenge to catch up with their western neighbours. After the 1990s conflicts and the breakup of Yugoslavia, six new Balkan states emerged. Apart from integrating environmental concerns into the new policies, a major challenge is environmental management across new borders.
The mandate of the mission led by OSCE was to assess the short-term and long-term impact of the fires of summer 2006 on the environment in the fire-affected territories and to make recommendations on how to counteract any detrimental impact of the fires and on an environmental operation.
The assesssment has been produced upon request of the countries of the Ferghana Valley - Kyrgzystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - and has widely benefited from their inputs. it shows how the Environment and Security initiative has helped identify both environmental threats to regional security and opportunities for cross-border dialogue.
The report briefly presents a preliminary assessment of environment and security linkages in the Southern Caucasus, carried out at the request of the host governments and in consultation with national experts. Its purpose is to establish the parameters for follow-up action by national authorities and international partners.
This report focuses on the environmental stress affecting security in two case regions, Central Asia and South Eastern Europe. It provides maps with an overview on major environmental risks to human development and security. The maps are derived from information gathered at consultation workshops in Belgrade and Ashgabat, which were attended by local experts, government and non-government representatives.