eSeminar - Peacebuilding and Climate Change



Climate change poses a series of catastrophic threats to the planet, from rising sea levels that could swallow coastlines to the increasing prevalence of drought that could devastate agriculture and fresh water supplies. While these direct environmental challenges are clear and omnipresent, less attention is often paid to the secondary effects of climate change, such as its impact on peace and security dynamics. Climate change is already emerging as a major driver of conflict and insecurity in many parts of the world, and this phenomenon will only worsen in the future as the environmental impacts of the changing climate become more pronounced.

This presents new challenges to the global peacebuilding architecture that have yet to be fully addressed by its key stakeholders. As we enter an era that could be marked by climate-driven war and instability, it is important to explore the potential impacts of climate change on global peace and security and how the existing peacebuilding agenda can be adapted to confront them. This will be the central question addressed at the fourth instalment of the Centre for Security Governance’s eSeminar series on "Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding," presented in collaboration with the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Global Studies.

An edited video of the event, which took place on Friday February 26 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EST, is available below. 



Moderator: Dr. Mark Sedra

Dr. Mark Sedra is the Executive Director of the Centre for Security Governance. Mark teaches in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and is a faculty member of the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Prior to joining the Centre for Security Governance, he was a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the leader of CIGI’s Security Sector Governance project. His research on post-conflict state building has taken him to a number of countries and regions, including Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Sudan, the Middle East and the Balkans. Mark was formerly a research associate at the Bonn International Center for Conversion, and a visiting research fellow at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. He served as the 2004-2005 Cadieux Léger Fellow in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Mark has served as a consultant on international security issues to numerous organizations and governments, including the United Nations, DFAIT and the British Department for International Development.


Panelist: Anna Brach

Anna Brach joined the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) in 2006. She is Senior Programme Officer in the Emerging Security Challenges Programme.

In this capacity, she is involved in developing and leading a number of training, outreach and research activities, mainly in the area of human and environmental security. Her research interests include international security issues in particular human security, environmental security, climate change, global public commons and resource management.

Anna holds a Master's degree in Economy from the Warsaw School of Economics, a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and a Master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Geneva. 

Prior to joining the GCSP, she worked for private sector at PR Department of Nestlé Poland in Warsaw and at Academy&Finance in Geneva.



Panelist: Dr. Simon Dalby

Dr. Simon Dalby is a CIGI Chair in the Political Economy of Climate Change and Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His published research deals with climate change, political ecology, geopolitics, global security, environmental change, militarization and the spatial dimensions of governance.

He is co-editor of Rethinking Geopolitics (Routledge 1998), The Geopolitics Reader (Routledge 1998, 2006), and author of Creating the Second Cold War (Pinter and Guilford, 1990),Environmental Security (University of Minnesota Press, 2002) and Security and Environmental Change (Polity, 2009).

Simon Dalby was educated at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Victoria and holds a Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University. Before joining the Balsillie School he was Professor of Geography, Environmental Studies and Political Economy at Carleton University in Ottawa.


Panelist: Dr. Richard Matthew

Dr. Richard Matthew (BA McGill; PhD Princeton) is Professor of International and Environmental Politics in the Schools of Social Ecology and Social Science at the University of California at Irvine, and founding Director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (

He studies (a) the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding; (b) climate change adaptation in conflict and post-conflict societies; and (c) transnational threat systems. He has done extensive field work in conflict zones in South Asia and East, Central and West Africa.

In addition to his positions at UCI, he is also a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Geneva; a Senior Fellow at the Munk School at the University of Toronto; a senior member of the United Nations Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding; and a member of the World Conservation Union’s Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. Dr. Matthew has received Certificates of Recognition for his research and service activities from the U.S. Congress, the California State Legislature and the City of Los Angeles. He has over 150 publications including seven books and co-edited volumes.



EVENT Organizers

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank devoted to the study of security and justice issues in fragile and conflict-affected states. It is a registeted charity located in Kitchener, Ontario. 

The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) is an institute for advanced research, education, and outreach in the fields of global governance and international public policy. Founded in 2007 by philanthropist Jim Balsillie, BSIA is an equal collaboration among the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University

The Wilfrid Laurier University Department of Global Studies offers interdisciplinary program combining real-world activism and engagement with critical thinking about the challenges and opportunities of globalization.
This project is being undertaken with the generous support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)