SafeSeas director presents at the Indian Ocean Island Forum in Bangkok

SafeSeas director Professor Tim Edmunds presented a paper on ‘The Environment and Maritime Security’ at the Indian Ocean Island Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, on 10-12 May 2023.

Organised by the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) of the US National Defense University, the event brought together over 40 participants from 21 countries for conversations on the environmental security challenges facing the Indian Ocean region.

Professor Edmunds began by outlining the nature of the current challenge, focusing particularly on the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss on the marine environment and the ways that this has been incorporated into the maritime security agenda.

From there, he went on to develop on three specific issues for maritime security in practice:  

  • First, how environmental changes will change the operating environment for maritime security actors in the years to come.
  • Second, on how environmental pressures at sea are likely to create new patterns of maritime insecurity and blue crime.
  • And third, on the new tasks these will create for maritime security forces.

He concluded by reflecting on some of the wider implications and dilemmas of these changes for maritime security, including how the environmental agenda can be sustained in the face of counter-veiling pressures such renewed geopolitical competition at sea.