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Centre of Criminology, University of Cape Town, Enviro Security Blog

This Environmental Security Blog is an online forum to document latest developments and resources in the world of environmental security.  This regularly updated resource can be accessed here and subscribed to for automatic daily or weekly email alerts.

This blog focuses on resources that support the activities of the environmental security research focus areas of the Centre of Criminology.

Within environmental security governance the Centre’s primary focus is on understanding how the governance environment, in particular primary regulatory institutions, shape environmental risk and society’s exposure to it. This emerging research programme seeks to identify and work with regulatory institutions directly impacted by global environmental change, and explore their potential in helping to mitigate and/or adapt to the risks being faced. The programme is particularly concerned with exploring how these institutions, with wide-ranging regulatory influence, can be enrolled as risk managers.

A signature feature of the Centre’s research is the close collaborative partnerships it builds with other institutions across the science, education, public and private sector divides. These not only shape the Centre’s research but often provide avenues for ongoing dissemination of findings to key stakeholders.

Current environmental security project:

Fulcrum Institutions and Sustainability Programme (FISeR)

The current project is the Fulcrum Institutions and Sustainability Programme (FISeR) which is now in its second year. Researchers involved in this project investigate the governance of environmental change and how society is, and can, adapt to the myriad of threats presented by climate-risk both in South Africa and elsewhere.

The ‘fulcrum institutions’ initially under investigation include the global insurance and financial industries, local municipal governments and the key commercial resources industries. The programme draws upon mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with key stakeholders within each of the sectors it engages as well as research partnerships with a number of academic institutions and non-profit organisations. Based on promoting reciprocal partnerships, the programmes outputs not only include academic publications, but also actively contribute to policy development as well as engaging with civil society more broadly.

Click here to find out more about the Fulcrum programme.

Other recent environmental security projects include:

Food Security

Food Security was another area of research supported by the Centre in 2012 together with funding from the Open Society Foundation and the Embassy of Finland. The Hungry Season: Feeding Southern Africa’s Cities was published by Picador Africa (Pan MacMillan) in 2012. This book, by lead researcher Leonie Joubert with photographs by Eric Miller, explores food security within cities, particularly in the context of climate change while examining how vulnerable poor communities can become more resilient. An 11 minute video The Hungry Season was also developed and is available in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu and is available online. Research and script development identified and highlighted the key components, and their significance, within the food security value chain, and how these impact on levels of food security within households for the urban poor.

Flooding in Cape Town under Climate Risk (FliCCR)

Researcher, Laura Drivdal, explored how to address problems of flood risk and responses in Cape Town’s informal settlements. The Centre of Criminology was actively involved in supporting the research programme and in mentoring those students participating in it. The programme was funded by the IDRC (Canadian International Development Research Centre) through the Department of Geography under the direction of Gina Ziervogel.

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