Climate security in the Indo-Pacific: a systematic review of governance challenges for enhancing regional climate resilience

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Abstract

Climate security is a burgeoning focus of the multidisciplinary literatures investigating the impacts from climate change. This research theme has gained prominence due to the realisation that climatic changes will likely compromise human welfare and community stability, with significant implications for governments’ security agendas. The Indo-Pacific region is an important case study for understanding climate security given its ongoing environmental and developmental challenges and the cultural, political and economic tensions existing within and between neighbouring countries. This paper presents a systematic review and synthesis of academic and “grey” literatures that address climate adaptation, disaster management or regional security in the Indo-Pacific. From this review, we identify four key themes that arise prominently in discussion and analysis prepared by academic scholars, governments and non-government organisations alike. The ubiquity of these themes speaks to the interdependent nature of the adaptation, disaster management and security challenges. The literature is in agreement that maintaining and enhancing climate security in the Indo-Pacific will depend on the region’s capacity to strategically coordinate between the activities of governments, industry and communities; the willingness of governments to meaningfully cooperate with communities and each other despite existing tensions; governments’ ability to manage limited resources efficiently; and their capacity to identify and address climate-maladaptive path dependencies. We highlight the most popular prescriptions for addressing these concurrent challenges at the current time. We argue that these prescriptions warrant further research and will likely have broader applicability for addressing climate security challenges in other regions of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Number of pages30
JournalCLIMATIC CHANGE
Volume167
Issue number3-4
Early online date17 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Climate security
  • Indo-Pacific
  • Climate change
  • Resilience
  • Governance

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