Environmental Change and Acute Conflict


Initiated in 1990, this project investigated how environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources might contribute to social strife and conflict in many parts of the world. The research looked specifically at the links between environmental change and violent conflict in three areas: water scarcity and degradation; population displacement; and environmentally caused economic decline. The project drew together more than 40 scholars, scientists, policy-makers, and security specialists from North America and the developing countries in the study, enhancing both the effectiveness of environmental policy and an understanding of the cultural and political dynamics in regions under investigation. The project included workshops in Toronto and Cambridge; briefings for policy-makers and the media in Ottawa and Washington; and publication of several project papers in the Academy’s Research Paper series.



Project Leader

Jeffrey Boutwell