Videos Spotlight Water Conflict; Population-Environment Connections

New videos on a YouTube channel launched by the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) shine a spotlight on top environmental security issues -- such as water and conflict; and the links between population and environment.

As both the U.N. General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative meet in New York City to tackle the problems of poverty, health, environmental degradation, and conflict, ECSP offers original video perspectives on challenges facing the delegates in "Water Wars or Water Woes?" and "Population, Health, and Environment."

In "Water Wars or Water Woes? Water Management as Conflict Management," ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko explains that although newspapers and politicians constantly warn of impending "water wars," water rarely leads to interstate violence. By focusing on "water wars" -- which evidence shows are extremely rare -- we "are missing a lot of what is important around conflict management around water," argues Dabelko.

According to Dabelko, cooperative water management can also help resolve conflicts caused by other problems, such as those between India and Pakistan or Israel and Palestine. "You've got to go through it to get out of the conflict and support a sustainable peace," he says.

ECSP's YouTube channel launched earlier this summer with "Population, Health, and Environment: Exploring the Connections," which offers a lively, accessible explanation of population-health-environment (PHE) connections, with examples and photos from successful programs in the Philippines. By linking family size to sound environmental management and, ultimately, livelihoods and food security, integrated PHE programs help people recognize the benefits of smaller families. "You add value by addressing multiple community needs simultaneously," explains Lori Hunter of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

To view "Water Wars or Water Woes?" visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Emhgb_8ZwA and "Population, Health, and Environment" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGUtXzU-xb8.

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