Planetary Security Conference: From Analysis to Action


The third conference of the Planetary Security Initiative will take place on 12 and 13 December 2017, in The Hague, at the initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Hans Mommaas, Director-General of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, will hold a keynote speech during the plenary opening session of this international conference. PBL is also organising 2 of the 15 workshops focused on climate change, security and safety issues.

During the plenary opening session, Hans Mommaas will address the security and safety risks for cities related to climate change. The poorer share of the worldwide urban population is more vulnerable to the consequences of climate change than the wealthier share, for a large variety of reasons. In the future, this may lead to more and recurring poverty, health risks, unemployment and the emergence of violent groups within cities.

Hans Mommaas will be participating in a discussion panel that, among others, will also include Hassan al-Janabi, the Iraqi Minister of Water, and Monika Sie Dhian Ho, the Director of Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations.

Workshop From Drylands to Cities

The theme of the PBL workshop From Drylands to Cities, in collaboration with Cordaid and Deltares, centres around the challenges faced by the world’s dryer regions, from various perspectives.

These regions have higher than average population growth, lower than average economic development, in addition to the risk of climate change further exacerbating these problems. Together, these factors may lead to changing migration patterns, increased urbanisation or displacements within regions. Without sufficient employment, social services and land-use agreements, such developments are likely to contribute to conflict.

Workshop Climate change, Cities and Conflict

The PBL workshop Climate change, Cities and Conflict, in collaboration with Cordaid, addresses the consequences of climate change for cities.

The global urban population is expected to grow by 2.5 billion to around 7 billion by 2050. This also means that the number of urbanites living in informal settlements will increase further. Currently, an estimated 1 billion people are living on the margins of urban society.

Challenges related to food security, depletion of natural resources, ecosystem quality, and climate change impacts can only be addressed effectively if more attention is focused on inclusive forms of urban development.

Video report

In December 2017, PBL will post two videos online, providing concise information on the workshops and the conference for all those interested. This will be followed, in February 2018, by a briefing note on both workshops, describing the main developments and policy options.

New Urban Agenda

The possible tension and conflicts related to climate change and urban living conditions are the subject of the recently published PBL study The New Urban Agenda – Opportunities for inclusive and green urbanisation.

The study was conducted in light of the third habitat conference of the United Nations.

For more information: New Urban Agenda acknowledges the role of cities in achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Towards a World of Cities in 2050

In a 2014 study, PBL describes how cities are developing and what role is played by water-related challenges. For more information: Towards a World of Cities in 2050.