Lancaster University academic helps shape future of EU maritime security strategy

Fishermen leaving port for a long day out at sea fishing - represents this issue of climate change => poverty => overfishing,

The links between climate change and maritime security have been flagged up by a Lancaster University expert at a meeting of the EU Council’s working group on maritime security.

The EU Council presidency-in-office invited Dr Basil Germond, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, to present his research on 'Climate Change and Maritime Security' to inform the Council's working group on the 'EU maritime security strategy'.

Dr Germond presented evidence from his research on the ‘synergistic links’ between climate change and maritime security.

He explained: “Climate change’s effects on natural systems such as loss of marine biodiversity, extreme weather events and sea-level rise impact on human beings and societies including loss of livelihood and socio-economic inequalities, which, in turn, can create incentives to engage in forms of maritime crimes, such as illegal fishing, piracy and human trafficking.”

Dr Germond recommended EU decision-makers address the climate change maritime security connection by tackling the root causes of maritime criminality upon which climate change impacts, i.e. poverty, inequalities and bad governance.

In addition to providing technical assistance for maritime domain awareness and maritime security capacity-building, Dr Germond emphasised the importance of early warning and recommended the working group further develop ocean awareness and support research that could predict where climate change's impacts on maritime security would be most salient.

Dr Germond, who specialises in maritime security, naval affairs and sea power, added: “The connection between climate change and maritime security is a growing topic of interest for decision-makers, who need evidence to devise future scenarios and implement relevant mitigating measures.

“The EU Council’s decision to devote time and resources to tackle this important issue is a very positive step. Other governmental actors have recently become interested in addressing this issue; in summer 2021, I advised the Department for Transport on a similar topic.”

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