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Human Security and Climate Change in the Mediterranean Region

posted 5 Nov 2013, 01:22 by Giuseppe Feola   [ updated 20 Jan 2014, 00:42 ]
Grasso, M., Feola, G. 2013. Human Security and Climate Change in the Mediterranean Region. In: Redclift, M.R., Grasso, M. (Eds.), Handbook on Climate change and human security.
Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, pp.254-280.

Abstract
This chapter investigates human security and its intersections with climate change in the Mediterranean Region (MR). It does so by measuring human security at national level, and by critically discussing an ethical approach for improving human security in the MR. Adopting a regional perspective is particularly useful to account for the traits of human security, in that it favours the recognition of its interregional dynamics, its environmental, cultural and governance dimensions, and its multifaceted relationship with climate change.
Climate change is expected to have, and to some extent already has had, multiple physical and socio- economic impacts on the MR. In general, physical effects coupled with anthropogenic activities are expected dramatically to increase environmental pressure in the entire Mediterranean area. As far as societal and economic aspects are concerned, it is widely agreed that these outcomes of changing
climatic dynamics will severely affect Mediterranean agriculture, fishing, tourism, coastal zones and infrastructure, and that they will ultimately endanger public health. However, human security in the MR is not threatened by climate change alone. In fact, the MR has been facing several socio- demographic and economic challenges, ranging from the economic crisis to demographic changes, to political and social tensions. While these challenges are far from being settled, so that full appreciation of their effects on human security is hardly possible, it seems clear that they are already having, and possibly will have long in the future, effects on the Mediterranean peoples’ capacity to “end, mitigate, or adapt to threats to their human, environmental, and social rights; have the capacity and freedom to exercise these options; and actively participate in pursuing these options”. Owing to this overlap between exceptional environmental and social change trends, the MR is an especially interesting case for investigation of the intersections between climate change and human security. We propose a measure of human security at national level that can serve to gain better understanding of human security, to scrutinize its connection with climate change in the MR, and ultimately to develop an ethical approach for raising its level in this region.