Earth Security Initiative Scientific Meeting


The Earth Security Initiative (ESI) aims to reposition the conservation of species and ecosystems as a major security issue. This is in addition to the importance of conservation for intrinsic or economic reasons. The understanding of our dependence on natural systems and the threats they face has greatly increased in recent years. However, the implications for human security of continuing to degrade oceans, forests and freshwater systems have not been well communicated. If conservation is recognized as essential for human security, it will concern a much broader sector of society and will likely lead to new funding streams as well as greater civil society support and political will for action.

The workshop, hosted by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), aimed to develop and drive forward the Red Lines Agenda, which highlights the amount and location of natural ecosystems that need to be conserved if we are to ensure humans security. The workshop had four major objectives:

1. Define the Red Lines Agenda and current status of research (How much do we know about the amount and distribution of intact forests, oceans and freshwater systems needed to ensure human security?).

2. Identify major research gaps in the Red Lines Agenda.

3. Define criteria for identifying ecological ‘ticking time bombs’ (sites that will experience human security risks over the next 20 years due to poor governance of natural

resources) and form the basis of a paper that demonstrates where these sites are likely to be, current trends and the likely security risks associated with inaction.

4. Develop a communication strategy to place the Red Lines Agenda at the centre of Rio+20 and society as a whole.

The Value Web supported the workshop creating eight graphic frames of the key topics to be shared with other stakeholders and hopefully the rest of the world.


  1. Sita says:

    Great work Alfredo and Christoph – seems like an incredibly important event. Do you know if they are building a specific report for Rio+20 and/or do they have other materials with some of this data available? I’ love to read/get a copy of what ever comes from this session (in addition to the images you’ve created).

    Thanks for sharing!

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