Environmental livelihood security: sustainable livelihoods and the environment nexus — ASN Events

Environmental livelihood security: sustainable livelihoods and the environment nexus (14273)

Eloise Biggs 1 , Bryan Boruff 2 , Eleanor Bruce 3 , John Duncan 1 , Julia Horsley 2 , Stephanie Duce 3 , Billy Haworth 3 , Natasha Pauli 2 , Julian Clifton 2 , Kellie McNeill 4 , Andreas Neef 4 , Floris Van Ogtrop 3 , Richard Murphy 3 , Emma Tompkins 1
  1. University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
  2. University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
  3. University of Sydney, Darlington, NSW, Australia
  4. University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Environmental livelihood security refers to the challenges of maintaining global food security and universal access to freshwater and energy without compromising livelihoods under variable climatic regimes. Environmental security is a concept complementary to sustainable development, and considers the increased vulnerability people have to certain environmental stresses, such as climatic change. Bridging links between the core component concepts of environmental security is integral to future human security, and in an attempt to create this bridge, the nexus approach to human protection has been created1, where water resource availability underpins food, water and energy security. This food-water-energy nexus has an influential role in attaining human security, yet little research has made the link between the nexus and livelihoods. In regions where livelihoods are dependent on environmental conditions, the concept of sustainable development is critical for ensuring future environmental and human security. Consequently, exploring the relationships between the nexus and sustainable livelihoods is required, particularly under a changing climate.

This research investigates the potential to analyse environmental livelihood security issues at a regional level using mixed-methods to account for the spatial and temporal dimensions of environmental change. The research looks at developing a multi-level approach to differentiate between macro- and micro-scale environmental security, both of which are strongly influenced by the environmental and social geography of a region. For example, environmental insecurity, extenuated by the impacts of climate changes (e.g. more frequent extreme events), is often experienced more adversely by the poor and vulnerable of developing nations in regions where livelihoods have strong interdependency with the environment. The locational focus of the study is the Asia-Pacific region. Research presented will provide an overview of baseline information, key concepts and preliminary framework development to examine the geography of environmental livelihood security in the Asia-Pacific region through integrating nexus-thinking with the sustainable livelihoods approach.

This research is being funded by the World Universities Network and the Universities of Southampton, Western Australia, Sydney and Auckland.

  1. Hoff, Holger (2011). Understanding the Nexus. Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm. 52pp