Natural security is the intersection between environmental crime and U.S. national and global security.
Environmental crime is a $258 billion illicit annual industry and includes such issues as illegal fishing, logging, mining, and wildlife crime, representing a threat to global peace and security. Acting alone, the environmental community is fundamentally under-resourced and ill-equipped to meet the growing natural security threat. New ideas and partnerships with the security community need to emerge in order to defeat the sophisticated, networked, and sometimes militarized groups perpetrating crimes against the environment. In order for that to happen, both the environmental and security communities need to learn to speak each other’s languages, identify common ground in the fight against environmental crime, and commit to working in concert toward mutually beneficial outcomes.
Through research, analysis, and action-oriented programming, the Natural Security project is advancing the concept of natural security and works to firmly place environmental challenges on the global peace and security agenda. It amplifies and strengthens efforts to build partnerships across the environmental and security divide by transforming the narrative around environmental crimes and their implications for national and international security.
Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, coalition and relationship building, and innovative policy and on-the-ground capacity building programs, the Natural Security project fosters the creation of a new and expanding community of natural security experts and stakeholders to sustainably build a new approach to combatting environmental crime – one that leverages resources from both environmental and security organizations and that mutually benefits both constituencies.