In this episode, Dr. Natasha Bajema, Director of the Converging Risks Lab, moderates a discussion about illegal logging, forestry crime, forest integrity and their connection to security. The discussants are Dr. Rod Schoonover, Head of the Council on Strategic Risks’s Ecological Security Program, and Dr. Charles Barber, Director of the Forest Legality Initiative and Senior Biodiversity Advisor at the World Resources Institute (WRI) This is the first in a series of discussions about the concept of ecological security.
Prior to WRI, Dr. Charles “Chip” Barber served as Forest Chief in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and as Environment Advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He received his PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.
Before coming to CSR, Dr. Schoonover served a decade in the U.S. intelligence community, first at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and later at the National Intelligence Council, working on the national security and foreign policy implications of environmental and ecological change.
To fill an urgent gap in understanding and addressing the security implications of global ecological disruption, the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) has significantly expanded its Ecological Security Program over the past months, with the help of a grant of close to $1 million from the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation. The program, housed within CSR’s Converging Risks Lab, addresses all elements of global ecological disruption, including biodiversity loss and beyond, caused by drivers such as habitat change, direct (and often illegal) exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and the spread of damaging invasive or otherwise destructive organisms.
To read more about our work on ecological security issues, please read CSR’s landmark ecological security report The Security Threat That Binds Us and the programmatic and policy responses recommended in that report.