Stakeholders converge to bolster environmental security at Indo-Pacific Environmental Security Forum – 2023


The Indo-Pacific Environmental Security Forum (IPESF) 2023, co-hosted by the US indo- Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), and Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) is currently underway with great success at Shangri-La Colombo. On the 16th of August 2023, during the third day of the forum, a series of activities including presentations, panel discussions, and collaborative group sessions centered around the Impacts of Urbanization and Land Security. The primary objective was to facilitate the exchange of insights and exemplary approaches among stakeholders concerned with environmental security.

On the first day of the forum (14th August), participants delivered presentations and exchanged information concerning the theme of Climate Change and Security. Hence, the central points of conversation included subjects such as Military Logistics & Supply Chain Resilience in the face of Climate Change’ by Brigadier Carla Watts – Australian Defence Force, ‘Addressing Energy Insecurity & Increasing Climate Resiliency for Small Island Developing States in the Indo Pacific Region’ by Mr. James Ellsmoor from Fiji and ‘Radical Defence Decarbonization – Global Assessment of Strategies and Investments’ by Ms. Shiloh Fetzek from the International Institute of Strategic Studies.

Meanwhile, the theme of the following day (15th August) shifted to Maritime, Ocean and Water Security. As such, stakeholders drew attention on areas such as Strengthening Legal Responses to Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated Fishing (by Captain Anurag Bisen from the Indian Navy), Mangroves, Seagrass Beds, and Blue Carbon & How Resilient Coastal Ecosystems Increase the Resiliency of Pacific Islanders (by Ms. Maybeleen Apwong from the University of Hawaii), the Role of Water Storage in Enhancing Water Security (by Dr Mohsim Hafeez from International Water Management Institute), Policy Framework for Preventing Plastic Pollution in the Indian Ocean Region (by Commander Prashan Perera from the Sri Lanka Coast Guard), Introduction to Coral Reef Science And Restoration and Mangrove Resilience through Pacific Island Blue Carbon Knowledge Exchange PI – BLUEX (by Admiral Piyal De Silva (Retd) and Dr. Adam Smith.

In addition, A Case Study from Palau – the Effects of Demographics on Ecology & How Integration of Traditional Knowledge Systems is Critical to Land Restoration by Dr. Chris Kitalong, Intense Urbanization in the Maldives & the Strategic Operational and Tactical Threats and Risks Impacting Defence Forces by Colonel Hassan Amir from High Commissioner of Maldives to Sri Lanka, Food Security & Disaster Risk Reduction through community – based Mangrove Restoration in the Central Coast of Vietnam and Addressing Impacts of Urbanization, Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Activities in Cities and Surrounding Environment were main topics of discussion.

Today (16th August), the Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard collaborated to arrange workshops which included techniques of cultivating coral on an artificial reef located in Colombo Port City and the proper procedures for conducting a scientific mangrove plantation trial in the Negombo lagoon.

The Indo-Pacific Environmental Security Forum (IPESF) 2023 is scheduled to conclude today (17th August).


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