Members of the Climate Change and Security Programme have met high-level officials in Mexico to discuss the findings of a new interim RUSI report. Credited for setting the agenda in the country, the report received praise from various officials including the National Security Advisor to the President of Mexico.
A new RUSI report, Climate Change, Migration and Security: Best Practice Policy and Operations Options for Mexico, has been launched at the British Embassy in Mexico's capital, Mexico City on 22 November 2011. To mark the release, research fellows from the Climate Change and Security Programme met prominent Mexican and British government officials to discuss the report's conclusions and recommendations.
During their four-day visit they held talks with Mexico's new National Security Technical Secretary, government experts on Climate Change and close collaborators of the Mexican President at Presidencia.
Members of the RUSI delegation briefed representatives from Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores), as well as Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti - the Climate and Energy Security Envoy of the UK MoD and Foreign and Commonwealth Office who was also visiting the region.
Alongside Admiral Morisetti, RUSI presented their finsings to senior officers and stakeholders at Mexico's Ministry of Defence (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional).
Strengthing ties with the policy community
The visit aimed to strengthen existing links with stakeholders who have collaborated with the on-going project. Meetings took place with representatives from Mexico's National Institute of Migration (INM) and the staff of the National Water Commission (CONAGUA), including its Director General Jose Luis Luege Tamargo.
Several NGOs, government officials, stakeholders and press attended the launch of the report at the UK Embassy. The visit received wide coverage in Mexico's newspapers and online media outlets. Two of Mexico's leading newspapers - Reforma and La Jornada - reported the visit and the implications of RUSI's findings.
Elizabeth Deheza, the author of the new report and one of the RUSI delegates, described the visit as a chance 'to build awareness of national security and climate policy ahead of and after the Presidential elections (due to be held in 2012)'.
Additionally, the report aims 'to enhance cross-government consensus and intergovernmental communication on these issues and help develop prudent and robust policies for managing climate-related migration without exacerbating existing security challenges in Mexico'.
The trip also provided an opportunity to create new links with the Climate Change community in Mexico. The preliminary findings of report were discussed at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), a leading university for Environmental and Climate Change studies.
Tobias Feakin - Director of National Security and Resilience - who led the RUSI delegation met with representatives of the Ministry of Environment in Chiapas (SEMAHN), the Ministry of Development for the Southern Frontier as well as the Director of Civil Protection in Chiapas.
The ultimate goal of the project is to build awareness of national security and climate policy in Mexico ahead of and after the Presidential elections in 2012 and COP-18 - the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - as well as to develop appropriate instruments to enhance climate-security (e.g., risk mapping, risk assessment, adaptation strategies, enhancing public awareness and gathering scientific date)