Summer Academy on Climate, Land and Security

26-30 July 2021


The climate and environmental crises pose multiple and increasing risks, notably to human security. Inter-disciplinary solutions are necessary to meet the scale of the challenges. Collaboration across traditional boundaries - discipline, sector, ethnicity, nation state and more - will be necessary to implement them.

Are you interested in exploring solutions at the nexus of land, security and climate change? Would you like to develop the skills of collaboration and trustbuilding to implement these solutions? Would you benefit from joining a network of problem solvers who share a core vision and set of values - and who can draw on each other's strengths in the future? If so, this Summer Academy could be for you.


Why land and security solutions need to be forged together to respond to the threats posed by climate change and create a more peaceful world.


Conflicts over land have been a feature of human existence since time immemorial. Land confers livelihood, living space, territory, even national identity. Nearly all of humanity’s food needs depend on one hand-span of soil - yet an estimated 34 million tonnes of topsoil are lost to erosion every year. Land degradation, climate change, population pressure, conflict and poor governance can interact in reinforcing feedback loops, directly impacting the health and livelihoods of 1.5 billion people.

On the other hand, there is growing evidence that integrating land restoration with community-based peacebuilding can create a virtuous cycle leading to both environmental and social recovery, and contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The constraint to implementing this approach often lies in weak intersectoral co-operation and the need to build trust for the governance of shared natural resources.


CDES Chad, photo Theo Fruendt
Chad, photo: Theo Fruendt


Learning objectives

  • Deeper understanding of the main challenges in the nexus between land restoration, climate change mitigation and adaptation, human security, migration and conflict;
  • Enhanced analysis of the strengths and limitations of existing responses and increased ability to articulate more effective alternatives;
  • Increased capacity to respond more effectively to climate, land and security challenges as policy makers and practitioners;
  • Improved dialogue and online teamwork skills (using the Claned Learning Platform and Zoom)
  • Exchange views among peers and global experts and practitioners from the Summer Academy, the Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.


Who should attend

This course target audience are environment and security professionals from public and private sectors:

  • civil servants
  • researchers
  • diplomats
  • military
  • private sector representatives
  • community leaders
  • NGOs
  • International organisations

to create the global cooperation that will be required to respond to the climate, land and security challenges of the 21st century!

Please note that participants will be required to set aside 4-5 hours per day during work hours during the course period, plus a total of 4 hours' preparatory work in the week before the course. Participants who successfully complete the course will be awarded certificates and become alumni of the GCSP.


Darfuri refugee camp in eastern Chad – photo with kind permission on CORD UK
Darfuri refugee camp in eastern Chad – photo with kind permission on CORD UK


Plenary 1 (Open Panel): Navigating climate peril: what kind of leadership will it take?


When: Monday 26 July, 14:00 - 15:15 CEST

Chair: Ms Anna BRACH, Head of Human Security, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)


  • Dr Martin FRICK, Deputy to the Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 at United Nations (video message)
  • Ambassador Doreen DE BRUM, Permanent Representative of Marshall Islands to the United Nations Office at Geneva
  • Major General MUNIRUZZAMAN (Retd), Chairman, Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) and President, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)


Plenary 2: From evidence to impact: advancing solutions for landscapes, livelihoods and peace


When: Tuesday, 27 July, 11:30 - 12:45 CEST

Chair: Dr Alan CHANNER, Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace


  • Mr Steve KILLELEA, Founder & Executive Chairman, Institute of Economics and Peace
  • Dr Antje HERRBERG, Senior Mediation Advisor, European External Action Service
  • Mr Luc GNACADJA, Design 4 Sustainability, Past Executive Secretary of the UNCCD (2007-2013), Minister of Environment and Urban Development (Benin, 1999-2005)


Plenary 3: Empowering local solutions through climate finance


When: Wednesday 28 July, 14:00 - 15:15

Chair: Louise BROWN, Founding Director, Triple Capital, Namibia




Alan Channer

Alan Channer

Peacebuilding, Environment and Communications Specialist
United Kingdom / France
Alan Channer is a project director, documentary film producer, writer and researcher on peacebuilding and the environment. He was a runner-up for the 2019 Bremen International Peace Prize; co-designer of a programme on 'pastoralist-farmer conflict transformation' in Nigeria which won a United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award in 2017; speaker at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum; and producer of the award-winning film,The Imam and the Pastor, which premiered at the United Nations in 2006. Alan is a Senior Fellow of the Global EverGreening Alliance and on the Executive Committee of Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace. He began his career in tropical agricultural biology, carrying out research in China, Malawi, Tuvalu and Zimbabwe. He has worked on trustbuilding programmes in Cambodia, Chad, Kenya, Nigeria and UK, with UNDP, the US Institute of Peace, Initiatives of Change and other agencies.
Anna Brach square

Anna Brach

Head of Human Security, Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Anna Brach is Head of Human Security at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). Her work focuses on issues of environmental and health security with special emphasis on the climate change and security nexus. Her research interests include human security, human rights, environmental security, climate change, global public commons and resource management. She is responsible for developing and running the Human Security Cluster activities, including executive courses, workshops, and high-level conferences in Geneva and internationally. She is the Course Director for the European Security Course. Anna holds a Master's degree in Economy from the Warsaw School of Economics, a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and a Master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Geneva.  Prior to joining the GCSP, she worked for the private sector at the PR Department of Nestlé Poland in Warsaw and at Academy&Finance in Geneva. Her native language is Polish and she is fluent in English and French.
Louise Brown

Louise Brown

Climate Finance Specialist
Louise Helen Brown is a climate finance expert based in Windhoek, Namibia. She is the recent founder of a small business, Triple Capital, which develops financial and economic solutions to environmental and social challenges. Previously, she coordinated the Africa Climate Change Fund, a grant-making fund for climate resilience at the African Development Bank. Prior to that she worked at the Green Climate Fund Secretariat supporting developing country institutions to access climate finance, at the World Resources Institute on climate change governance and finance, and at the Office of the President of Guyana as an environmental economist, through a fellowship with the Overseas Development Institute. 


What past participants said


Thank you so much for creating the safe space to think through the challenges of environmental security in our world today.

- NGO programme director, UK/Somalia -


A great exchange.

- FAO programme manager, Syria/Turkey -


A fantastic initiative; I am excited by where this is going and the potential to scale up and replicate solutions that have been tested at local level.

Africa Climate Change Fund Coordinator, African Development Bank -


I take these learnings very close to my heart in everything I do going forward.

- PhD student, Portugal -


Costs: 750 CHF

  • Some full and some partial scholarships are available
  • GCSP Alumni are eligible for a 20% discount


The course, which is co-designed by the Geneva Centre for Security PolicyInitiatives of Change and Triple Capital takes place within the framework of the Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security.

Please note that this event will be held in English (no translation).




Photo top: Wikimedia Commons




  • CHF 750
  • Some full and some partial scholarships are available
  • GCSP Alumni are eligible for a 20% discount
  • Apply HERE


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