There is a clear, growing awareness among Columbia University faculty and students regarding the linkages connecting climate change, resource degradation and scarcity, poverty, habitat loss, and conflict. This interest is mirrored in high-level scholarly and policy deliberations in the world at large concerning such linkages. This Earth Institute Cross-Cutting Initiative , led by The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), aims to make the current round of interest in environment-security issues more meaningful.


  • To connect isolated Columbia University communities in the earth and social sciences
  • To initiate and innovate the university's research on environment and security linkages
  • To strengthen the university's curriculum in this area to meet students' growing demand
  • To provide a mechanism for directing research and findings to the appropriate policymakers, publications, and potential funders

The CCI's short-term activities for Fall 2007/Spring 2008 include:  

  • Formation of a cross-disciplinary working group on environment and security linkages
  • Holding a seminar series on environment-conflict linkages
  • Creation of an interdisciplinary geospatial database integrating data on conflict, climate, natural resources, and biodiversity