Control Needed to Combat Resource Deficiency
On June 5, Transatlantic Academy Fellows, Dr. Geoffrey Kemp and Mr. Tim Boersma, took part in a conversation on “The Global Resource Nexus” at GMF’s Warsaw Office, Poland. Following a briefing on the report titled, “The Struggles for Land, Energy, Food, Water and Minerals” four respondents from the Polish policy community gave their brief remarks on the report, which was followed by a Q&A session.
Transatlantic Academy Fellows stressed the growing importance of resource control due to an increase of global population, especially pertaining to the emerging middle class and large underclass. Land, energy, food, water and mineral resources are all scarce and interlinked. Resource deficiency and the inter-dependency of resources will lead to instability by way of pressure on the world markets, interstate disputes and deficient local resources. Dr. Kemp and Mr. Boersma addressed this problem and recommended solutions.
According to the Fellows, integration and information will be the key tools for protecting the nexus. There is a need for better integration and management of both knowledge and resources. The Wider Atlantic region should be a focus for these practices. Ailing transparency and information sharing has contributed to growing skepticism of governments, which has resulted in further increase in local and global volatility.
Dr. Kemp and Mr. Boersma pointed out that the most vulnerable parts of the world are close to home. Although there may not be direct links between states, this will change as resources are swiftly depleting and water and carbon levels are increasing. Dr. Kemp and Mr. Boersma highlighted that offshore and riverine regions are two crucial spots that require attention. Rising sea levels and displacement of island residents will also have a large effect on neighboring states of offshore regions. Furthermore, it is important to recognize the need to keep sea lanes open by engaging China and India, whilst the issue of dams and hydro-power will be at the heart of the debate between river-sharing states.
During the Q&A session, the issue of Poland’s involvement in protecting the “Global Resource Nexus” arose. This included comments on shale gas, the use of coal, public opinion and water infrastructure.