Developing, managing, and sharing knowledge on natural resources, conflict, and peacebuilding
Library / Identifying Synergies and Tradeoffs in the Sustain...
Source: Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2015
Author(s): Itay Fischhendler
Countries: Israel, Palestine
Topics: Basic Services, Cooperation, Renewable Resources
The literature on environmental security often assumes complementarity between promoting sustainability and broader security goals. As sustainability and security are viewed to be positively correlated the possible tradeoffs between security objectives and aspects of sustainable development have largely been overlooked. This study examines under what conditions these tradeoffs are likely to occur, and how the tradeoffs can be reconciled especially during times of peace building. In order to address these questions we analyze the effect of Israeli security concerns between 1993 and 2010 on environmental infrastructure designed to treat wastewater in the West Bank. This study identifies several sustainability-security tradeoffs: 1) economic - in which security concerns raise costs of wastewater infrastructure, thereby crowding out other potentially productive investments; 2) equity - in which security concerns result in disproportionate exposure of populations to environmental hazards (in this case, untreated sewage and the siting of locally unwanted land uses next to disadvantaged populations); and 3) environmental - in which security concerns increase ecological footprints of measures (for instance, offsite, rather than on-site sewage treatment). Yet, our case study also indicates that as long as peace building was paramount, both sides used a variety of creative measures to reconcile these tradeoffs. Measures like the relocation of infrastructure, the promotion of joint infrastructure corridors and deviation from the polluter pays principle reduced the detrimental effect of security on the design, location, financing, management and operations of wastewater facilities.