Tell us about yourself:
Name: Anna Brach
Job title: Human Security Cluster Leader
Fun Fact: My interest in environment comes also from the fact that in my spare time I practice and teach yoga. This practice teaches us to be kind to ourselves and to the planet which I try to do in my personal and professional life.
GCSP: Why did you choose to enter this field?/What got you into this field?
In university, I studied security. Learning about global security issues led me to the conclusion that environment, a transnational issue, could play a key role in bringing various security and other actors together to foster peace.
GCSP: What is your role at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy?
I lead GCSP’s Human Security cluster where I focus on the environment, health and security nexus. I design courses and other events to raise awareness around the importance of creating and implementing environmental policies in governments, companies and organisations. These courses and events are aimed at engaging decision makers, current and future leaders in a dialogue around the link between environment and security.
GCSP: Tell us more about the courses you run
I run multiple three-day executive courses on environment and security. These courses have a special focus on climate change and its implication on humanity. We aim at bringing high level experts into the course to lay out the hard facts, connect the dots and help course participants design creative solutions to global challenges.
GCSP: How do you see the topic of human security shaping the future?
Environment and security are going to continue to be increasingly important for all of us. We can already see that the mismanagement of natural resources and climate change are having an impact on both state and human security all over the world. The environment needs to be better understood and it must be included in decision making processes on all levels, regardless if we are talking about the public or private sector.
GCSP: What have you learnt from the participants in your courses? What is your biggest takeaway?
There is much wisdom in the classroom. Synergies among participants, both personal and professional, produce the added value that can influence decisions at local, national and regional levels.
GCSP: What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Focus on the positive. In the area of environment and security it is crucial to understand the challenges but leaders must go beyond threats and focus on workable solutions.
GCSP: What’s the next challenge surrounding human security?
The lack of awareness of the general public, as well as, the lack of action from policy-makers. This results in poor and underwhelming decision-making. What we need in this crucial moment are courage and forward-thinking solutions.
GCSP: What’s coming up next in human security? What should readers stay tuned for around your cluster?
There is a lot of movement the area of environment. We should follow the UNFCCC process defining next steps to enforce the Paris Agreement. We should also keep an eye out for the upcoming IPCC reports that are going to provide updated scientific facts on the impact of climate change. In addition, in Beijing in 2020, a climate conference on biodiversity, which is another key issue for environment and security, will take place.
GCSP: Why are you passionate about the environment and security? Why does it make a difference for you personally or professionally?
I personally think that environment is one of the most important challenges facing human societies. The good news is that we already have all the necessary solutions. What we must do is act quickly and decisively. I feel very privileged to be able to combine my personal and professional interests and have the opportunity to raise awareness of leaders from different sectors encouraging them to make sensible decisions.