Project Description

How Integrated ‘Big Data’ Can Help to Anticipate and Prevent geopolitical interstate conflict :

The world runs on water. Clean, reliable water supplies are vital for agriculture, energy, cities, households and ecosystems. Yet, the world’s water systems face formidable threats. More than a billion people live in water-scarce regions, and as many as 3.5 billion could experience water scarcity by 2025. Natural resource scarcity, climate change, vulnerability and conflict are intertwined risks. Lack of water can create food insecurities and even partial economic collapse – leading to displacement and migration. Combined with a failure of governments to provide for basic needs, this make countries more susceptible to extremism, political uprisings and wide-scale destabilization. In Syria, water and food insecurities, combined with natural resource mismanagement, acted as risk multipliers to underlying social and political tensions in the current conflict. A challenge is that current indices and predictive tools to examine state fragility and the likelihood of tensions/conflict often do not include sufficient attention to these natural resource dynamics.

This breakout session will investigate how climate change and water scarcity pose risks to national security, with potential transboundary implications, and how integrated ‘big data’ can help to anticipate and prevent such geopolitical tensions.

Breakout sessions
Time & Location
Thursday 14.00 -16.30
Room to be announced
World Forum, The Hague


Tim Sweijs
Tim SweijsSenior Strategist HCSS
Kitty van der Heijden
Kitty van der HeijdenDirector WRI Europe
Jamie Shea
Jamie SheaDeputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO Headquarters