The 55th Annual
Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference
Sustainability and Sovereignty:
Global Security in a Resource-Strained World
April 13-15, 2015
Global population growth, the enduring effects of global climate change, and increasing forms of interdependence in the quest for resource sovereignty, highlight the fact that natural resources are fundamental to both conflict and national security. As international demand surges for water, land, energy, food, rare earth elements, and other renewable and non-renewable natural resources, prices rise, and availability can reach critical scarcity levels, even depletion. While this resource scarcity creates numerous possibilities for conflict, it can simultaneously hasten a drive for enhanced cooperation. But will the global community, as we know it, survive the rising resource tensions? Are sovereignty and sustainability possible in a resource scarce world? This year’s 2015 NAFAC conference argues that sovereignty and sustainability are linked—from the survival and development of states, to the sanctity of borders, and the effective management of our global commons. How can we ensure the long-term sustainability of the planet and its resources, while states protect sovereignty, project power, and contest global governance? What about multi-national corporations and non-state actors? How do they affect sovereignty and sustainability in a resource-scarce world?
The 2015 NAFAC conference will explore the implications of increased global resource strain, impending state failures, and the needs for enhanced natural resource management and cooperation around the globe. While this year’s conference is likely to produce more questions than answers about key themes, awareness of natural resource risks and vulnerabilities is key to a more secure and productive future.