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YCAPS Research Fellow Dr. Robert Mizo Presents his Research Findings at the Japan Foundation, Tokyo

By Mori McPherson and Patrick Howell

On June 24th, 2024, YCAPS Research Fellow, Dr. Robert Mizo delivered a speech at the Japan Foundation on his current research: Climate Change, Maritime Security, and the QUAD: New Challenges and Pathways for Cooperation. The presentation discussed the QUAD's overall efforts of strengthening the unity among its member countries to address their common concerns about China and maritime security. Dr. Mizo emphasized that climate change intensifies maritime insecurity by disrupting human systems and increasing the risk of resource conflicts. Shifting the lens that one views the region in, from an Asian Pacific to an Indo-Pacific framework benefits the QUAD when the focus is on strategic interests and maritime security. This way, the rules-based order and freedom of navigation in international waters are maintained as well as the safety of trade routes in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans that deal with challenges such as piracy and illegal fishing.

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However, Dr. Mizo pointed out that the QUAD's anti-China image could undermine its broader effectiveness. The concerns and threats associated with coming climate change are insecurity in the marine environment, economic security, human security, and national security. That said, Professor Mizo feels that the QUAD's efforts in engaging regional stakeholders and focusing on collaborative efforts to address climate change will help improve resilience in areas such as mitigation and adaptation and promote a stable and secure Indo-Pacific. Professor Mizo stated that one could not think of security without including the topic of climate change therefore, the QUAD must work together to reduce the impact of climate change on the global community.