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Ms. Johanna Lauritsen takes us to Brussels

As an environmental coordinator at the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC), within the European External Action Services (EEAS), I coordinate the integration of environmental aspects into EU:s civilian missions and operations.

These missions are part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and may engage in a number of security-related tasks. This include border management, conflict prevention, combatting organised crime and advising on security sector reform in countries of operation.

Information about these missions as part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

  • 2 Ms Johanna Lauritsen outside her office in Brussels. Private photo
  • Ms Johanna Lauritsen when speaking on the International High Level Conference on Environmental Management in Peace Operations, hosted by Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units, Vicenza, Italy, 28 September 2022. Private photo

The integration of environmental and climate considerations into theses missions has both internal and external dimensions. The missions should report on the environmental footprint that results from mission activities and assess local health-related, environmental hazards that can affect mission members.

Missions shall also enhance the general awareness amongst mission members on environment-related issues. Looking externally, missions should map how environmental degradation may affect the security situation in the country of operation and define areas of mission engagement, if relevant. Some missions are involved in capacity building on environmental crime.

In my role, I function as a bridge between the policy-level and frameworks agreed by the EU member-states on the one hand, and the hands-on work conducted by environmental advisors and environmental focal points deployed in the missions on the other hand.

Since I arrived in January 2022, I have developed a first edition of operational guidelines for our work, in close co-operation with environmental focal points and our excellent environmental advisors deployed this far. To support the missions, I also organise reoccurring seminars on environment-related topics, most recently on environmental crime.

One of the most challenging, but also most stimulating and interesting, parts of my role is the broad scope of the work. To achieve true mainstreaming and achieve long-term results, one cannot treat environmental considerations in an isolated manner.

Awareness and knowledge need to be spread to different mission members and colleagues through trainings and ongoing dialogues. Sustainability guidance must also be incorporated in a number of steering documents and frameworks, including on procurement, real estate and finance. This requires networking and co-operation with a broad number of colleagues and departments, which sometimes have other priorities.

Although it is challenging to work alone in my function, I have great co-operation with the environmental field advisors and I generally witness a high motivation amongst EEAS colleagues and member-states to move forward in greening internal and external aspects of civilian CSDP. This fills me with energy.

Latest reviewed: 6 December 2022

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