The year 2011 has seen the further prioritisation of non-traditional security (NTS) issues throughout research and policymaking circles in the Asia-Pacific region. Regional trends and events have highlighted the need for strategies that can help people, communities, states and organisations address multifarious security challenges, thus propelling the NTS platform to a higher stratum of political and institutional discourse.
During 2011, food prices reached an all-time high, creating opportunities for producers and marketers while driving many vulnerable households and individuals further into poverty. Climatic volatility continued as climate change negotiations laboriously moved forward from 2010’s Cancun meetings, with the need for new agreements and strategic approaches as pressing as ever. Asia’s growing economies laudably weathered much of 2011’s pervasive global economic instability and as a result energy demand in the region continued to increase rapidly. Meeting such energy demand in ways that are environmentally sustainable and socially progressive is a formidable task for stakeholders throughout Asia. Public health issues continue to be formidable, and span a continuum, from rapidly developing risks such as pandemics and polluting accidents, to endemic problems associated with infectious diseases and lifestyle choices. Finally, and in part as a manifestation of other NTS challenges, internal and cross-border conflicts continue to bring violence and pockets of instability to areas around Asia.
These issues are explored in greater detail in the Centre for NTS Studies Year in Review 2011.