Core Contribution to the Earth Security Initiative (ESI)

Project completed

The Earth Security Initiative (ESI) is a new innovative platform created to develop and advocate resource governance from an inter-dependence perspective, to provide a new way of seeing the security implications of resource scarcity, and to develop new tools and strategies aiming to mobilize government policy-makers, the private sector and civil society to work together on improving sustainable resource governance across silos.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Water diplomacy and security
Agricultural development
Water resources conservation
01.05.2014 - 30.09.2018
CHF  1’820’000

The rising competition for limited resources is a challenge to national security and regional stability. The Earth Security Index is a new tool that measures converging country pressures on water, food, energy, demographics and budgetary stress. The BRICS and other emerging economies are critically exposed to resource bottlenecks. Given the growing inter-dependence of countries in view of international trade and investment flows, the limits of energy, water, food and land resources also pose critical challenges to governments, the industrial sector as well as financial institutions in developing and developed economies. New security policies are needed to confront resource-tipping points, and involve other stakeholders to create stability in the access to resources. The Earth Security Index provides a visually compelling framework, which complements the research routinely, with an integrated and visual assessment of a country’s vulnerabilities, policy enablers and sustainable investment opportunities. The tool is used to engage decision-makers to increase awareness and advocacy of converging resource pressures.


The main goal of the initiative is to develop, advocate and establish a way of considering global resource inter-dependence, which creates new incentives for policy-makers and the private sector to focus and to collaborate on the sustainable governance of limited global resources.

  1. Sub-goal 1: Develop and establish the Earth Security Index as an innovative global framework that helps policy-makers to consider resource governance priorities and interdependencies.
  2. Sub-goal 2: Advocate a global inter-dependence agenda by engaging decision-makers in global institutions, governments, private sector and civil society to use and apply the ESI’s framework and its agenda propositions/recommendations.


Target groups


  • Governments: The project aims to stimulate government policy-makers working within national, regional and global levels to think strategically about global resource security.
  • Private sector: The ability to bring the global private sector in resource-intensive sectors and financial institutions into a practical discussion of resource governance is a hallmark of the ESI’s strategy.
  • Civil society and universities: The ESI index features the work of key civil society organizations, providing them with a framework to consider resource governance issues in a more strategic way.
  • Network of global stakeholders: The global stakeholders relevant to the initiative include global institutions and multilateral forums that are addressing global development and environment agendas, geo-political structures such as G77, regional institutions like development banks, regional resource governance such as river basins etc.

    Medium-term outcomes


  • As a result of ESI’s the inter-dependence agenda is taken up and referenced by international, regional and national organizations in their strategies and conferences as well as by the global media.
  • Companies and finance sector refer to the ESI to position their contribution to public resource management, and as a tool for engaging with governments and stakeholders to improve resource management and resilience.
  • Champions in multilateral institutions use the ESI as a framework to guide their strategic thinking on policy and the design and cooperation of global programs across resource thematic areas.
  • SDC internal outcome: ESI analyses are used in the SDC country strategies and in major key SDC documents and events.

    Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
    Credit area Development cooperation
    Project partners Contract partner
    International or foreign NGO
    • Other international or foreign NGO North
    • Earth Security Initiative

    Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’820’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’641’468
    Project phases Phase 99 01.09.2018 - 31.03.2024   (Current phase) Phase 3 01.10.2021 - 31.03.2025   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021   (Completed)

    Phase 1 01.05.2014 - 30.09.2018   (Completed)