Environmental Peacebuilding | Wilson Center

Environmental Peacebuilding

10th Anniversary Open House and ECSP Report Launch

Since its founding in 1994, the Woodrow Wilson Center's Environmental Change & Security Project has brought together the worlds of environment, population, and health with those of foreign and security policy, bridging the chasm between academic theorizing and practical policymaking. At more than 50 events a year Beltway insiders quiz big thinkers and professors and practitioners meet political players. UN Environment Programme Executive Director Klaus Toepfer recently called ECSP the "leading institute for environmental security in the United States."

Sustainability: A Security Imperative

How can environmental reconstruction in post-conflict zones contribute to an enduring peace? What are the impending environment and security challenges in "hotspots" such as Central Asia and the Caucasus? In what manner is the international academic community contributing to our understanding of the mechanisms behind environmental cooperation?

Environment, Development, and Sustainable Peace: Finding Paths to Environmental Peacemaking

Download entire conference report here.

Sustainability: A Security Imperative

International Waters Funding Dialogue

Funding is a decisive issue for any development project, but international water projects face additional hurdles by working multilaterally in an arena dominated by bilateral funding. Funders and fundees (recipients) have different expectations regarding agendas, timelines, goals, and conditions, which can create conflicts that severely endanger projects. Fundees can become overburdened with reporting and program requirements if donors do not coordinate their efforts, and funders often impose their internal priorities on fundees without careful consideration of local needs or conditions.

Water Conflict and Cooperation: Looking Over the Horizon

Political leaders often warn of impending "water wars" in our increasingly water-scarce world, but water's roles in conflict and cooperation are more complex than this rhetoric implies. Exhaustive research by Aaron Wolf of Oregon State University has firmly established that water resources rarely (if ever) cause international violent conflict. Historically, international political institutions managing water have adapted to increased scarcity without resorting to war to secure supplies.

UNEP Post-Conflict Assessments: New Tool in Improving the Environment in Post-Conflict Countries

On May 25, the Environmental Change and Security Project and the Conflict Prevention Project hosted Pekka Haavisto, chairman of the United Nations Environmental Programme's (UNEP) Post-Conflict Assessment Unit and Finland's former minister for the environment and development cooperation.

Environment, Conflict, and Cooperation: Scoping Gaps and Opportunities for Research and Policy Agendas

A diverse group of international practitioners, policymakers and researchers gathered at the Wilson Center to analyze the gaps and opportunities for research and policy agendas in the growing field of environmental conflict and cooperation.

Book Launch: The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam

The latitudinal tenth parallel — located 700 miles above the equator — constitutes a "faith-based fault line" between Islam and Christianity, said Eliza Griswold at the launch of her latest book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam at the Wilson Center on September 16, 2010. The former Wilson Center public policy scholar traveled more than 9,000 miles to six countries along the line.

Resolving Natural Resource Conflicts:A Path to Development and Peace

"[P]overty alleviation is not just a humanitarian issue, it's a security issue; and poverty alleviation then becomes an explicit security strategy," said Aaron Wolf , professor of Geoscience at Oregon State University during the Resolving Natural Resource Conflicts: A Path to Development and Peace panel hosted by the Wilson Cente

ECSP Report 11

According to some experts, protecting natural resources and stabilizing population growth must be part of long-term solutions to today's violent conflicts. Others say the evidence does not support this strategy. But all agree that more research will lead to a more nuanced understanding of the links connecting environment, population, and security.