Environmental Peacebuilding | Wilson Center

Environmental Peacebuilding

ECSP Report 11: Table of Contents and Foreword

Environmental pathways to peace can emerge at the unlikeliest of times—even during conflict, when managing shared environmental resources can be an important lifeline connecting combatants cut off from other avenues for dialogue, writes Environmental Change and Security Program Director Geoff Dabelko.

Population and Conflict: Exploring the Links

ECSP Report asked five scholars to contribute commentaries summarizing their current research on the links between conflict and four key factors: density, age structure, sex ratio, and differential population growth. These commentaries, which seek to help non-experts navigate this complex territory, offer recommendations for policymakers and programmers working to prevent conflict and stabilize population growth.

U.S. Military and Environmental Security in the Gulf Region

Oil spills, water shortages, earthquakes, and desertification are only some of the potential environmental threats to the Persian Gulf region’s security, but multilateral and regional efforts to address these problems could help build bridges between nations, writes Rear Admiral John F. Sigler, USN (Ret.).

Parks for Peace or Peace for Parks? Issues in Practice and Policy

An upcoming ECSP publication—based on a conference held in September 2005 at the Wilson Center—will explore the rhetoric and reality of peace parks, including their goals and the factors that determine their success or failure. Drawing on future plans and successful projects in southern Africa, Kashmir, and South America, the authors debate whether peace parks can protect the environment and promote conflict resolution. ECSP Report presents excerpts from five of the conference papers as a preview of the publication forthcoming in 2006.

ECSP Report 11: Reviews of New Publications

Experts review new publications:

From Environmental Peacemaking to Environmental Peacekeeping

While it is still not clear if environmental cooperation can lead directly to peace, we should explore the environment’s potential as a peacemaking tool in this increasingly unstable and conflictual world, writes Erika Weinthal.

Water, Conflict, and Cooperation

The UN system and its partners have ripe opportunities to capitalize on water’s cooperation promise while undercutting its conflict potential, write Alexander Carius, Geoffrey Dabelko, and Aaron Wolf in their policy brief.

A Southern African Perspective on Transboundary Water Resource Management

Southern Africa is characterized by a large number of international river basins, inherent climatic variability, and a natural maldistribution of perennial rivers. The region also has a history of political instability, driven by liberation struggles against the former colonial powers and the Cold War. Southern Africa’s transboundary rivers and their associated ecosystems could become either drivers of peace and economic integration or sources of endemic conflict.

Event Summary: Navigating Peace

ECSP’s initiative Navigating Peace: Forging New Water Partnerships has moved into high gear, with its three Water Working Groups actively exploring new policy alternatives for addressing global water issues. Funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Navigating Peace has brought together diverse sets of individuals to generate new thinking about water.

ECSP Report 4

ECSP Report 4 includes pieces on the role of environmental degradation in population displacement; U.S. population policy since the Cairo conference; and a synthesis of the connection between environmental transformation and conflict. The issue also explores forest plunder in Southeast Asia, and the U.S.-China relationship over environment. Complete report.