Nature Knows No Boundaries: The Role of Nature Conservation in Peacebuilding

Nature Knows No Boundaries: The Role of Nature Conservation in Peacebuilding

Source: Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 2017

Author(s): Alexandre Roulin, Alexandre Roulin, Alexandre Roulin, Mansour Abu Rashid, Baruch Spiegel, Motti Charter, Amélie N. Dreiss, and Yossi Leshem

Countries: Israel, Jordan, Palestine

Topics: Dispute Resolution/Mediation, Governance, Renewable Resources

Added: 03/04/2017


Nature is sometimes a source of conflicts, but more often suffers as a result of them. Although in some instances warfare might benefit wildlife by depopulating wilderness areas and reducing resource exploitation, conflicts are usually harmful to ecosystems. The destruction of natural resources can be deliberately used as a weapon, illustrating the vicious circle of armed conflicts: natural resources can be the source of conflict and conflicts can destroy these resources.

The road to the first dialog between war opponents is long and full of challenges, requiring interactions at all levels of society. Resolutions signed by politicians might have little effect if citizens are not prepared for peace and politicians of countries in conflict may engage in peace negotiations if their citizens have already started to reconstruct dialog. The importance of cross-border interactions between civil societies in the resolution of conflicts has been demonstrated on numerous occasions. This is a first step towards building trust, which can be difficult to achieve through official political channels. Nature conservation can provide an incentive for joint cooperative actions between communities. This approach, while promising, presents challenges in bringing people from communities experiencing a conflict to the same table.


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