2016-04-08Diskussionpapier DOI: 10.18452/3133
Moving beyond natural resources as a source of conflict
Exploring the human-environment nexus ofenvironmental peacebuilding
Nielsen, Jonas Østergaard
Over the past decades, an increasing number of research studies have explored the linkages between the biophysical environment, environmental scarcity and violent conflicts. Contrary to the viewpoints concerning those linkages, environmental change and cooperation have emerged over the last decade as a potential pathway for conflict resolution. This approach, which is labelled as environmental peacebuilding, has gained influence in the scientific community, but also among international organisations and decision-makers. However, the multidimensional and interdisciplinary nature of notions such as "environment" and "conflict" have hindered scholars from reaching a consensual definition of this emerging concept. This IRI THESys Discussion Paper reviews the evolution, in the academic literature of the environment and natural resources, from cause of conflict to a peace vector. This paper concludes with a discussion on the limits and opportunities of "environmental peacebuilding" as an analytical concept, identifying contentious issues and research challenges.
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