Between 1950 and 2000, 81 percent of conflicts took place wholly or partially within biodiversity hotspots.
The stakes for nature are high: Many of the world’s conflict zones are in places where biodiversity is highest. Conservation cannot happen without peace, but the role of nature itself in helping to broker peace is often overlooked. This is where Conservation International is leading the way. Through our Policy Center for Environment and Peace, we are committed to fostering nature’s role in resolving conflict — for nature’s well-being and our own.
Why is it important?
Why is it important?
In 2009, about 40 percent of violent conflicts between countries were linked to natural resources.
In the past 60 years, at least 40 percent of all conflicts within countries have a link to natural resources.
— Wangari Maathai
Conserving nature requires engagement with the local communities who depend on it — but conflicts can arise over competing stakeholders and priorities. If carried out with care, however, conservation efforts can actually encourage collaboration.
This manual is designed to build the capacity of Conservation International's staff — and other conservation practitioners and organizations — to better respond to conflicts arising from conservation initiatives and to capitalize on opportunities to support peacebuilding in local communities.See the manual
Our peacebuilding team works across Conservation International's field offices to integrate awareness of human rights into conservation to help create stability in places affected by conflict Through our work, we provide a range of tools for peacebuilding such as land-use planning and community-based natural resource management — creating space for dialogue, cooperation and collaborative decision-making over natural resources. We encourage best practices in environmental peacebuilding based on a “rights-based approach,” which promotes good governance and allows for participation of all.
In Liberia’s East Nimba Nature Reserve (ENNR), Conservation International is using conservation agreements, a model in which communities receive benefits in return for undertaking specific conservation activities. The conservation agreements help to resolve disputes between government authorities managing the reserve and local people who use the forest for their livelihoods but who were not engaged when the reserve was established. Through the agreements, the ENNR is protected in return for investments in community health, education, infrastructure and jobs. Conservation International is working to expand the program as a model for sustainable development across Liberia.
Since 2010, Conservation International has been working with three conflict-affected communities in Timor-Leste’s Nino Konis Santana National Park to establish the first model of co-management for natural resources. Using tools to ensure that decision-making processes are inclusive and effectively promoting human rights, Conservation International is working to improve management of the park in order to boost local food security, fight climate change and improve livelihoods for local people. The process has helped reduce local conflict and foster collaboration.
In the contested Cordillera del Cóndor region between Peru and Ecuador, Conservation International partnered with government and scientists to conduct a rapid assessment survey that confirmed the biological significance of the trans-boundary mountain range. This independent, third-party research helped put conservation on the peacebuilding agenda in this region. In 2002, the two governments signed a treaty to create a network of protected areas that called for coordination between national environmental and diplomatic authorities, as well as the strengthening of indigenous organizations and their governance mechanisms.
From the blog
© Pete Oxford/iLCP
© CI/photo by Lynn Tang
© Sze Fei Wong
© Cristina Mittermeier
© Benjamin Drummond
© CI/photo by Daniel Rothberg