Chatham House's International Affairs Journal has just released a special issue focused on environmental peacebuilding. adelphi Managing Director Alexander Carius, alongside Tobias Ide, Carl Bruch, Ken Conca, Geoffrey Dabelko, Richard Matthew and Erika Weinthal, introduces the special issue giving particular emphasis on environmental opportunities for building and sustaining peace.
Environmental peacebuilding is a rapidly growing field of research and practice at the intersection of environment, conflict, peace and security. Focusing on these linkages is crucial in a time when the environment is a core issue of international politics and the number of armed conflicts remains high. This article introduces a special issue with a particular emphasis on environmental opportunities for building and sustaining peace.
We first detail the definitions, theoretical assumptions and intellectual background of environmental peacebuilding. The article then provides context for the special issue by briefly reviewing core findings and debates of the first two generations of environmental peacebuilding research. Finally, we identify knowledge gaps that should be addressed in the next generation of research, and to which the articles in this special issue contribute: bottom-up approaches, gender, conflict-sensitive programming, use of big data and frontier technology, and monitoring and evaluation.
Extreme weather events such as droughts and floods are expected to become more severe under future climate conditions. This implies a concern for policymakers in national and international security.
A major challenge in the field of environmental peacebuilding is showing the impact of its initiatives. Questions emerge, such as "Which dimensions of post-conflict peacebuilding are more likely to be affected by natural resource management projects?". Although quantitative studies assess the relation between natural resource management programmes and conflict risks, there is less research on what the specific mechanisms involved in implementing projects designed for environmental peacebuilding are.
A lack of targeted policies to manage climate migration in South Asia is aggravating the vulnerabilities of various communities in the region. International and regional cooperation and strategy on climate action (broadly) and climate migration (specifically) is the need of the hour.
The United States is at a critical juncture in its future climate policy directions. Biden’s electoral victory and the appointment of former Secretary of State John Kerry as special envoy present opportunities, yet America remains deeply divided. By engaging in transatlantic climate cooperation not only with allies, but also sceptical parts of society, Europe can help drive the climate conversation forward.