Daily Brief logo

Good morning, this is Michelle and as conflict, climate change and resource depletion converge into the perfect recipe for disaster, this week we handed the pen over to the experts on building environmental peace.

We heard how International Geneva – as a world-renowned humanitarian hub – can be the place to infuse peace debates with environmental wisdom. We had a close up of bringing justice to Africa, where communities have paid the heavy price of decades of resource overexploitation.

Today, environmental lawyer Carl Bruch tells us about the challenges that environmental peacebuilding still faces as it strives to provide lasting solutions.

photo journaliste

Michelle Langrand


Environmental peacebuilding, a complex yet exciting field

Photo article

The Cordillera del Condor Park is a transboundary protected area created to settle a longstanding border dispute between Ecuador and Peru. (Credit: Andrew Neild/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Environmental peacebuilding remains a young field but is rapidly evolving. There are still many complexities in the range of issues that it encompasses in dealing with conflict that we need to understand, writes Carl Bruch, an international environmental lawyer and founding president of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association, on the last day of the International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding.

Since 1946, at least 40 per cent of all conflicts within states have involved disputes around natural resources. Natural resource-related conflicts are more likely to relapse to conflict, and do so twice as fast. For years, peace agreements rarely included environmental provisions; this has gradually shifted and since 2005, every major peace agreement has addressed the environment, sometimes focusing on causes (such as inequitable land distribution) and sometimes focusing on livelihoods or the toxic remnants of war. Since the end of the Cold War, revenue streams from diamonds, timber, bananas, coltan, and other natural resources have been used to fund more than 35 major armed conflicts.

Environmental peacebuilding seeks to understand the relationship between conflict and the environment and to remove the environmental dimensions of conflict.

Read more on Geneva Solutions

GS news is a new media project covering the world of international cooperation and development. Don’t hesitate to forward our newsletter!

Have a good day!

Avenue du Bouchet 2
1209 Genève