This expert seminar on environmental governance and peacebuilding was held in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 20, at the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA)’s Headquarters. Researchers from multiple institutions including the Environmental Law Institute, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Stockholm University, University of Maryland, and Uppsala University, presented their most recent findings in the field of environmental governance, climate change and peacebuilding. Participants also included representatives from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, FBA and IPI. The day started with a message from Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation.
The purpose of the seminar was to unpack and revisit the links between environmental factors and issues pertaining to peace and conflict and to discuss how environmental governance and climate change policies can contribute to peacebuilding. For organizations working in the field of peacebuilding and conflict prevention, there is a growing need to understand these linkages, and integrate environmental factors in their programming.
While each environmentally-related component discussed at this seminar – such as climate change, environmental degradation, and natural resource management – all deserve a more in-depth analysis in terms of its relationship to, and implications for, peacebuilding – the seminar considered the challenges that environmental factors and climate change can pose to peace and explored how risk reduction and resilience can be included in the peacebuilding agenda. The seminar also emphasized the role that environmental governance can play in building durable and sustainable peace.
The seminar was the fourth in a series of four global gatherings of the International Expert Forum (IEF)—a joint project of the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), the International Peace Institute (IPI), theSecDev Foundation, and the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF). The meetings gather leading academics, experts, and policymakers seeking to address the next generation of peace and security challenges.
Between 2011 and 2013, the IEF has focused on conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy, innovative ways to mitigate the consequences of violent conflict, peacekeeping operations, and peacebuilding. Starting in 2014, the IEF turned its focus to twenty-first century peacebuilding. The seminars in the series included “Assessing Links Between Peacebuilding and Organized Crime,” “Peacebuilding in Cities,” and “Governance, Peacebuilding, and State-Society Relations.”