22. März 2021

Making peace with the climate

Water crises as entry points for conflict resolution

The impacts of climate change and environmental degradation are receiving unprecedented attention at the highest level of governments and international institutions and within the peacebuilding community. Mediators, community leaders and other conflict resolution actors are increasingly aware of the risks and challenges posed by the negative consequences of climate change on habitats and natural resources. While they tend to exacerbate existing conflicts, environmental issues may also serve as entry points for conflict transformation: be it in political dialogue, in crisis management and in capturing opportunities of climate adaptation.

On the occasion of World Water Day, the Berghof Foundation and the European Institute of Peace are teaming up to host an online event that will focus on practical ways in which communities affected or threatened by conflict can draw upon the growing knowledge on climate security to promote dialogue and to prevent and resolve conflicts. With water conflict as a prism, conflict resolution practitioners will share their experiences and lessons learnt while trying to resolve conflicts over water or with water scarcity as an important backdrop. The discussion will also reflect the opportunity of motivating conflict parties to cooperate on shared environmental challenges as an entry point for more comprehensive peace negotiations.At the event, we are discussing water crises and conflict resolution approaches with outstanding experts in the field, among others:

  • Robert Mardini, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Habiba Sarabi, Member of Afghan Peace Negotiation Team, former Deputy Chair of the Afghanistan High Peace Council
  • Kai Sauer, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland