• Anonymous
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  • Tom Deligiannis
    The Global Philanthropy Forum blog was interesting for bringing up a neglected topic in the environmental security field – sub-national environmental conflict management. A very small number of professionals out there are working and teaching this field, among them, UPEACE’s Environmental Security and Peace MA program in Costa Rica, which offers a course on environmental conflict management. (Disclosure: I’ve taught in this program for the past 3 years.)

    Your readers might be interested in knowing that Juan Dumas is part of a network of environmental conflict management professionals in Latin America called Confluencia.

    According to Rolain Borel of UPEACE: “CONFLUENCIA is a Latin American group of researchers, professors and practitioners that arose at the “junction” (therefore the name) of two initiatives: the CyC research network, funded by IDRC and coordinated by UPEACE between 1999 and 2005, and the so-called Grupo de Lima, facilitated by the Fundación Futuro Latino Americano (FFLA).

    CONFLUENCIA is a reflection and action group that works towards the transformation (i.e. a bit further than conflict prevention or management) of environmental conflicts in Latin America. It counts about 15 active participants (institutions and persons) from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Costa Rica. The institutions include: IMAE-Universidad El Salvador, Casa de la Paz, Futuro Sostenible, Universidad San Simon, FFLA, CEDEC, IVIC, and UPEACE. The participants serve at the same time as focal points in their respective countries and link with an additional group of 200 persons, who are directly interested in the topic.”

    The environmental security and environmental peacemaking literature doesn’t capture very well the sub-national environmental peacemaking work that has been done for years under the headings of conflict management or environmental conflict management. Similarly, from the perspective of environmental conflict research, the environmental conflict management literature hasn’t engaged with the environment-conflict research done over the past 15 years. Cooperation and interaction between such groups could be very fruitful.

    I think that there’s also room for the creation of entire program on environmental conflict management somewhere, which would be integrated with environmental security work, but also give a solid grounding in other areas, like negotiation, stakeholder analysis, natural resource management, etc.

    Tom Deligiannis
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