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FAQs

What is peacebuilding?
A range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict by strengthening capacities at all levels for conflict management, and laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.


What is environmental peacebuilding?
CI defines environmental peacebuilding as incorporating the value of natural capital and the related benefits into security, humanitarian and development objectives in order to prevent conflict and promote peace.


Can peacebuilding occur outside zones of armed conflict?
Absolutely. In its most simplified form, a typical conflict is viewed as a cycle, progressing from stable peace to conflict formation to violent conflict and back to relevant peace. There are many types of conflict and there are multiple entry points throughout the conflict cycle where peacebuilding efforts can play an important role. Work in zones of open, armed conflict can help manage conflict and move it toward a resolution. There is also important work that occurs after armed conflict ends that helps rebuild, heal and prevent recurrence. A crucial, but often underestimated, segment of peacebuilding work occurs before an armed conflict ever occurs. This type of work prevents conflict from breaking out by facilitating communication and mutual understanding through increased dialogue, information sharing and cooperation. 


What does an explicit commitment to peacebuilding mean for CI's work?
A 2013 staff survey showed that interactions with peacebuilding work are already happening in the field with substantial regularity. Being more explicit in our goals will allows us to realize our expertise more effectively and will equip staff with the necessary tools to engage in sensitive situations and demonstrate the vital connection between natural resources and peace.


What are some examples of CI's previous experience in peacebuilding or conflict avoidance?
Most of the places where CI works were mentioned multiple times throughout the survey results indicating that there are a multitude of related experiences across many of our country programs. Our work in the DRC and Liberia was frequently mentioned as areas where CI helps minimize the recurrence of armed violence. Facilitating international communication has enabled the establishment of the Coral Triangle Initiative and the Cordillera del Condor peace park between Ecuador and Peru. The existence of these agreements has minimized conflict and led to more coordinated dispute resolution. By creating a dialogue among stakeholders, encouraging local engagement, and helping communities with natural resource management, CI promotes peace in communities in Peru, Indonesia, Bolivia and numerous other countries.


Are other organizations examining the connection between the environment and peace?
Definitely. The Policy Center staff members have already attended several events around Washington that emphasize this critical connection. At a symposium hosted by the Council of Foreign Relations and CI​, the link between natural resource scarcity and threats to natural security was frequently reiterated. Recent events at American University, the Woodrow Wilson Center and the InterAction Forum have also explored the links between the environment and peace. ​
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