Mismanagement and degradation of natural resources can be an important driver of conflict, as well as resource scarcity and climate change are threatening stability in many regions of the world. Against this background, environmental peacebuilding is a new approach that is on the rise to shaping environmental and peacebuilding agendas in international cooperation and research. The concept and practices integrate natural resource management in conflict prevention and management to build resilience in communities affected by conflict. How to foster multi-stakeholder cooperation and trust building in the context of environmental peacebuilding is still understudied; however crucial in post-conflict (post-accord) scenarios. At the same time, it is also interesting to study how trust building and cooperation can be fostered by natural resource management approaches in peaceful countries and to explore how mechanisms differ or converge.
The aim of this seminar is to better understand the stakeholder interactions in the context of natural resource management. How can cooperation and trust building between stakeholders be enhanced through natural resource management. What are implications to transformation processes, particularly peacebuilding. How can stakeholder interaction processes be set up to foster social cohesion between actors? Which tools can facilitate stakeholder interaction? How does context (conflict-affected environments; peaceful societies) impact the nexus of natural resource management and social cohesion?
As a group we will design and implement a study to explore in different settings current practices of joined natural resource management. This can include for example a study of cases in Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire and Germany. We will develop joined research questions, develop a research plan, carry out the research, analyze the data and decide on a format of results presentation. The idea is to incorporate direct exchange with representatives from NGOs, political institutions, foundations by inviting them to online sessions. The seminar will consist of blocks of theory, practice, and reflection in order to help us conducting the research. Participatory methods will be used throughout to facilitate joint learning processes. Depending on student interests and COVID policies, an excursion as for example to the Lusatian (Lausitz) as case study site for current transformation processes can be planned for.
The seminar addresses students interested in natural resource management, social cohesion and peacebuilding. Theoretical knowledge on topics such as natural resource management, social cohesion, participatory approaches, or communication is helpful. The seminar is open to students from various disciplines and fields, for example agricultural and environmental sciences, sociology, political science, social sciences, but also law or philosophy (with an interest in questions on ethics or equity). The seminar is primarily aimed at Master’s students, but also open to Bachelor’s students starting from the 4th semester. Prior knowledge on social science research methods is an advantage, though a selection of methods will also be introduced in class. English will be the working language.
Course facilitators: Katharina Löhr; Jana Schindler
In case of questions, feel free to contact: Dr. Katharina Löhr: Katharina.email@example.com