Research Seminar 8th Feb:Why is Conflict Transformation relevant to Environmental Justice?
Friday 8th February
Why is Conflict Transformation relevant to Environmental Justice? Food for thoughts from Latin America.
By Iokiñe Rodriguez, Centre for the Study of Social Transformation, Science and Knowledge Systems, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC). DEV Visiting Fellow.
In the last 10 years, the term Conflict Transformation has become popular in Latin America amongst mediators and conflict resolution specialists working in the environment field. It is becoming increasingly clear that engaging with environmental conflicts solely through instrumental approaches that are based in the negotiation of interests, mediation or stake holder dialogues have great limitations in producing social changes that can contribute to greater justice and equity. Rather, through these approaches, environmental conflicts often tend to become recurrent and cyclical because they offer little opportunities for developing solid democratic and sustainable agreements for the use and management of the environment and territories. Environmental conflicts have complex and profound roots, in the majority of cases with important political, historical, social, environmental and cultural components and profound power asymmetries, which limit the possibility of them being successfully dealt with through conventional, facilitated conflict resolution methods.
This seminar will discuss some basic notions of Conflict Transformation theory and its application to environmental conflicts as currently being developed and applied by a consortium of by Latin American environmental conflict resolution practitioners, researchers and institutions known as Grupo Confluencias. It will also share with the audience how a greater understanding of Conflict Transformation theory can help bring together research and action on conflicts and environmental justice in a clearer and more coherent way.