Photo: Sonny Abesamis

Environmental peace: challenges and proposals for the post-accord

Through the Ideas for Peacebuilding collection, Dejusticia seeks to contribute to this task through thematic documents that offer diagnoses and proposals on some of the central institutional challenges of this new stage. In this book, we analyze the impact of the conflict on the environment and the challenges that arise in the peacebuilding stage.

 

With the signing of the “Final Agreement for Ending Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace,” Colombia enters a new phase. If the agreement between the national government and the FARC puts an end to a 52-year war and closes the negotiation stage, we will face the – even more complex – challenges of peacebuilding.

Through the Ideas for Peacebuilding collection, Dejusticia seeks to contribute to this task through thematic documents that offer diagnoses and proposals on some of the central institutional challenges of this new stage. In this book, we analyze the impact of the conflict on the environment and the challenges that arise in the peacebuilding stage.

Throughout these five decades of armed conflict in Colombia, disputes over natural resources and social and environmental conflicts have been intertwined with violence in many different ways. Illegal armed groups, both right and left, have derived part of their livelihood from the exploitation or encumbrance of extractive economies, from coca to gold, wood and coal. Likewise, much of the armed conflict has developed in highly biodiverse areas, covered by forests or tropical forests. The blasting of pipelines, deforestation associated with illegal crops and illegal mining are just some of the scourges that these decades of conflict have left on the environment. However, as we have shown in this document, violence has also had a preserving and paradoxical environmental effect. Armed actors have imposed de facto barriers on highly biodiverse areas and, to a certain extent, have helped to preserve them.

Given the above, we consider that to contribute to the construction of a stable and lasting peace in Colombia it is necessary to prevent and peacefully deal with socio-environmental conflicts. In order to build an environmental peace, the country will have to face several challenges, such as the pending task of organizing the territory, rethinking a heavily dependent economy on nonrenewable natural resources, weak environmental institutions and recognition of the importance of citizen participation in decisions.


Find the entire book here

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