Peacebuilding and Climate Change
The third edition of the yearly Bologna Peacebuilding Forum, entitled “Peacebuilding and Climate Change”, took place virtually on 18-19 May 2021, unpacking the complex and still under-examined linkages between climate, the environment and conflict.
The two-day event, organised by the Agency for Peacebuilding (AP) in collaboration the New-Med Research Network run by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), explored ways in which climate change can increase the occurrence of or aggravate conflict situations, or provide new opportunities for peacebuilding initiatives and peace processes. Participants in the forum included academics and researchers, policymakers, members of civil society and representatives of international organisations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
The Forum examined how shared environmental threats due to climate change can become a catalyst for conflict but also potential cooperation, which in turn can help reduce tensions, facilitate trust-building and eventually promote sustainable peace. The need for the inclusion of climate-fragility risks into peacebuilding interventions was also addressed by exploring concrete entry points for integrated peacebuilding and climate resilience approaches and programming. Day two of the Forum included a specific geographic focus on the Mediterranean, providing room for an analysis of the Mediterranean as a climate change ‘hotspot’ and discussion of policy recommendations for improved multilateral action in mitigating the climate emergency in this region.
An edited volume containing two research papers on climate diplomacy and international security and the climate-food insecurity nexus in the Mediterranean has been published in October 2021, complete with an in-depth conference report.