12 January 2009

Peace Parks ~ Conservation & Conflict Resolution

I've been thinking for a while now about the prospect and promise of international Peace Parks as an important part of a larger initiative addressing the Israel-Palestine regional impasse. Think of the Golan Heights, Jordan River valley, Dead Sea basin, Arava, Red Sea coral reefs, Negev-Sinai border from Taba to Rafah, all as potential Transfrontier Conservation Areas. I had known already of the Africa-centric Peace Parks Foundation, co-founded by Nelson Mandela and Dutch Prince Bernhard, and the origin of border peace parks between the US and Canada back in 1932. So it's a real delight to run across and get to read through Peace Parks: Conservation and Conflict Resolution edited by MIT alumnus and scholar Saleem Hassan Ali and published by MITPress (and with online preview!)...
"Although the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Kenyan environmentalist, few have considered whether environmental conservation can contribute to peace-building in conflict zones. Peace Parks explores this question, examining the ways in which environmental cooperation in multijurisdictional conservation areas may help resolve political and territorial conflicts."

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