The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is pleased to announce the eight new grantees of the Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding Competition. The grants strengthen the increasingly vital practice of environmental peacebuilding—an approach to resolving conflicts and reducing violence by joining rival groups to address environmental challenges. USIP grants have supported peacebuilders who work on environment-related conflicts since the early 1990s.
Practitioners of conflict resolution have long recognized that global climate change, and the resulting shocks to economies and societies, have become a “conflict multiplier” that increases the risks of violence worldwide. This grant competition, the first by USIP dedicated entirely to issues at the nexus of the environment and conflict, will support groundbreaking research to improve policies and practice that can help governments and societies reduce violent conflict arising from changes in the environment. Research to be undertaken by the new grantees will examine conflicts and peacebuilding efforts closely tied to environmental issues. The research projects—some to begin immediately and some to await an improvement in conditions related to the COVID pandemic—will touch on nearly two dozen countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
The new U.S. Institute of Peace grantees are:
- Environmental Law Institute (Washington, DC). The Institute, a nonprofit organization, will produce methods to more effectively monitor, evaluate and learn from environmental peacebuilding efforts ($281,709).
- Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation (Nanyuki, Kenya). This nongovernmental development organization will study how grassroots environmental peacebuilding movements reduce environment-related violent conflict in fragile contexts such as northern Kenya ($97,515).
- International Rescue Committee (New York, NY). This nongovernment organization will study natural resource management in urban and peri-urban areas affected by forced displacement in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo ($100,000).
- Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon). The project will research environmental peacebuilding efforts in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, and Bosnia to produce theory on what works in the environmental peacebuilding field ($299,995).
- The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong). The university will assess the risks of instability caused by the combination of fragile governance and climate change in the Bangsamoro autonomous region in the southern Philippines ($100,619).
- Universidad del Rosario (Bogotá, Colombia). This university in Colombia’s capital will research the relationship between violent conflict and deforestation in the Colombian portion of the Amazon River basin ($99,256).
- University of Sheffield (Sheffield, England). The university will conduct research in two protected nature reserves in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to generate knowledge on the links among conservation, armed conflicts and environmental change ($101,097).
- World Peace Foundation (Medford, Massachusetts). The foundation, affiliated with Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, will research the political impacts of shifting to sustainable energy sources in fragile states that do not have the fiscal or institutional capacity to plan for energy transitions. The research will focus on 16 countries of Africa and the Middle East ($95,000).