Environmental Peace Movement
University of Vermont, Continuing Education:  ENVS 295, Fall,  2003

Mondays: 4 – 7 pm, Lafayette, 100

Taught by Dr. Saleem H. Ali of the UVM Environmental Program: http://www.uvm.edu/~shali

All too often environmental concerns have been framed as issues of resource scarcity that in turn lead to conflict. Instead, this course will attempt to understand how environmental concerns can be used as a means of peace-building and improving ties between nations. We will begin with a review of theories of conflict and cooperation from political science, economics and ecology. This will be followed by a review of key case studies of environmental cooperation from all over the world. The class will be divided into groups that will follow each case study through the semester and prepare research assignments on that case, culminating in a detailed paper on the topic. We will be using a book recently prepared by the Woodrow Wilson Center called "Environmental Peacemaking" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002) an anchor text supplemented with readings from various sources. The cases which we will be studying in detail are:

a) The Baltic states and cooperation over fisheries
b) The Indus basin and riparian cooperation between India and Pakistan
c) The Aral Sea and post-communist irrigation concerns
d) Wildlife and water cooperation in Southern Africa
e) Cooperation over conservation between the Caspian Sea states
f) Cooperation between the US and Mexico on the Rio Grande
g) North and South Korea and the development of a Peace Park along the DMZ
h) Ecuador and Peru: experiences from the Cordillera del Condor


Since peace-building is a process which transcends age and technical experience, this course has purposely been open to all students – regardless of their class standing.  It is listed as a 200-level course so we can get the benefit of senior undergraduate and graduate students participation as well.  The pedagogical strategy is to get cross-fertilization of ideas across human experiences and engage in collective learning. Nevertheless, the level of performance of the students will be expected to correspond to their training and experience.

The class will follow a seminar format and the development of  group projects related to one of the eight case studies listed above. We will divide the class into research groups within the first two weeks and each research group will work on assignments related to their region throughout the semester, though drawing lessons from what we discuss collectively in class is essential.


Resource compendium  (due October 6): The first step in the group project development will be to assemble appropriate resources for you to do an in-depth analysis of each environmental peace movement. This would require some library research, some web surfing and also some personal networking. Dr. Laurie Kutner (Laurie.Kutner@uvm.edu) in the UVM libraries will help you with bibliographic research as needed. Each group should perhaps set up a time to meet with her as well for this assignment.  As part of this assignment, I am expecting you to assemble i) a detailed bibliography of published material on the case; b) Web site links and “grey literature documents”; c) List of key organizations with contact details.

30 points total for this assignment (submitted as a group)

Individual response paper (due November 2): Based on our course thus far, each of you will individually submit a brief  800-word (aprx 2 - 4 pages) response paper addressing the following questions:

What attributes of environmentalism are conducive to peace-building and what characteristics might hinder such movements? Address this question with reference to class discussions as well as your personal reading and experience.   

40 points (submitted individually)

Project report (submitted as a group): The cumulative assignment for this class is to prepare a research paper describing and analyzing your case example and providing a set of concrete recommendations for maintaining or developing the environmental peace movement in that context. This report should be around 2000 words in text. Maps, tables, and images are encouraged and should be professionally presented. Well-written reports will be posted on the UVM web site for the world to see!

Draft  (30 points) due Friday, November 21 in  my mailbox (151 S. Prospect St.) by 4pm.
Final (50 points) due Friday, December 5 in my mailbox (151 S. Prospect St.) by 4pm

We will be using the following “text book”:

Conca, Ken and Geoffrey Dabelko eds. Environmental Peacemaking. Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.  

In addition, articles and readings will be assigned throughout the semester and the student groups will also suggest readings after they have assembled their resource compendium (described above).

Schedule (subject to minor change)

September 8
Environmental Conflicts: the conventional view  
Watch video in class
September 15
Theoretical overview on cooperative behavior    

Ali, Saleem H. “Environmental Planning and Cooperative Behavior” handed out in class, Env-peacemaking, ch. 1
September 22
Peace Parks as Model of Env. Cooperation
Marine peace park between Egypt and Israel and Peace parks in South Africa: Please review the following sites and reports





September 29
Cooperation over Renewable Resources : The Unique Issue of Water 
Readings from Water and Power by Miriam Lowi (handed out in previous class):

Web links:





October 6
Class rescheduled to October 20

Env-peacemaking, ch. 2 -- class to be rescheduled

October 13
South Asian Case
Env-peacemaking, ch. 3



Octobber 20
Aral Sea case and Baltic Case

Marathon class -- 4 - 9pm with dinner break
Env-peacemaking, ch. 4




October 27
Southern Africa case
Env-peacemaking, ch. 5

http://www.peaceparks.org  (previously posted but please review again)

Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area (this
one is about Lesotho)



November 3
Caspian Sea case
Env-peacemaking, ch. 6




November 10
U.S. -Mexico case
Env-peacemaking, ch. 7

Pick up article from Bittersweet (151 S. Prospect St.)


Nafta reading

November 17
 No class
Make up class next week

November 24
Class 4pm - 8pm (with some food)

Cordillera-del Condor case

Korean case


Korea case:


Pick up additional reading from ENVS office

December 1
Potential development of environmental peace movements
Env-peacemaking, ch. 8