Dr. Suleiman Halasah- Integrated Green Solutions, Jordan and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Rina Kedem- Dead Sea and Arava Science Center and Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.
Numerous communities around the world are affected by political conflict between countries, particularly in border regions. Since geopolitical borders are manmade, they often cross natural resources, habitats or unique landscapes. Therefore, border-region communities tend to share the impact of conflict as well as natural resources and environmental challenges, all of which affect their daily lives (Arieli, 2012; 2015; Conca & Dabelko, 2002; Jacoby, 1973; Levy, 2009; Ratner et al., 2013).
Although many violent conflicts have ended in agreements, they continue
to suffer from implementation predicaments and continue to be volatile.
Predicaments include lack of direct implementation of items of the agreement,
lack of follow up and enforcement, as well as violation of agreement items
(Bekoe, 2016; Braniff, 2012; Bruch et al., 2009). Post-conflict regions are
prone to reoccurrence of conflict on one hand, while on the other, official
peace agreements can facilitate joint solutions to shared problems and needs
(Rustad & Binningsbo, 2012). The environment can be a catalyst of
cooperation and conflict, with the potential to improve or induce existing
conflict and post-conflict conditions, particularly in border communities
(Bruch, et al., 2009; Madani et al., 2014; Rustad & Binningsbo,
Environmental cooperation between countries became essential and
dominant in global environmental governance strategies since the second half of
the 20th century. The effectiveness and implementation of international
environmental regimes has been vastly researched (Jackson & Buhr, 2015;
Mushkat, 2013; Young, 2001; 2011). Yet there is very little or no specific
reference to the environmental regime between countries in post- conflict
The southern border communities in Israel and Jordan are both under
constant threats of desertification and global climate change. Environmental
and scientific cooperation efforts have been practiced since the signing of the
Peace Treaty between Israel and Jordan in 1994. International agencies,
universities and local NGO’s have been involved in such cooperation which
produced by now rich experiences and conceptual frameworks
Some of the questions which will be discussed in the suggested panel
• Is the scientific cooperation a goal or a method in achieving
other tiers of cooperation and what theories approach these different
• What are the challenges researchers experience in promoting such
research and its specific potential contribution in the field of
• What are the methodological challenges to asses the contribution
of collaborative research and how can they be mitigated?
• What are the recommendations experienced researchers can provide
for promoting more collaborative research?
This session is dedicated to papers focused on various aspects of
scientific collaboration in post-conflict situations, namely Israel- and
Jordan. Topics can include: the contribution of such collaboration to natural
systems as well as community resilience and cooperation, the methodological
challenges in assessing the success of such collaboration, and specific
research on the topic of climate change, desertification and their cross-border
nature and mitigation strategies. Contributions are invited from natural and
social science disciplines as well as an invitation to test key assumptions and
predictions of environmental peacebuilding theories.
The session will introduce and discuss theory and case studies of
environmental cooperation through desert research. Case studies form around the
world and specifically from Israel and Jordan will be presented as well as the
challenges and opportunities of such collaboration. Whether the collaboration
is motivated by science or a wish for good relations it can serve the wellbeing
of the environment and the cooperation itself. Nevertheless, its contribution to
community wellbeing and desert literacy must be assessed.
The session will include local speakers from Israel and Jordan and an
international expert from the field of environmental peacebuilding.