Management of spatially extensive natural resources in postwar contexts: working with the peace process

While extensively occurring natural resources play a fundamental role in the survival and recovery of postwar populations, their management is not presently part of the operational priorities in a peace process. Dependence on naturally occurring food, fuel, water, secure locations, and products that can be obtained and sold quickly for dislocated, war-weary populations is a primary approach to postwar livelihoods. The peace process however focuses on the logistical and institutional aspects of security, demobilization, reintegration and humanitarian efforts. The result is profound degradation of the spatially extensive resources necessary for longer-term recovery. The primary reason for the inattention to resource degradation in a peace process is that conventional conservation approaches do not fit with the priorities of a peace process or attend to the immediate needs of a postwar population; designed as they are for stable, peaceful settings. This article focuses on the need to derive postwar natural resource management approaches which can work with the in-place priorities of a peace process. Four such approaches are suggested, with successful examples from specific countries.

Resource information

Date of publication
January 2009
ISBN / Resource ID
GeoJournal 74: 159-173.

Geographical Focus