Today just going to give an overview of the work we are doing in the civic ecology lab at Cornell University on how community based environmental management and ecological restoration can be useful in transitions towards peace after war, terrorist acts, civil unrest, and large scale natural disasters. I hope to simply introduce a few main concepts and recent findings, in order to pique interest in this activity within the realm of ecology and peace engaged scholarship.
I have spent a good deal of the past ten years, since 9/11, thinking about these two questions.
There won’t be less of these any time soon.
Now, getting back to Greening in Red Zones, and the relationships between Greening in Red Zones and human security or environmental justice, Before I go much further, I need to make sure we are clear on some definitions--
Greening can enable or enhance recovery from conflict and hasten transitions to peace in situations where community members actively participate in greening, which in turn results in measurable benefits for themselves, their community, and the environment.
Propose mechanisms and positioning (later repositioning)
5 important mechanisms of the greening in the red zone system
I want to avoid sounding prescriptive here, and emphasize that this slide represents what we have learned from cases of greening in the red zone. It seems that the “recipe’ for greening in the red zone follows this trajectory. It is initiated by local groups, NGOs, and in some case government entities.
GRZ is an example of ecological identities “punching through” the fog of industrialization and war… potentially a part of societal breakthrough required for peace research (professor Kodama)
More than twenty years ago, in an article titled “The Greening of Peace Research” there was this quote…With these ideas in mind, I am hopeful to open dialog among my new friends and colleagues here in the IPRA Ecology & Peace commission about how we might think about more greening focused activities in red zone recovery and rebuilding. In other words, I believe that the injustices that are most acute in post-conflict and post-disaster contexts are often manifested in the inability of residents to express their urgent biophilia, or to act upon the restorative potential of topophilia. These fundamental human and nature connections are often the building blocks for dealing with grief, despair, and helplessness, and can lead to re-starting virtuous cycles of community restoration , optimism, recovery, and lasting peace. Yet people are often blocked, stymied or stalled from planting a community garden, or trees, or worrying about birds or wildlife until after the REAL work is done, the technical infrastructure repairs. This to me is misguided. Hopefully, with your help, ideas like greening in the red zone will gain traction where it matters most, within the entities responsible for stability, security, transition, and reconstruction.
Greening in the Red Zone: Community-based Ecological Restoration to Enhance Resilience and Transitions Toward Peace
Presentation given Nov 25, 2012International Peace Research Association in the General Conference Ecology and Peace Commission Tsu City, Mie Prefecture, Japan Community-based Ecological Restoration to Enhance Resilience and Transitions Toward Peace Keith G. Tidball, PhD email@example.com www.civicecology.org
Why do humans turn to nature, andrestoring nature, in the wake of conflictand disaster?Of what use might greening in humanvulnerability and security contexts be inmanaging social-ecological systems forresilience and transitions to peace?
What is a red zone? “Red Zones” refer to multiple settings (spatial and temporal) that may be characterized as intense, potentially or recently hostile or dangerous, including those associated with terrorist attacks and war, as well as in post-disaster situations caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
What is greening?• “Greening” is an active and integrated approach to the appreciation, stewardship and management of living elements of social- ecological systems.• Greening takes place in cities, towns, townships and informal settlements in urban and peri-urban areas, and in the battlefields of war and of disaster.• Greening sites vary -- from small woodlands, public and private urban parks and gardens, urban natural areas, street tree and city square plantings, botanical gardens and cemeteries, to watersheds, whole forests and national or international parks.• Greening involves active participation with nature and in human or civil society (Tidball and Krasny 2007)—and thus can be distinguished from notions of ‘nature contact’ (Ulrich 1993) that imply spending time in or viewing nature, but not necessarily active stewardship.
Some examplesRestoration of Iraq’s wetlands, supported by community-based natural resourcesmanagement among Iraq’s Marsh Arabs & partnerships with the scientific communityReplanting of the Urban Forest of Sarajevo, Bosnia and HerzegovinaLiving Memorials creation throughoutNYC, Washington D.C. , andShanksville, PA after 9/11Establishment of Band-e- Amir NationalPark in the midst of conflict inAfghanistanConservation efforts in demilitarizedborder lands in the Korean peninsula andbetween Greece and Cyprus
Evidence of the importance of greeningscientific journal articlesscholarly bookspopular press and news mediapublic initiativeswebsitesblogs
Why should we do it?• Contributes shared sense of identity / rebuilding identity post-crisis• Leads to improved psychological, cognitive, and social health• Fosters deeper sense of self-worth as an individual contributes to the community’s overall well-being• Serves as basis for framing place meaning and identity, and for empowerment through demonstrable opportunities for community organizing• Restarts ecosystem services producing systems• Because greeners often form partnerships with NGOs, government, and universities, greening contributes additional benefits to polycentric governance approaches
Systems implications• Crises open up opportunities for renewal• Within the context of resilience, greening operates back and forth across boundaries of time and spatial scale• Red zone boundaries are fluid
Attention to locally derived solutions• Assets can be identified even in dystopic environments• Small cases may point to larger implications
How does it work? Tidball, KG. 2012. Urgent Biophilia: Human-Nature Interactions and BiologicalUrgent Biophilia Attractions in Disaster Resilience. Ecology and Society, 17(2). PD* Tidball, KG & RC Stedman. Positive Dependency and Virtuous Cycles: FromRestorative Topophilia Resource Dependence to Resilience in Urban Social-Ecological Systems. Ecological Economics. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.10.004Memorialization Tidball, KG, ME Krasny, E Svendsen, L Campbell, & K Helphand. 2010. Stewardship, Learning, and Memory in Disaster Resilience. “Resilience inMechanism Social-Ecological Systems: the Role of Learning and Education,” Special Issue of Environmental Education Research, 16(5): 341-357. Tidball, KG (Accepted; expected 2013). Trees and Rebirth: Social-EcologicalSocial-Ecological Symbols, Rituals and Resilience in Post-Katrina New Orleans. In: Tidball and Krasny, Eds., Greening in the Red Zone: Disaster, Resilience, and CommunitySymbols and Rituals Greening. Springer publishing. *Positive Dependency complex
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? FINDING 1 -- There appears to be a “greening in the red zone process or cycle” that contains fundamental key sequential components, but that likely is nuanced on a case-by-case basis reflecting landscape, disturbance intensity, and other factors.
1, Individuals gravitate toward available green assets 2. Use available green assets 3. Clusters form- for therapeutic benefits- different paths/pace communities of practice 4. Restore and create new green assets 5. Larger greening movement emerges 7. New sites recruit new individuals; expand cycle 6. Greening activities Social-ecological system recover & restore sense of recovery & resilience processes place
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? FINDING 2 -- Within this “greening in the red zone process” there are at least five important mechanisms that explain how the system functions from one sequential frame to the next: • Urgent Biophilia Positive Dependency • Restorative Topophilia • Memorialization • Symbol & Ritualization
2. Use available green1, Individuals gravitate toward available green assets assets; experience 3. Clusters form- for therapeutic benefits- different paths/pace therapeutic benefits communities of practice 4. Restore and create new green assets 5. Larger greening movement emerges Memorialization SES Symbols & Red zone commences Urgent Biophilia mechanism Rituals mechanism mechanism Virtuous Cycle Restorative Topophilia mechanism mechanism Social-ecological system 6. Greening activities recovery & resilience processes recover & restore sense of place
What is the recipe?Remember Recognize Decide Learn Invest Document Capitalize
Why is GRZ important to Peace Research?• Explicit example of critical importance of human interdependence with the rest of nature• Power of acknowledging our innate biophilia, our love of life, as a powerful response to conflict and destruction• Points to the importance of remembering and reconstituting our ecological identity towards achieving balance amongst ourselves and other members of life’s systems• Optimistic potential to mitigate structural violence and replace with peaceful, sustainable coexistence
IN CONCLUSION…“…emerging consensus that the changing relationshipbetween human beings and the sustainingcapabilities of the global ecosystem is rapidlybecoming a significant source of human suffering. . .the concerns of peace research should similarly shiftaway from weaponry and military conflict to these newsources of conflict and misery found … within thelimited capabilities of the global environment.” Dennis Pirages, “The Greening of Peace Research”Perhaps now the concerns of peace research are shiftingagain, to new sources of resilience, and ecologicallybased transitions to peace and human security.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Northern Research Station New York City Urban Field Station