Journal of Environmental Peace
Issue 2, 2003
Assistant News Editor: Tony Yang
WebMaster: Ian Craine
Comments on Environmental Peace, 2003
By Laura Klinck
The goal of Environmental
Peace is to build, improve, and maintain positive and constructive
relationships between individuals, between groups of individuals, between
these groups and the environment. Environmental
Peace is essentially a constructive concept, focusing on developing
respect and understanding between these parties.
Unlike more “traditional” approaches to creating peace, Environmental Peace employs an action-oriented approach, intent on solving problems through the application of scientific knowledge and research. A central understanding is that all facets of nature are interconnected, and thus, change in any one system will bring about change in related systems.
In many, if not all, areas of the world the cost of living is increasing. Unfortunately, however, the overall quality of life/living for many individuals is decreasing; (already) poor sectors of society are being forced into older, more run-down areas. People in these situations can become frustrated, discontent, depressed, and angry. These emotions are then redirected, displaced away from their actual source onto other “sources” in the immediate environment, often in the form of aggression. When this happens, positive and constructive communication becomes greatly reduced.
There is, of course, no simple solution to the issue of poverty. Fostering positive relationships between individuals can, however, reduce levels of aggression, violence, and crime. Increasing the amount of positive communication within a group can help create a feeling of group-identity, or “community”.
Increasing the physical and aesthetic quality of an environment can help to lay the foundations for positive and constructive interaction. The development of more “green” areas; improvements in the quality of water, soil, or air; more efficient forms of waste/garbage disposal; the equal distribution of coveted resources: all of the above can help create a cleaner, healthier, and happier environment. I say ‘happier’ because individuals who feel they are living in a positive constructive environment, which is in a state of progress or improvement, are more likely to embody a sense of pride in their community, to positively interact with other members of their community, and to create a set of group goals regarding the state of the community.
This situation, however, is not only a local problem; it is a global situation. Conflict, in both human-human and human-environment forms, is present at the individual, local, national, and international levels. The concept of “community” can also be local, national, or global.
Environmental Peace is an international organization whose aim is to create peace at all of these levels. Our intention is provide a positive and constructive global environment for future generations.