Title: Using strategic sustainable development as an approach to conflict resolution

Authors: Michal Bitterman, Viviana Lopez Velasco, Fiona Wright

Addresses: The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, 84990 Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Israel. ' Global Change and Sustainable Development, Ecology Department, Alcala University, Madrid, Spain. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Blekinge Institute of Technology, SE-371 79 Karlskrona, Sweden

Abstract: This paper is based on a master|s thesis entitled |A Bridge to Peace: Using Strategic Sustainable Development as an Approach to Conflict Resolution|, arguing that taking a Strategic Sustainable Development (SSD) approach to conflict resolution in areas of the world in long-term intractable conflict with intermittent violence could support an effective process and lasting outcome. SSD proposes a holistic systems perspective and decision-making framework for identifying causes and drivers of the conflict, and finding common ground internally and externally. The unbalanced dynamics between the fundaments of sustainability, a robust ecosystem and social fabric are the basis of unsustainable patterns which are often at the heart of conflicts. Socio-ecological unsustainability can be both a threat and an opportunity for social change. The thesis analyses the links between sustainability, SSD and conflict resolution work in areas of conflict as described, and proposes a set of guidelines for approaching conflict resolution with SSD.

Keywords: sustainability; strategic sustainable development; SSD; backcasting; sustainability principles; long-term conflict; intractable conflict; violent conflict; conflict resolution; peace; peacebuilding; environment; environmental peacemaking; human needs.

DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2009.031068

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2009 Vol.6 No.3, pp.314 - 334

Available online: 19 Jan 2010 *

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