The Bologna Peacebuilding Forum (BPF) 2021 will address the nexus between peacebuilding and climate change.
This complex and fast-evolving subject can be tackled under different angles: armed conflicts aimed at controlling natural resources; environmental security as a key component of peace (in the broad notion of positive peace, that is, beyond the absence of armed confrontation); the specific case of sensitive geographical regions that are affected by the interplay between conflict and climate change.
The Forum will deal with the complex and still under-scrutinized linkages between climate, environment and conflict and explore potential pathways through which climate change can increase the occurrence of armed conflict or aggravate existing conflict situations. It will also discuss the challenges that climate change poses for peacebuilding and how environmental shocks can negatively affect the outcome of peace processes.
Furthermore, the Forum will analyze the opportunities that climate change offers for enhancing the prospects of peace. It will discuss how shared environmental problems due to climate change can become a catalyst for cooperation, which in turn can help reduce tensions, facilitate trust-building and eventually promote sustainable peace.
Additionally, it will address the need for climate-fragility risks to be included into peacebuilding interventions and explore concrete entry points for integrated peacebuilding and climate resilience programming.
The second day of the conference will focus on the Mediterranean region, to explore the interplay between peacebuilding and climate change in specific countries.
The 2021 BPF will have two main components:
- A two-days public conference on Peacebuilding and Climate Change featuring speakers from a plurality of professional backgrounds and countries, in partnership with universities, international organizations and think tanks
- Side events, discussions around the dissemination or on papers and reports, through a range of webinars, closed-door meetings and other formats.
The two-day event, organised by the Agency for Peacebuilding (AP) in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University SAIS in Bologna and the New-Med Research Network run by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), will include international experts and practitioners and result in an final publication containing research findings from the Forum.
The Bologna Peacebuilding Forum (BPF) has two main goals:
- to create a platform for peacebuilding scholars and practitioners on key issues to improve policy-oriented research and fieldwork on peace processes;
- to open up the domain to a wider audience.
Peace processes have complex dynamics.
Peacebuilding practitioners do not have many opportunities to reflect on their work and share their experience with fellow professionals or researchers. Conversely, scholars experience the same and opposite challenge.
The Bologna Peacebuilding Forum aims to bridge this gap by offering a space for dialogue between peacebuilding scholars and practitioners. Furthermore, the Forum strives to open up the discussion to a larger audience comprising foreign policy experts, relevant civil society actors, and the informed public.
From 2019, the BPF has established itself as a major annual gathering fostering open and constructive dialogue on key issues and challenges facing the discipline.
Now in its third year, the Forum continues to offer a platform for debating relevant and timely topics concerning various aspects of peacebuilding, becoming a prime venue for discussions in Italy and internationally. Bologna offers the ideal environment for the Forum, creating strong connections between the global and the local spheres.