In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, tensions between local villagers and a gold mining operation over access to clean water are being heightened by a prolonged drought.
AC4 Archives - Page 2 of 2 - State of the Planet
From late December 2015 through January, a team of Earth Institute scientists and human rights lawyers from Columbia University worked in the highlands of Papua New Guinea to deliver the results of an independent study of water quality and human rights to the indigenous communities living near an industrial gold mine.
What our team found at this school in the Bronx is what we see in many intractable social problems. They spring from a complex constellation of ills, and the longer they last the more complicated they get. And the more simple they seem from the inside.
In 2005, colleagues working in conflict resolution and peace-building in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine and Syria approached Columbia University’s International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution with a request for science-based resources on constructive engagement made available in Arabic.
Intractable conflicts such as the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East or long-term civil wars in central Africa are among the world’s most destructive social ills, and the most difficult to solve. Over the past decade, Peter Coleman, director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, has been developing an innovative way of understanding intractable conflicts — and potentially resolving them.
“The road ahead for AC4 involves integrating the lessons learned from the peace, conflict and security communities into the work being done at The Earth Institute on developing solutions for sustainable development.” — Josh Fisher
The Earth Institute is launching a new interdisciplinary seminar to help business and policy leaders better understand the connections between environmental stresses, natural resources and conflicts.
The hard truth is that we know very little about sustaining peace. This is because for decades we have studied the pathologies of war, violence, aggression and conflict – and peace in the context of those processes – but few have studied peace directly.
We know very little about what “peace” is (and what it isn’t), the conditions that promote it, the motives that drive people to work for it, how to measure it, and how to build a climate and infrastructure that sustains it. Why? Because we don’t study peace. We study war, violence, aggression and conflict—and peace in the context of those states and processes—but few study peace directly.
In this recent TEDx talk in Miami, Professor Peter T. Coleman, chair of the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity (AC4) at The Earth Institute, explains why politics in the United States are more deadlocked and polarized today than they have been since the end of the U.S. Civil War, and what our next president and our citizens can do about it.