Annals of the American Association of Geographers
June 2019

Tobias Ide, Amit Tubi


Environmental peacebuilding has attracted great scholarly and political interest in recent years, but little knowledge is available on the interface of education and environmental peacebuilding. This void is unfortunate given the importance of education for peacebuilding and the wider “educational turn” in human geography. This study represents the first systematic analysis of the role of education activities in the context of environmental peacebuilding. We establish a theoretical framework and analyze the education activities of three environmental peacebuilding projects in Israel and Palestine based on forty-five interviews conducted between 2010 and 2018. The findings reveal that the projects mostly aim to create trust and understanding but that activities related to an improvement of the environmental situation and to the cultivation of interdependence take place as well. Despite a number of significant problems—primarily the tense political situation and local resistance—the education activities successfully catalyze processes of building everyday or local peace, at least among the participants. An impact of such projects on formal conflict resolution is possible but remains uncertain. The findings also show that environmental cooperation can spill over and that contested processes of depoliticization and neoliberalization can, at least to a certain degree, be utilized to positively affect environmental cooperation, education, and peacebuilding. Key Words: climate change, environment, Middle East, peace, security.

DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1613954