Our Future First
Environmental peacebuilding has evolved since Conca and Dabelko’s seminal work on peacemaking to now include preventative interventions as well as those that occur post-conflict. In recent years, both practitioners and academics have identified the need to recognise the leadership of women, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and local peacebuilding actors. However, the process of integrating worldviews in the sustainability sciences risks instrumentalising belief systems in a way that perpetuates underlying power and political asymmetries.
Critical water management literature calls for an ontological shift in how epistemologies relate to one another (Ermine et al., 2007; Stefanelli et al., 2017; Taylor, Longboat, and Grafton, 2019; Reid et al., 2021). Ontologies, or worldviews, can validate or invalidate ways of knowing and thereby open or constrain what are deemed to be viable policy responses within water governance and environmental peacebuilding. In response, this paper introduces a non-hierarchical conceptual model for braiding non-Indigenous and Indigenous ways of knowing for the management of the Great Lakes and, in turn, applies an ontological and phenomenological approach to environmental peacebuilding.
KEYWORDS: environmental peacebuilding, water governance, phenomenological peace, political ontologies, worldviews
Sketchnote by Patricia Kambitch | Playthink