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
Using strategic sustainable development as an approach to conflict resolution
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.