In the face of the unrelenting climate change crisis, environmental destruction, crimes, and abuse that amount to ecocide, the quest for an ecologically just existence has become more urgent in Africa, a continent long ravaged by conflict. The undeniable vulnerability of the human condition, ecosystems, and their biodiversity invites us to reflect on how, after the guns have been silenced, the damage suffered by both people and the environment can be mitigated to avert mutual destruction. Conflict and the environment often form a complex and multidimensional relationship in Africa. The environment can become a root cause of conflict, a means of sustaining conflict, a beneficiary of the dynamics of conflict, or, above all, a victim of conflict.
The environment's victimhood manifests as massive destruction of forests and their ecosystems, damage to biodiversities in their rich varieties of life, pollution of water, land and other natural resources and habitats, and wanton killing of wild animals and harvesting of their parts for economic gain. It can also be observed in the degradation of terrain and landscapes through mining, bombing and scorched-earth techniques of war.
CSVR Environment in TJ Policy Paper
Ms. Munini Mutuku, a member of the Bosch Alumni Network and Africa Director of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association works at the National Cohesion and Integration Commission in Kenya. She is a Fellow of the Pan-African Reconciliation Network at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation South Africa, a Fellow of the Historical Dialogue and Accountability Programme at Columbia University in New York, an Alumni of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, amongst other associations. Her areas of work have focused on: communities and natural resource based conflicts, mediation and reconciliation dialogues, diversity and social cohesion, women and youth in peace and security, minority and indigenous peoples’ rights, economic and social cultural rights, amongst other thematic areas. As a transitional justice and peacebuilding practitioner, her current project focuses on environment in transitional justice where she has authored a Supplementary Note to the African Union Transitional Justice Policy on Environment and Natural Resources in Transitional Justice Processes and Mechanisms. She holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Conflict Management from Alice-Salomon University in Berlin (Germany) and a Master’s degree from the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization in Venice (Italy) and University of Vienna in Vienna (Austria). She is currently a PhD student at Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies at The University of Nairobi, Kenya.