GSFI Institute Conference 1-3 September 2000

The Third GSFI Institute Conference:
"Transborder Cooperation for Environmental and Human Security"

The Global Security Fellows Institute
Environmental Studies
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA

The Africa Resources Trust
Cambridge CB3 ODL, UK

Wolfson College
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB3 9BB, UK

The dates:
Friday 1 September - Sunday 3 September 2000

Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK


This will be the third in a series of interdisciplinary conferences of the Global Security Fellows Institute on the prevention and management of social and environmental conflicts through the promotion of transborder cooperation. The first conference (Pretoria, South Africa, 1-3 September 1999) focused on issues of land use, ownership, and redistribution, while the second (Kielce, Poland, 16-18 September 1999) focused on social and environmental initiatives for transborder conflict prevention. This third conference aims to continue previous work with its focus on strategies of building transfrontier cooperation for biodiversity protection and human development.


Conferences of the Global Security Fellows Institute convene scholars and practitioners of several disciplines interested in the prevention and management of conflicts rising from the competing claims of stakeholders for self-determination, economic opportunity, and biodiversity protection. In regions undergoing rapid transitions, governments and regional bodies face serious challenges from conflicts involving borderlands. Their failures are readily visible in the wars that engulf whole regions of Africa and the Balkans, devastating both the human and natural environment. However, in the shadow of these social and environmental conflagrations, local, regional, and global actors continue the work of building bridges of co-operation across borders to protect human as well as biological diversity.

About the Sponsors:

The GSFI Institute:
The Institute's series of conferences has grown from the work of the Global Security Fellows Initiative, a program of the University of Cambridge funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia. Located in Cambridge from 1993 to 1999, the Initiative worked to assist in the building of democracy in two regions undergoing rapid transformation, Central Eastern Europe and Southern Africa. Fifty-two mid-career professionals in science and social science research, education, government, non-government organizations (NGOs), and health came from those regions to participate in a one-year research and training program. These Global Security Fellows were deployed as six regional teams to identify underlying sources of potential conflict in their regions -- in the environment, ethnic group relations, population displacements, and/or economic dislocations -- and to develop policies and projects to overcome these problems. The Fellows of this Initiative have formed the Global Security Fellows Institute as a means of continuing their collaboration.

The Africa Resources Trust:
ART's mission is to support the rights and aspirations of rural communities to improve the quality of their lives through the sustainable use of natural resources. In recent years, development and conservation organizations working in Africa have embraced a new approach which combines their disciplines, and which brings them together as partners with local inhabitants -- the people who actually live with the resources. This approach, known as Conservation-Based Community Development (CBCD), seeks to reinstate the traditional rights of communities to use their resources, and to provide them with the incentive to conserve them. In this way, the communities can reap tangible benefits, while simultaneously conserving nature's resources for future generations.

Wolfson College:
Wolfson College is home to a unique group of scholars, providing a stimulating community for mature students in the University of Cambridge and for professionals returning to study for intellectual refreshment and advancement. One of Cambridge's new colleges, Wolfson's modern, convenient campus is a pleasant ten-minute walk from the central square of this medieval market town.

Conference Goals:

1. This conference continues the urgent search for effective strategies for transborder cooperation to promote biodiversity protection and economic opportunity, while preserving human rights, self-determination and identity. Participants will share their findings on transboundary problems of sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, land use, the management of environmental disputes, ethnicity issues, the accommodation of differences, and the early warning and prevention of conflict.

2. Studies of transfrontier conflict management and cooperation among neighboring states or jurisdictions are especially welcome. This includes successful (and unsuccessful) transborder efforts to promote conservation, environmentally sustainable economic development, and the rights of marginalized communities. Relevant approaches include the development of international agreements or regional regimes, sustainable development projects, local democracy building, the application of negotiation and mediation techniques, education and training, the management of transfrontier and/or multi-ethnic stakeholders, etc.

3. The Conference will continue the work of the 1999 Institute Conferences to address regional issues and the theme of transfrontier cooperation. It will provide a forum for people in several disciplines to consider multi-level approaches to managing conflicts. The double regional focus on Southern Africa and Eastern Central Europe is expected to offer fresh comparisons.

4. The Conference will be a working and interactive conference. It is intended that the seminar and its products should inform policy makers, academics and NGOs in Europe and the USA about transboundary resource mangement in southern African and other emerging economies.

Tentative Schedule:

I. Friday morning meetings:

A. Meeting of the Global Security Fellows:

Reports and summaries of the previous Institute Conferences and related events. (Participants are asked to use the suggested format below and to submit reports on disk as well as paper to facilitate publication.)

B. Seminar for the Cambridge Conservation Forum on Transfrontier Natural Resource Management organized by the Africa Resources Trust. A discussion of Peace Parks is included.

II. Paper Sessions (Friday afternoon and Saturday):

Organized around some of these discussion questions, papers should, in general, emphasize cases, with the goal of producing suggestions for action grounded in experience in the field. An effort is made to frame the topics in a manner that invites cross-disciplinary perspectives and search for answers.

III. Plenary Sessions (Sunday morning):

These will provide opportunities for a broader discussion of the topics, with the aim of guiding output -- actions and publications -- from the conference.

How to participate?

One may participate in the Conference in a number of ways:

Please send your Application Form including your proposal to arrive by 10 July 2000 to the appropriate address below. In a separate envelope, applicants should send the Application Fee to the Wolfson College address on the application form. As space at the Conference is limited, you are advised to send your application as early as possible. The Application Fee also secures your participation and also reserves your room at Wolfson College, if you choose accommodation there. (Rooms will be assigned in order of receipt of the Application Fee.) For further information about the conference, you are most welcome to contact Ms. Kessler-Shepherd or Mr. Rice (contacts below).

Kathleen Kessler-Shepherd
GSFI Institute, Environmental Studies
6182 Fairchild Hall, Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA

Telephone: +1-802-649-5152 (7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. EST)
Fax: +1-603-646-1682

Matthew Rice
Africa Resources Trust
219 Huntington Road
Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK

Telephone: +44-1223-277314
Fax: +44-1223-874013

Click here for application form.