Trees & Conflict Resolution

Venue: The RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ

Date: 12th November 2009


This conference was conceptualised to look at how trees have come to influence the fundamentals of social process and how controlling trees that provide people with a living affects survival, empowerment and political participation.

In Israel and Palestine, the olive tree symbolises both the potential for reconciliation and the means to control livelihoods. In India, experience shows that making sure the people retain control of seeds, biodiversity and traditional knowledge generates livelihoods and promotes economic and social independence. In Africa, trees are used in conflict resolution and reconciliation processes and are integral to livelihoods through the reversal of deforestation and desertification. And in Afghanistan, farmers are replacing poppy growing with pomegranate cultivation as a means of recreating the legal economic self-sufficiency taken from them by war and conflict.

Sadly, this conference did not take place as scheduled. 

Dr Vandana Shiva Navdanya/RFSTE, India
Keynote Address: Defending nature’s rights and people’s rights

Matthew Taylor Chief Executive of the RSA

Professor Andrew Rigby Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Coventry University
Trees and movements for nonviolent change

Professor Shaul Cohen Peace Studies Program, University of Oregon, USA
The Politics of Planting: The Palestinian-Israeli example

Dr Mark Johnston MBE Myerscough College
Lia Shimada University College London
Trees and the Troubles

James Brett Pom354
Recreating self-sufficiency after the devastation of war and conflict: The case of the Afghan pomegranate

Dr Carol Rank Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Coventry University
African Peace Trees

Dr Marwan Darweish Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Coventry University
Trees and the peace process: symbols of social and economic control in Palestine