Civil Peace Service: Promoting social cohesion and the peaceful use of natural resources
Title: Strengthening social cohesion and promoting an inclusive use of renewable resources
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Niger, Benin
Overall term: 2022 to 2024
Most people in West Africa live in rural areas. How they secure and develop their livelihoods depends heavily on natural resources. This is because arable farming, animal husbandry, as well asthe use of water, game, timber and non-timber forest products are at the heart of the socio-economic systems of this region.
Conflicts continually arise between land users, especially between mobile pastoralists and sedentary arable farmers. Rapid demographic growth, global climate change, unsustainable land use practices and inadequate governance systems are putting fragile natural resources under increasing pressure. As a result, incidences of violent conflicts between land users are on the rise. Moreover, they are increasingly instrumentalized by non-governmental armed groups, which use the weak presence of the state in many rural regions to impose by force societal models that disregard human rights.
Mobile pastoralists, arable farmers and other stakeholders in rural areas use the available natural resources in an inclusive, peaceful and sustainable way and resolve conflicts without violence. Young people, rural inhabitants, and traditional and religious leaders are resisting radicalisation and violent extremism.
The project supports the development of civil conflict solving capacities of political, administrative and traditional stakeholders, with a focuson the various legal frameworks regulating use and management of renewable natural resources. The project also disseminates printed and digital communication materials that popularise these laws and regulations in image form and in local languages.
In addition, the project supports nationwide, regional and local dialogue forums. These aim at settling conflicts and raising awareness against instrumentalization attempts by those involved in violence.
Last updated: May 2022