State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

As Environmental Conflicts Increase, How Can They Be Managed?

joshua fisher
Joshua Fisher is the director of Columbia’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity.

Conflicts frequently arise over environmental issues such as land use, natural resource management, and laws and regulation, emerging from diverging interests and values among stakeholders. Managing Environmental Conflict by Joshua Fisher, a research scientist at Columbia Climate School, is a primer on causes of and solutions to such conflicts. The book provides a foundational overview of the theory and practice of collaborative approaches to managing environmental disputes.

Fisher explains the core concepts in cooperative conflict management, and presents a practical framework for understanding and responding to environmental disputes.

He discusses the book with Columbia News, as well as what led him to his research, the work he’s doing with Hiroshima University, and why he would like to seat Carl Sagan across from Confucius at a dinner party.

Q. What inspired you to write this book?

A.  Every day we are bombarded by stories of conflict, polarization, and the existential threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. However, there are countless examples of people coming together to constructively solve problems and collaboratively manage their environments—both built environments and natural systems.

As a research scientist working in biodiversity conservation and conflict management, I’ve learned from hundreds of organizations doing interesting, innovative, and effective work. I wrote this book to provide people with the tools for understanding the environmental conflicts they face and building collaborative strategies to manage them.

Read the rest of the interview on Columbia News

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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