As climate change and environmental degradation increasingly fuel violent conflicts, HD launched an Environmental Peacemaking Initiative in 2021 to integrate these issues more effectively into mediation practice and maximise our potential to create outcomes that are positive for peace and the environment. 

Environment and climate

In Africa, HD’s network of agro-pastoral mediators in the Sahel have resolved thousands of micro-conflicts over access to natural resources and seasonal grazing routes. 

To help end decades of intercommunal violence over water and land in North Central Nigeria, HD brokered a peace agreement in 2022 among 22 clans from the Agatu community on the sharing of resources that also covers free movement and the safe return of thousands of displaced people. 

The goal is to replicate the Agatu pilot in neighbouring areas and states to encourage dialogue and peaceful co-existence among farmers, herders and communities with diverse views and positions.

From Asia to Europe to the Middle East, HD’s initiatives include efforts to include climate change and environmental issues in security dialogue to bring together divided communities and contribute to reconciliation and recovery. 

To help HD teams, MESU develops, shares and deploys expertise on incorporating environmental and climate issues into peacemaking processes. HD collaborates with a network of experts who provide technical advice to our teams and we engage in wider policy discussions to ensure HD’s practical experience helps shape future policies. 

For peace to last, the needs and views of all people affected by conflict need to be included in finding solutions. 

Gender and inclusion

At HD, designing and implementing mediation processes that include women, youth, civil society and marginalised groups is one of our institutional priorities. 

HD’s gender and inclusion team within MESU supports colleagues with training, resources, technical advice and seed funds for gender analysis and inclusive programming. A group of experts helps to develop strategies and design processes.

To share our insights and experiences, HD publishes a variety of reports focused on gender and inclusion in mediation practice.

In many areas where HD is active, organised crime and criminal agendas are driving conflict and undermining peace processes. 

Organised Crime

As awareness grows in the mediation community that peace settlements will not prosper in these situations, HD’s organised crime and peacemaking programme helps our teams to understand the impact of criminality and illicit economies on their work and to design operational responses that strengthen peace and stability.

For example, in response to allegations of corruption that nearly ruined formation of the Libyan National Government in 2020, HD ran a dialogue in 2021 with the Libyan Anti-Corruption Task Force to identify ways that anti-corruption and peace actors could work more closely together on Libya’s transition.