Regional Civil Society Engagement in Green Dialogs
Promoting Peace and Stability through Equitable Natural Resource Management
Call for Abstracts
If putting their animosities aside, Afghanistan and Pakistan could have the potential of being the driving force behind development and prosperity of the vast Central- and South Asian region. Given the strategic importance of both countries in geographic, political and economic terms from a regional and international perspective, it seems apparent that they would be able to define their relevant needs and accordingly develop joint strategies towards increased stability, economic prosperity and a new political vision of integrity for the region. Regional infrastructure projects like TAPI and CASA 1000 are promising initiatives, but their realization is overshadowed by distrust between the involved national actors and security concerns. Moreover, instead of supporting the development of regional strategies, Afghanistan continues to promote its potential as an economic hub, looking much more to other regional neighbors than Pakistan. And Pakistan, while promoting its high economic regional relevance through an ever-lasting engagement with investor China, ignores how the country’s restraint from economic and political cooperation with India is contributing to its isolation in the region.
Attempts of the political leaderships in Afghanistan and Pakistan for moving towards a more stable relationship and cooperation are rapidly dismantled through a high level of distrust and a continuing blame-game, with every new set-back through terrorist attacks. Encouraged by established power elites and promoted by national media outlets any approach towards the other has the potential of quickly evoking resistance on a citizen’s level. The result of a persistent tendency of such politically covered ‘finger pointing’ is the fostering of historically established narratives.
The Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) with its offices in Kabul and Islamabad is encouraging to bridge these stalled parameters by focusing on shared benefits and mutual interests with the project ‘Civil Society Engagement in Regional Green Dialogs’. The objective of this project is to open new windows for peace by drawing on mutual benefits of the equitable management of natural resources, like water and energy.
Within the scope of this project hbs is inviting experts, activists, and academics to contribute articles for our online web dossier. We are looking for political analyses, expert opinion pieces and short policy papers on topics of regional cooperation and trust building. Specifically, we are interested in the equitable management of natural resources, renewable energies and transboundary water issues. Possible focuses could be: best practices and existing frameworks for cooperation, social and environmental impacts of big infrastructure projects, common risks through foreign investments or traditional water management and the use of indigenous knowledge systems.
The articles should be of 1.000 to 2.000 words. The time for writing will be six weeks. Writers will receive a nominal honorarium. The articles will be published in the Regional Green Dialog dossier on the websites of hbs Afghanistan and Pakistan. Please submit your abstract of about 200 words, explaining briefly the outline of the intended text, along with a CV to Jacqueline.Wilk@pk.boell.org until 31st May 2017.