oNature Knows No Boundarieso: A Critical Reading of UNDP Environmental Peacemaking in Cyprus

Emel Akcali, Marco Antonsich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


In 2005, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) set up in Cyprus a peace-building project called Action for Cooperation and Trust (ACT). This project has aimed to create opportunities for bicommunal partnerships on environmental protection as a way to promote intercommunal tolerance. This article discusses critically the efficacy of this project to contribute to the debate on the significance of environmental cooperation in transforming ethno-territorial conflicts. We rely on both survey data and the qualified opinions of Cypriot environmental stakeholders to show that, in the case of Cyprus, successful environmental peacemaking strategies are dependent on widespread environmental awareness, trust in the othird partyo (UNDP), and civil society's empowerment, which, however, should complement and not substitute for intervention at a state level. There is also evidence to suggest that the UNDP discourse about onature knows no boundarieso is most effective when it generates solutions that are perceived to be beneficial to all parties involved, rather than when it uses the environment to discursively construct a common opatriotismo beyond ethnic identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-947
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • environment
  • Cyprus
  • conflict resolution


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