11:30 - 12:30 CET

06 November 2020

Geneva Peace Week


This session is organized by Initiatives of Change (IofC) Switzerland and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) as part of the Geneva Peace Week 2020.

Dr Alan Channer will explore how and why environmental challenges can give rise to both conflict and collaboration. He will introduce three case studies of environmental peacebuilding, with a view to scaling-up grassroots solutions.

Irene Ojuok will share how farmer-managed natural regeneration is fostering collaboration in areas of Kenya where land degradation and climate disruption are inflaming tensions between neighbouring communities.

Dr Raj Upreti will explore how conflict management skills and public discourse mechanisms are enabling local actors to lead resilience-building efforts in Nepal, where flooding, landslides, drought and irregular rainfall are causing population displacement and heightening inter-ethnic tensions.

Dr Kelechi Eleanya will discusss the case of Akassa Island, in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, where peacebuilding and participatory natural resource management are having synergistic benefits in an area that has experienced environmental devastation and armed insurgency.

Raj Upreti was on the faculty of the 2020 Summer Academy on Land, Security and Climate, and Irene Ojuok and Kelechi Eleanya were participants. The Summer Academy was co-organized by Initiatives of Change and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and funded by the African Climate Change Fund of the African Development Bank.  


Moderator and Speakers

Anna Brach

Moderator: Anna Brach - Head of Human Security, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

Anna Brach is Head of Human Security at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Her work focuses on issues of environmental and health security with special emphasis on the climate change and security nexus. Her research interests include human security, human rights, environmental security, climate change, global public commons and resource management. She is responsible for developing and running the Human Security Cluster activities, including executive courses, workshops, and high-level conferences in Geneva and internationally. She is the Course Director for the European Security Course. Anna holds a Masters in Economy from the Warsaw School of Economics, a Masters in Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and a Masters in European Studies from the University of Geneva.


Alan Channer

Speaker: Alan Channer - Peacebuilding, environment and communications specialist, Initiatives of Change

Alan Channer is a project director, documentary film producer, writer and researcher on peacebuilding and the environment. He was a runner-up for the 2019 Bremen International Peace Prize; co-designer of a programme on 'pastoralist-farmer conflict transformation' in Nigeria which won a United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award in 2017; speaker at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum; and producer of the award-winning film,The Imam and the Pastor, which premiered at the United Nations in 2006. Alan is a Senior Fellow of the Global EverGreening Alliance and on the Executive Committee of Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace. He began his career in tropical agricultural biology, carrying out research in China, Malawi, Tuvalu and Zimbabwe. He has worked on trustbuilding programmes in Cambodia, Chad, Kenya, Nigeria and UK, with UNDP, the US Institute of Peace, Initiatives of Change and other agencies.


Irene Ojuok

Speaker: Irene Ojuok - National Technical Specialist on Environment and Climate Change, World Vision Kenya

Irene Ojuok is an Environment and Climate Change Advisor with World Vision Kenya. She is responsible for mainstreaming environment and climate change across the organization and with other partners. She provides technical oversight and programming for the design of projects within Livelihoods and Resilience, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and other sectors, integrating sustainable natural resource management into resilience building. Irene is passionate about gender mainstreaming and community-driven approaches, notably Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration for which she has been honoured locally and globally. She holds a degree in Environmental Studies (Resource Management) from Kenyatta University and is about to commence doctoral research in land restoration in Kenya at the University of Bonn.


Bishnu Raj Upreti

Speaker: Raj Upreti - Executive Chair, Policy Research Institute, Nepal

Raj Upreti has a Masters in Sociology (1994) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, an MSc in Management of Agricultural Knowledge Systems (1998) and a PhD in Conflict Management (2001) from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Between 2001 and 2003 he conducted  post-doctoral research at the University of London (King’s College) and the Centre for Environmental Studies, University of Surrey, UK. In 40 years of professional work he has gained wide experience of research and development from the local to the international level. He has published extensively on conflict, peace and unconventional security (water, food, health and environmental security).


Kelechi Eleanya

Speaker: Kelechi Eleanya - Team Leader, EverGreening Network for Forest and Land Restoration (ENFORLAR), Nigeria

Kelechi Eleanya is Team Leader and Board member at the EverGreening Network for Forest and Land Restoration (ENFORLAR), and a Senior Fellow at the Global EverGreening Alliance (GEA). His work focuses on human and livelihood security in the context of forest-based livelihoods and natural resource management. His research interests include forest- based livelihoods, climate change, environmental policy analysis and resource governance. He manages ENFORLAR’s programmes and activities on land restoration for human and livelihoods security in northern Nigeria, where massive land degradation drives millions into poverty and brews conflicts between herders and farmers.

Kelechi holds a PhD in forest resource policy and a Masters in Forest Economics and Management, both from the University of Ibadan, and a Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, USA. Prior to leading ENFORLAR, he was a fellow at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington DC. He also worked for an academic institution and the United Nations Millennium Villages Initiative.


  • When: 6 November 2020, 11:30 - 12:30 CET
  • Where: online


 Photo top: Leela Channer


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