Peacebuilding and Environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Simulation Exercise
One of our partners is Most Mira, a British and Bosnian charity focused on bridging divides among young people in post-conflict northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each summer, they organize a peacebuilding seminar (POP) for university students (open to students in BiH as well as abroad), focused on the history, context, and changing politics of peacebuilding in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most Mira is also heavily involved in a number of theatre projects throughout the year for primary, secondary, and high school students in the Prijedor area.
This year, both the theatre project for high school students and the peacebuilding seminar incorporated elements which explored the relationship between peacebuilding and the environment as part of the Picturing Climate project.
During POP, we gave a workshop addressing the connections between peacebuilding and the environment, echoing many of the themes of the Picturing Climate project. The first portion of the workshop entailed a short lecture exploring the ways in which Bosnia and Herzegovina has addressed climate change (spoiler: environmental issues have not been integrated into peacebuilding discussions in BiH in systematic ways, hence the climate change struggles the country faces are rarely incorporated within peace and conflict frames).
The second portion of the workshop involved a simulation exercise. The exercise helped POP participants – who had spent the day watching film clips from theatre project participants on local environmental challenges and discussing how land shapes identity and peacebuilding – contextualize the complexities and interconnections of peacebuilding and the environment using a fictionalized simulation based on a real life scenario in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This participatory methodology enabled POP participants to develop practical skills and a new appreciation for the importance of consensus building among a variety of stakeholders in a doubly contested environment.
We have shared the simulation game here for those who might be interested in conducting a similar activity for their own workshops or classrooms.
Dženeta Karabegović and Jasmin Hasić