What are Peace Parks?

Peace parks started in the US

White-eared kob migration in Gambella National Park

Peace parks are national parks merged across national borders to form international conservation areas. Peace parks force nations, frequently nations in conflict, to work together for conservation, preservation of the minority ethnic groups often found along remote borders, and sustainable development of subsistence areas. It is a global movement, from the original Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on the USA-Canada border to the European cold war boundary greenbelt, to the many parks promoted by Nelson Mandela along the borders of South Africa.



Peace parks in the Balkans

Fostering awareness of, support for and infrastructure towards, an international peace park at the meeting of the alpine borders of Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro
Peace park in Theth

Deborah’s contact in Albania with Antonia Young and her group, the Balkans Peace Park Project (B3P), ignited an interest in peace parks. Deborah still follows the progress of B3P, as it works from bases in the Balkans and the UK, with supporters all over the world, to foster awareness of and backing for an international peace park at the meeting of the alpine borders of Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.



Peace parks in Gambella

Hitch-hikers on drive towards Sudan with Nat'l park across Baro behind. Peace park?
Hitch-hikers on the drive towards Sudan with Nat’l park across Baro behind. Peace park?

On her recent trip to Gambella, Ethiopia to research the Global Village Mysteries (See blog “The Global Village”), Deborah discovered that there has actually been some talk about an international peace park between the national park headquartered in Gambella and the park across the border in the troubled new South Sudan. If such plans move forward, she hopes to be able to contribute what knowledge she has gained about volunteer support from her contact with B3P—and also to weave aspects of its story into a plotline later in the series.


For more on Peace Parks, see Links