I have done a bit of research on Peace Parks, and have put together the notes below.  My plan for our workshop is to try to maximize discussion by the participants (rather than a presentation or "lecture" type format).  I will take notes so that we have an Output Document with whatever conclusions, suggestions, etc. we come up with. 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Bob Stewart

Rotary Club of Okotoks , Alberta , Canada (D5360)


A special session on Rotary Peace Programs will be conducted: Theme - "How can an International Peace Park promote and stimulate International Peace".  To be held on Saturday morning - 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Our technical peace program is planned as a discussion, co-learning and action planning event.  We will include in our discussion our activities for the formation, etc. of "Rotary International Peace Parks", which is a specific separate and readily identifiable niche of Rotary's commitment to peace.  The discussion may include an International Rotary Peace Park Fellowship,  possibly a "Rotary Peace Park Institute", peace through tourism, etc.  Information will be provided, including a copy of  Rotary's Seven Paths to Peace .  The discussion will be led by Rotarian Bob Stewart (Okotoks), PHF , C.A. , C.M.C., Director of Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace


From the Rotary District 5390 Conference Website at  :

In 1932, Glacier National Park and its northern sister park, Waterton Lakes National Park became the world’s first International Peace Park . Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park celebrates the longest unguarded boundary on Earth: The 5,000-mile boundary between the United States and Canada .

In the 70 years since, people have created 138 international peace parks, friendship parks and similar transboundary protected areas on five continents. Some of these have been in the most embattled corners of the globe.

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was the brainchild of Rotary Club International, led by a cluster of Rotary Clubs in Montana . and Alberta .    In the early 1930s, the scars of World War I were still fresh, much of the world was gripped in economic crisis and the first hints of World War II were beginning to emerge.  Organizers saw the creation of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park as a way to cement harmonious relations between old allies, while providing a model for peace for nations around the world.

The seven decades since 1932 brought times of war and peace, prosperity and poverty around the world. But through it all the idea of the international peace park proved a powerful symbol for mankind’s capacity for friendship.  ...

Shortly after the terrorist strikes of Sept. 11, 2001 , South African leader Nelson Mandela spoke at an elephant reintroduction ceremony at the new Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park , which includes portions of South Africa , Mozambique and Zimbabwe :

“In the wake of the terrible shock with which the entire world learnt of the acts of terrorism in the United States , we faced and continue to face the prospects of conflict on a world-wide scale . . . .  In a world beset by conflict and division, peace is one of the cornerstones of the future.  Peace parks are a building block in this process, not only in our region, but potentially in the entire world.”


A Message from Our President:  from

"Never in the history of mankind has rebellion, riot and terrorism over state, religion and race prevailed throughout so many areas of the world. Never has the Rotary International tenet of PEACE become more precious and significant. As Rotarians we embrace all religions, creeds and colors; favoring freedom, truth and justice for all.

The search for International Peace must be our foremost goal. We can and we must make a difference.

The concept of an International Peace Park was conceived by Cardston Rotary Club President Lowe in 1930. On July 4, 1931 Rotarians from Alberta and Montana , at a Goodwill meeting in Waterton, adopted the concept and petitioned their respective governments. The Canadian Parliament and U.S. Congress simultaneously passed legislation recognizing the Peace Park and dedication took place at the first assembly in Glacier Park on June 19, 1932 .

Subsequent assemblies have been held annually and alternate between Waterton and Glacier Parks . Assemblies are celebrations of Fellowship, Friendship, Goodwill and Peace which has existed between our two countries for almost 200 years. Each assembly culminates with an inspirational “Hands Across the Border Ceremony”.

I would like to quote an excerpt from our “ Peace Park ” display.

The future of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park has yet to be written. It will always remain as a symbol of Peace and Friendship between the United States and Canada , and of the benefits of the cooperative management between the two park systems. But can it be more? Can it also expand to symbolize world peace as well? What better setting exists for world leaders to gather, to resolve International disputes, to bring together warring factions, and to create world peace. The final outcome of that July 4, 1931 Rotary Meeting may be greater than ever imagined. Can Rotarians create International Peace Parks throughout the world? Can all Rotary International Peace Parks affiliate to form “ONE” International Peace Park Assembly? I have a dream - a time when delegates from Rotary Peace Parks throughout the world will meet at Waterton- Glacier to celebrate Peace and Goodwill in a “Hands Across All Borders Ceremony”.


Submitted by Mike Demaniuk, President (2002 - 2004)


Protected areas are vital for life on earth.  A shared vision of transboundary co-operation by all is the ultimate goal.

Across the globe, armed conflicts over disputed borders abound, such as between Israel and Palestine , and between India and Pakistan . At the same time something called "peace parks" are popping up along hotly contested borders where landmines and rocket launchers are the norm, not the peace and quiet of the natural world.

While many peace parks are proposed to help restore war-ravaged environments, others are designed to honor and preserve peaceful, pristine areas as a contrast to the nearby conflicts. The National Park's Conservation Association's Steve Thompson, the U.S. 's foremost peace parks expert (contacts below), says they are part of a viable solution to some of the world’s greatest conflicts.

One example is the Red Sea Marine Peace Park . It was created as part of the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan , which specifies joint protection of the coral reefs which border both countries.

As early as 1932, the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was designated to commemorate the long history of peace and friendship between Canada and the United States , and to emphasize both natural and cultural links.

And in 1998, Peru and Ecuador established the Cordillera del Condor Peace Transborder Reserve. The countries had fought over placement of their border for years. Now they jointly manage the park, which straddles the once disputed line and remains riddled with landmines, one of the lingering effects of warfare.

The Peace Parks Foundation is dedicated to creating transnational parks in Southern Africa .

Because the first peace parks were so successful, environmentalists and peace experts are proposing more such parks across the globe. On the forefront of this effort are the husband and wife team of Nigel and Antonia Young. He is a peace studies professor at Colgate University and she is an independent anthropologist specializing in the former Yugoslavia . It was through their combined interests that they first came up with the idea of a peace park (about half the size of Maryland ) on the borders of Kosovo , Montenegro and Albania .

SIACHEN PEACE PARK GAINING MOMENTUM - The Siachen glacier between India and Pakistan is the longest mountain glacier in the world - and the world's highest battlefield. Since 20 years, the armed forces of India and Pakistan have fought on the Saltaro Ridge, south of the Siachen Glacier, with at least 15,000 casualties - mainly from altitude and weather - and devastating the unique glacier environment.  Turning the entire area into a Transboundary Peace Park may help resolving this conflict. This park would enable both parties to withdraw under conditions of honour and dignity; it would save thousands of lives and billions of rupees; and it would stop further degradation of a magnificent mountain area. Transboundary Peace Parks aim to foster cooperation and peace between countries and to conserve ecosystems which do not recognize national borders. The number of Transboundary Protected Areas, more than 169 today, has doubled since 1990. An informal group of the World Commission on Protected Areas, together with a range of international organisations, is promoting the Siachen Peace Park . This includes an active group in the USA , based at the University of Vermont . IUCN - The World Conservation Union joined with the mountaineering group of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) in 2002 to sponsor a series of summit climbs in Switzerland as symbolic Peace Climbs involving Indian and Pakistani mountaineers. Under the Italian " K2 2004 - 50 years later" project, the idea of the Siachen Peace Park was presented at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress, with representatives from Indian and Pakistani non-governmental organisations amongst the audience. At this year's International Environmental Security conference in The Hague , international organizations expressed their will to help in funding and supporting the Siachen Peace Park . For September this year, a workshop "Save the Siachen: an Environmental Initiative" is planned after the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan , with some 80 diplomats, celebrities and researchers expected to attend. However, the success of all activities is dependent on the military negotiations first, that are only recovering slowly after the major crisis caused by terrorist attacks in 2001 and 2002.

Even the most avid supporters of peace parks admit that they aren't the solution to all the world's troubles. But peace parks expert Steve Thompson says they could be a small piece of the bigger solution. He says peace parks are more than expressions of goodwill between nations -- they are actively being used as a tool to resolve conflict and ensure conservation because they require the countries involved to agree to set aside and jointly manage the new reserve. In the last 10 years, about a dozen peace parks have been established expressly to resolve conflict, enabling the previously warring nations to cooperate in managing the territory, says Thompson.

Global Partnership for Peace Parks: 

In recent years, due to increasing interest in this concept, it has become evident that a Global Partnership for Peace Parks is required to promote the concept and practice of Peace Parks world-wide.  This Global Partnership will build on the experience and work on this issue by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources), the Peace Parks Foundation, WWF-International and the University for Peace. These three institutions are playing a leading role on the promotion and implementation of TBPAs and Peace Parks . However there is so much to be done on the interpretation, promotion, and application of this concept that it would be difficult for institutions working in isolation to succeed.

The objectives of this initiative are:

-          To catalyse the creation of new Peace Parks and to strengthen existing ones in a number of regions, giving priority to areas declared by UNESCO as World Heritage sites.

-           To empower, through capacity building, local communities and indigenous peoples organizations to actively participate in the development and implementation of Peace Parks initiatives

-          To develop, adopt, test and disseminate Best Practice Guidelines and a Code of Conduct on TBPAs to facilitate their wider acceptance and application.

-          To facilitate the exchange of data and information, provide outside expertise, capacity building as well as legal and technical assistance for planning and implementing the Peace Park concept, through development of the TBPA Resource Centre.

-          To develop a Peace Parks Council to promote recognition and application of the Peace Park concept, including creation of a UN International Award for Peace Parks.

-          A project proposal to support this initiative has been prepared for submission to the UN Foundation. This project is the result of a process of consultation with all partners involved on this initiative at global and regional levels. If this project is granted a programme of work will be developed for the next three years.


Protected Area - An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means (IUCN, 1994a).

Transboundary Protected Area (TBPA) - An area of land and/or sea that straddles one or more boundaries between states, sub-national units such as provinces and regions, autonomous areas and/or areas beyond the limits of national sovereignty or jurisdiction, whose constituent parts are especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed co-operatively through legal or other effective means.

Parks for Peace - Parks for Peace are transboundary protected areas that are formally dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and to the promotion of peace and co-operation.

Objectives for Parks for Peace (from Transboundary protected areas for peace and co-operation , reference below)

The identification/designation of Parks for Peace by the cooperating jurisdictions should include only those areas where the agreed management objectives explicitly recognise both a protected area purpose and a peace purpose.

Parks for Peace should be founded on the recognition that human security, good governance, equitable development and respect for human rights are interdependent and indivisible. Peace is best developed by addressing the root causes of conflict and by promoting sustainable development, the rule of law and adherence to human rights, whether civil, political, economic, social or cultural.

Specific objectives of Parks for Peace may include the following aspects:

(i) Supporting long-term co-operative conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem services, and natural and cultural values across boundaries;

(ii) Promoting landscape-level ecosystem management through integrated bio-regional land-use planning and management;

(iii) Building trust, understanding, reconciliation and co-operation between and among countries, communities, agencies and other stakeholders;

(iv) Preventing and/or resolving tension, including over access to natural resources;

(v) Promoting the resolution of armed conflict and/or reconciliation following armed conflict;

(vi) Sharing biodiversity and cultural resource management skills and experience, including co-operative research and information management;

(vii) Promoting more efficient and effective co-operative management programmes;

(viii)Promoting access to, and equitable and sustainable use of natural resources, consistent with national sovereignty; and

(ix) Enhancing the benefits of conservation and promoting benefit-sharing across boundaries among stakeholders.

Good Practice Guidelines:

The IUCN/Cardiff series of Protected Area Management Guidelines are designed to help protected area managers, government officials, policy-makers, NGOs, community leaders, donors, etc.  Like all the guidelines in the series, these guidelines on TBPAs are not rules, but advice.  The guidance is set out under nine headings:

1. Identifying and promoting common values

2. Involving and benefiting local people

3. Obtaining and maintaining support of decision-makers

4. Promoting coordinated and co-operative activities

5. Achieving coordinated planning and protected area development

6. Developing co-operative agreements

7. Working towards funding sustainability

8. Monitoring and assessing progress

9. Dealing with tension or armed conflict

Role of "Third Parties":

The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park , in the Rocky Mountains of Canada and USA , was established in 1932 at the initiative of an NGO, Rotary International. In Central Africa, field co-operation among the three respective nature conservation agencies of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda in the Mgahinga Gorilla/Virunga/Volcanoes National Park, has been encouraged and supported by three NGOs (African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna and Flora International, and WWF). The private Peace Parks Foundation in South Africa is currently supporting several trans-boundary conservation areas among the SADC states.

Encouragement may come from donors who, through their grants, loans and technical assistance, support transboundary co-operation and thus give impetus to national governments to enter into agreements involving transboundary co-operation in protected areas. For example, in the case of the Meso American Biological Corridor, GEF, GTZ and the European Union are supporting transboundary co-operation among 37 protected areas in eight countries.

Though the main motive for donors to act in this way has so far been better conservation, it could also be a means to promote regional co-operation during times of tension. Donor support for this purpose is being provided for the cloudforests in Africa ’s Albertine Rift by IUCN Netherlands. Some donors have looked at how they might support a whole programme of transboundary conservation areas in a region; for example, USAID has been examining how it could assist transboundary conservation programmes in the SADC region.



Steve Thompson: Glacier Field Representative Northern Rockies Regional Office (mailto: ) National Parks Conservation Association, PO Box 4485 , 144 E. Second St. , Whitefish , MT 59937

Transboundary protected areas for peace and co-operation, based on the proceedings of workshops held in Bormio (1998) and Gland (2000) / Sandwith, Trevor ; Shine, Clare ; Hamilton, Lawrence S. ; Sheppard, David. - IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas ; University of Cardiff , Department of City and Regional Planning - 2001.  5 Star Must Reading

The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and through these initiatives, help to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world.  For more information, web site:  .  A major step forward towards the vision of "Tourism as a Global Peace Industry" was taken at the Global Summit on Peace through Tourism with the formation of a Coalition of Partners for World Peace through Tourism.  Formation of the Coalition was a demonstration of support by the world's largest industry for the United Nations International Year for the Culture of Peace (2000) and in continuing support for the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).  Each founding partner is committed to a Millennium Project that contributes to a "Culture of Peace through Tourism" as reflected in the Amman Declaration. International organizations interested in joining this global initiative are invited to contact the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT), Email:  .  The Global Peace Parks Project builds on the success of IIPT’s Peace Parks Across Canada Project commemorating Canada ’s 125th birthday as a nation in 1992.  In that year, 400 cities and towns from St. John’s Newfoundland on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, across 5 time zones to Victoria, British Columbia, on the shores of the Pacific, dedicated a park to peace, each park with a Peace Grove (Bosco Sacro) of 12 trees as a symbolic link to one another and a symbol of hope for the future.  The parks were dedicated 12:00 noon local time as a national Peace Keeping Monument was unveiled in Ottawa , the nation’s capital, honoring U.N. Peace Keepers of all nations. 

Peace Through Tourism course, Transcend Peace University  – tourism being the world's biggest industry could be a giant peacebuilding activity - how can tourism serve peace?

Report on Human Security and Environment

International Holistic Tourism Education Centre (IHTEC) is dedicated to developing Global Sustainability Education programs that educate young people through "Tourism as a Vital Force for Peace".