Online course: War and the Environment June 7 to July 18

Event Dates: 

We'd like to invite you to something that is much more than a simple webinar. This is a thorough education gained over a six-week period. You can reserve a spot in our upcoming online course on War and the Environment, planned for June 7 to July 18.

Click here to learn more, watch a video about the course, and register.

Grounded in research on peace and ecological security, this course focusses on the relationship between two existential threats: war and environmental catastrophe. We will cover:

• Where wars happen and why.
• What wars do to the earth.
• What imperial militaries do to the earth back home.
• What nuclear weapons have done and could do to people and the planet.
• How this horror is hidden and maintained.
• What can be done.

This course is 100% online and interactions are not live or scheduled, so you can take part whenever works for you. Weekly content includes a mix of text, images, video, and audio. Instructors and students utilize online discussion forums to go over each week's content, as well as to provide feedback on optional assignment submissions.

The course also includes three 1-hour optional zoom calls which are designed to facilitate a more interactive and real-time learning experience.

Education Director Phill Gittins and other World BEYOND War staff, board members, and partners will be online throughout the six weeks helping to facilitate along with six outstanding guest facilitators from around the world.


Week 1: Where Wars Happen and Why (June 7-13) with Dr. Serena Clark

Serena works as a postdoctoral researcher at Maynooth University and is a research consultant for the International Organization of Migration, United Nations. She holds a doctorate in international peace studies and conflict resolution from Trinity College Dublin, where she was a Rotary International Global Peace Scholar and Trinity College Dublin Postgraduate Fellow. Serena has extensive experience researching conflictual and post-conflict areas, such as the Middle East and Northern Ireland and teaches courses on conflict and conflict resolution. She has published on topics related to immigration policy, the use of visual methods to measure peace processes in post-conflict areas and migration crises, the impact of COVID-19 on peacebuilding, and the pandemic's impact on gender inequality. Her research interests include post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding, displaced populations, and visual methodologies.

Week 2: What Wars Do to the Earth (June 14-20) with Elizabeth Katherine Gamarra

Elizabeth Gamarra is a TEDx speaker, Fulbrighter at Instituto Empresa (IE) University in Madrid, and former World Rotary Peace Fellow at International Christian University (ICU). She has a double Masters in the field of Mental Health (U.S) and Peace and Conflict Studies (Japan) which has permitted her to work as a therapist and mediator with refugee and indigenous communities from the U.S, as well as engage in nonprofit work in Latin America. At age 14, she founded "generations of legacies" which is an initiative focused on educational empowerment. After completing her graduate-level studies at the record age of 19, she continued to grow this initiative from abroad. She has worked closely with Amnesty International USA, the Center of Migration and Refugee Integration, the Global Peacebuilding of Japan, Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) and currently, working with the Tokyo Office Academic Council of the United Nations Systems (ACUNS) as the Tokyo Liaison Officer. She is also a MEXT Researcher with the Japanese Government. She is the former recipient of the 2020 TUMI USA National Award, the Martin Luther King Drum Major Award, Young Philanthropy Award, the Diversity and Equity University Award among others. Currently, she sits in the GPAJ Board of Directors and is a Board of Trustees for Pax Natura International. Recently, she has been part of helping start "RadioNatura," a unique multilingual podcast on peace and nature.

Week 3: What Imperial Militaries Do to the Earth Back Home (June 21-27) with Henrique Garbino

Henrique Garbino is currently a Doctoral Student at the Swedish Defence University (2021-). He is mainly interested in bridging theory and practice in the fields of in mine action, peace operations, and civil-military relations. His dissertation focuses on the use of landmines and other explosive devices by non-state armed groups. As a combat engineer officer in the Brazilian Army (2006-2017), Henrique specialised in explosive ordnance disposal, civil-military coordination, and training and education; in contexts as diverse as border control, counter-trafficking and United Nations peace operations. He was deployed internally in the border between Brazil and Paraguay (2011-2013) and in Rio de Janeiro (2014), as well as externally to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (2013-2014). Later, he joined the Brazilian Peace Operations Joint Training Center (2015-2017), where he served as an instructor and course coordinator. In the humanitarian and development sector, Henrique supported the mine action programmes in Tajikistan and Ukraine as a Rotary Peace Fellow (2018); and later joined the International Committee of the Red Cross as a Weapon Contamination Delegate in Eastern Ukraine (2019-2020). Henrique holds a master's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies Master's Programme from Uppsala University (2019); a Postgraduate Certificate in Military History from the University of South Catarina (2016), and a bachelor's degree in Military Sciences from the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras (2010).

Week 4: What Nuclear Weapons Have Done and Could Do (June 28-July 4) with Stefanie Wesch
Ms. Wesch completed her undergraduate degree in the field of International Relations at Hawai´i Pacific University. She was able to gain initial work experience at the Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York, where she was active in the First and Third Committee of the General Assembly, as well as writing occasional speeches for Ambassador Tanin. Ms. Wesch managed to further develop her authoring skills between 2012 and 2013 while working at the Bolivian think tank Institute of International Studies (IDEI). Here she wrote about a diverse set of topics, ranging from the Syrian conflict to the Bolivian-Chilean border dispute, from an International Law and Human Rights perspective. Realizing her strong interest in conflict studies, Ms. Wesch obtained her Master´s Degree in Conflict Resolution and Governance at the University of Amsterdam, where she focused on social movements for the purpose of her Master´s thesis. Putting to use her regional focus on the MENA region, during both her graduate and undergraduate studies, at PIK Ms. Wesch is working on the Climate-Conflict-Migration-Nexus in the MENA region and the Sahel. She has undertaken qualitative fieldwork in the regions of Agadez, Niamey and Tillaberie in Niger  in 2018 as well as in Burkina Faso in 2019. Her research in the region has focused on farmer-herder conflicts, specifically causes, prevention and mediation mechanisms and their influence on recruitment into extremist organizations and migration decisions in the Sahel. Ms. Wesch is currently a doctoral researcher and is writing her dissertation on the interaction of climate change and conflict in Central Asia plus Afghanistan for the Green Central Asia Project financed by the German Foreign Ministry.

Week 5: How This Horror Is Hidden and Maintained (July 5-11) with Dr. Michael Chew

Dr Michael Chew is a sustainability educator, community cultural development practitioner, and photographer/designer with degrees in participatory design, social ecology, art photography, humanities and mathematical physics. He has a background in community-based sustainability programs in NGO and local government sectors and is passionate about the potential for creativity to empower and connect communities across cultural, economic and geographic divides. He co-founded the Melbourne Environmental Arts Festival in 2004, a multi-venue community arts festival, and has since coordinated various social and environmentally focused creative youth projects. He developed his international perspectives from involvement in grassroots global solidarity initiatives: co-founding the NGO Friends of Kolkata to coordinate international volunteer programs and teach photovoice; working in Bangladesh on community-based climate adaptation; and co-founding the Friends of Bangladesh group to continue climate justice solidarity activities. He has just finished a design based action-research PhD exploring how participatory photography can inspire youth environmental behaviour change across cities in Bangladesh, China and Australia, and is now developing a freelance consultancy practice.

Week 6: What Can Be Done (July 12-18) with Greta Zarro and Rachel Small

Greta Zarro is World BEYOND War Organizing Director. She has a background in issue-based community organizing. Her experience includes volunteer recruitment and engagement, event organizing, coalition building, legislative and media outreach, and public speaking. Greta graduated as valedictorian from St. Michael’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Anthropology. She previously worked as New York Organizer for leading non-profit Food & Water Watch. There, she campaigned on issues related to fracking, genetically engineered foods, climate change, and the corporate control of our common resources. Greta and her partner run Unadilla Community Farm, a non-profit organic farm and permaculture education center in Upstate New York.

Rachel Small is World BEYOND War Canada Organizer. She is a community organizer based in Toronto, Canada, on Dish with One Spoon and Treaty 13 Indigenous territory. She has organized within local and international social/environmental justice movements for over a decade, with a special focus on working in solidarity with communities harmed by Canadian extractive industry projects in Latin America. She has also worked on campaigns and mobilizations around climate justice, decolonization, anti-racism, disability justice, and food sovereignty. She currently organizes in Toronto with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network and has a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. She has a background in art-based activism and has facilitated projects in community mural-making, independent publishing and media, spoken word, guerilla theatre, and communal cooking with people of all ages across Canada. She lives downtown with her partner, kid, and friend, and can often be found at a protest or direct action, gardening, spray painting, and playing softball.

Time commitment/expectations: How much time you spend and how deeply you engage is up to you. At a minimum, you can expect to spend between 1-2 hours a week if you only review the weekly content (text and videos). We hope, however, you’ll want to engage in the online dialogue with peers and experts. This is where the real richness of the learning occurs, where we have the opportunity to explore new ideas, strategies, and visions for building a more peaceful world. Depending on your level of engagement with the online discussion you can expect to add another 1-3 hours a week. Finally, all participants are encouraged to complete optional assignments (required to earn a certificate). This is an opportunity to deepen and apply the ideas explored each week to practical possibilities. Expect another 2 hours a week if you pursue these options.

Accessing the course. Prior to the start date, you will be sent instructions for how to access the course.

Earn a certificate. To earn a certificate, participants must also complete optional weekly written assignments. Instructors will return the assignment to the student with detailed feedback. Submissions and feedback can be shared with everyone taking the course or kept private between a student and the instructor, at the student’s choice. Submissions must be completed by the conclusion of the course.

The cost of the course is the same for someone completing all, some, or none of the assignments: $100 (Pay less if you have to, more if you can.)

There will be a limit of 150 tickets sold for this course.

Register here.

Questions? Contact:

To register by check, 1. Email Phill and tell him. 2. Make the check out to World BEYOND War/AFGJ and send it to World BEYOND War 513 E Main St #1484 Charlottesville VA 22902 USA

World BEYOND War is a global network of volunteers, chapters, and affiliated organizations advocating for the abolition of the institution of war.