In order to overcome the structural causes of violent conflicts and thus the improvement of framework conditions for peaceful and fair development, long term and broadly planned peace development and peace advancement are necessary. Different governmental and non-governmental, national and international actors and groups are involved in these processes.
Multiple approaches exist in the field of conflict prevention and conflict mitigation. On the one hand, long-term planned activities can contribute to a reduction of structural tensions (for more on this see also sectors environmental foreign policy and development cooperation). On the other hand, there are approaches for preventing the outbreak or repetition of violence (crisis prevention), short and medium-term activities for peacefully overcoming conflicts (conflict mitigation), as well as short-term measures for avoiding a further escalation or spreading of an existing violent conflict (conflict management). The systematic investigation of specific links between resource cooperation, development cooperation, and direct conflict mitigation or, respectively, conflict transformation is still in the initial stages. Frequently, it is simply assumed that development cooperation and environmental policy have problem solving competence when dealing with acute conflicts.