Advocates of transboundary conservation argue that borderlands can be a source of cooperation between neighboring states that previously engaged in conflict. It has been stated that, by opening negotiation channels based on environmental issues, jointly managed cross-border protected areas can promote and reinforce harmonious relations between contiguous states.

This paper explores this assertion by empirically testing how transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) are related to militarized interstate disputes (MIDs) between contiguous states. Through the use of global data on protected areas and MIDs, we find that TBPAs tend to be established between countries that have previously been engaged in MIDs. We also find some evidence that TBPAs can be related to a more peaceful co-existence between neighboring countries in Africa, Middle East, and Asia.