Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 69: 30 Aug 2016


For more upcoming events on environmental peacebuilding, please visit our online calendar of events.

IUCN World Conservation Congress: Planet at the Crossroads

1 September 2016 – 10 September 2016 | International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Hawai'i

Our planet is at a crossroads. The ecosystems that underpin our economies, well-being and survival are collapsing. Species are becoming extinct at unprecedented rates. Our climate is in crisis. And it’s all happening on our watch. Read More

The Hugo Conference: Environment, Migration, Politics

3 November 2016 – 5 November 2016 | Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium

The year 2015 has been a crucial year for the people displaced as a result of environmental changes: in March, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction acknowledged the need to address displacements. In October, 110 States adopted the Protection Agenda of the Nansen Initiative, which seeks to better protect... Read More

Climate Change Interventions as a Source of Conflict, Competing Claims and New Mobilities

24 November 2016 – 25 November 2016 | NWO Conflict and Cooperation in the Management of Climate Change, LANDac, IDS-Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands

LANDac in collaboration with NWO’s Conflict and Cooperation in the Management of Climate Change (CCMCC) programme and IDS-Utrecht University, is pleased to announce a 1.5 day conference to be held in Utrecht (venue to be confirmed) on the afternoon of Thursday 24th November and the whole day on Friday 25th November: Read More


In the last two weeks, 24 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Companies Face Continuing Challenges in Determining Whether Their Conflict Minerals Benefit Armed Groups
US Government Accountability Office, 2016
Armed groups in eastern DRC continue to profit from the exploitation of minerals, according to the United Nations. Congress included a provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that, among other things, required SEC to promulgate regulations regarding the use of conflict minerals from the... Read More

Environmental Conflict between Internally Displaced Persons and Host Communities in Iraq
Kubilay Kaptan (Oxford Journals: Journal of Refugee Studies, 2016)
The environment, population and conflict thesis remains major to existing environment and security arguments. Throughout the 1990s, a huge increase in scholarship and policy focus was committed to unraveling the linkages amongst the three parameters. While it can very easily be asserted that both the analysis and policy communities have... Read More

Charting Environmental Conflict -- The Atlas of Environmental Justice
Nick Meynen (The Ecologist, 2016)
On 22 June, 100s of people came together in Brussels to mourn for Jo Cox. There was a minute of silence even in the Belgian Parliament. Jo wanted justice and fairness, for example for the people fleeing war in Syria. She stirred emotions far beyond her local constituency. Read More

Environmental Priorities in Post-Conflict Recovery: Efficacy of the Needs-Assessment Process
Tim Kovach and Ken Conca (Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 2016)
Donors have converged upon an increasingly institutionalised process of promoting post-conflict recovery. The hallmarks of this process are a Post-Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA), a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), and a UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). This paper examines the ability of this multi-stage process to address environmental issues. Read More

Water Wars in Central Asia
David Trilling (Foreign Affairs, 2016)
The relations of the five former Soviet Republics in Central Asia—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—are, more often than not, defined by water. When they were still a part of the Soviet Union, the upstream republics—Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan—which have an abundance of water, would release some from their reservoirs in... Read More

Water and Climate Diplomacy – Integrative Approaches for Adaptive Action in Transboundary River Basins
Sabine Blumstein, Benjamin Pohl, and Dennis Tänzler (Adelphi, 2016)
Many transboundary water basins around the world are facing climate-related challenges that will intensify in the decades to come. Successful adaptation will be an important precondition for ensuring sustainable development and political stability in these basins. At the same time, stability and cooperation are preconditions for successful adaptation. Read More

Terr(it)or(ies) of Peace? The Congolese Mining Frontier and the Fight against “Conflict Minerals"
Christoph Vogel and Timothy Raeymaekers (Antipode, 2016)
This article traces the geography of the “conflict minerals” campaign and its impact on artisanal mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a region that currently emerges as a pioneer case of traceability and due diligence efforts with regard to the exploitation and trade in tantalum, tungsten and tin. Read More

Forest Tenure and Conflict in Indonesia: Contested Rights in Rempek Village, Lombok
Rebecca Riggs, Jeffrey Sayer, Chris Margules, Agni Boedhihartono, James Langston, and Hari Sutanto (Land Use Policy, 2016)
Land tenure in Indonesia is regulated by a complex combination of traditional, formal and informal arrangements. Legal ambiguity over land and natural resources has resulted in tenure insecurity, impacting livelihoods and perpetuating conflict. We reviewed land and forest laws in Indonesia and their effect on livelihoods and conflict and studied... Read More

Climatic Disruptions, Natural Resources, and Conflict: The Challenges to Governance
Margarita Alario, Leda Nath, and Steve Carlton-Ford (Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 2016)
Natural resources are identified as a significant variable explaining intrastate conflict since the end of the Cold War. There are sound reasons for this to be the case, as social scientists struggle to make sense of conflicts in the post-Cold War era. Read More

The Political Ecology of Oil and Gas in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea: State, Petroleum, and Conflict in Nigeria
Michael Watts (The Palgrave Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy, 2016)
The purpose of this chapter is to explore the dynamics of the largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea (Nigeria), and to offer a political–ecological analysis of the recent history of an archetypical petro-state. Nigeria is a poster-child of the so-called resource curse, a ‘fragile and conflicted state’ condemned... Read More

Ten Environmental Conflicts Threatening Lives and Justice Right Now
Daniela Del Bene, Federico Demaria, Sara Mingorría, Sofia Avila, and Beatriz y Saes Grettel Navas (Il Manifesto, 2016)
It’s difficult to say how many conflicts stem from struggles over environmental resources. But for World Environment Day, it’s important to ask what’s the state of the world’s health, starting with the frontier realm of materials extraction and energy that feed our industrial economy. Read More

Trouble is Brewing in Nigeria's Oil Country
Chika Oduah (Foreign Policy, 2016)
Warri, Nigeria — Every attack on an oil pipeline leaves Felix Timileami feeling as if he’s on top of the world. The 39-year-old, who belongs to a recently formed — and as of yet unnamed — militant group, has taken part in raids on a number of oil facilities in... Read More


Please visit our jobs page to view these positions and other job opportunities.

DRC: Senior Analyst
30 August 2016 | Enough Project
The Senior Analyst on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will be responsible for investigating, researching, and writing about the drivers of high-level corruption and violence, focused on Kinshasa-linked networks. The position will require significant investigative research in the DRC and the Great Lakes region. Read More

Congo: Land-Use Planning Specialist
30 August 2016 | World Resources Institute
WRI seeks a senior Land Use Planning Specialist to support its efforts to lead multi-sectoral, data-driven, and inclusive land use planning processes across Central Africa. WRI’s approach focuses on developing information and decision-support tools as a basis for informing land use planning and allocation of rights to natural resources, as... Read More

Colombia: Fellow, Water & Cities
30 August 2016 | Conservation International
Conservation International is working to conserve ecosystems that provide water and prevent flooding in three of the five largest megacities in Latin Americas – Bogotá, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro. Together, these three cities are home to more people than California and almost as many as Spain. Read More

Colombia: Deputy Chief of Party (Deadline: 2016-09-02)
30 August 2016 | Chemonics
Chemonics seeks a deputy chief of party for the Colombia Carbono Activity. This USAID-funded activity will support Colombia in the implementation of its agriculture, forestry, and other land uses (AFOLU) climate change mitigation goals, while strengthening community-based sustainable development initiatives in the context of a post peace agreement scenario. Read More

Lebanon: Extension/Provision of Individual Services of an International Climate Change Adaptation Consultant (Deadline: 2016-09-07)
30 August 2016 | UNDP
UNDP Lebanon is recruiting an international consultant to prepare a concept note that identifies the scope for GCF climate change adaptation (CCA) projects in Lebanon, enabling the country to submit to and have access to GCF funds. Read More

South Sudan: Project Coordinator, Food Security (Deadline: 2016-09-09)
30 August 2016 | Norwegian Refugee Council
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a non-governmental, humanitarian organization with 60 years of experience in helping to create a safer and more dignified life for refugees and internally displaced people. NRC advocates for the rights of displaced populations and offers assistance within the shelter, education, emergency food security, legal... Read More

Sierra Leone: National Consultant to Contribute to The Development of a Five Year Strategic Implementation Plan (MMMR) (Deadline: 2016-09-16)
30 August 2016 | UNDP
The services of a national consultant is required to work alongside an international consultant to prepare a 5 Year Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) to guide the program activities of Sierra Leone's Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources. Read More

Nepal: Faculty Members Vacancy (Deadline: 2016-09-30)
1 July 2016 | Institute of Crisis Management Studies
The Institute of Crisis Management Studies is a newly established centre for academia focusing on management of crises, those occurring both as a result of human activity and natural causes. It offers a unique, multidisciplinary Master of Arts in Crisis Management, providing the very best national and international scholars, practitioners and... Read More

Sierra Leone: Urban WASH Advisor (Deadline: 2016-09-30)
30 August 2016 | GOAL
GOAL has grown its existing WASH programme portfolio considerably since the onset of the EVD outbreak, to encompass WASH in health facilities as well as community based water and sanitation programming at rural and urban levels, including GOAL’s membership of the Freetown WASH Consortium (FWC). Read More

DRC: WASH Project Manager (Deadline: 2016-10-31)
30 August 2016 | Medair
Medair is a humanitarian organisation inspired and motivated by Christian faith to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places. We bring relief and recovery to people in crisis, regardless of race, creed or nationality. Read More

Communications Manager (Deadline: 2016-12-31)
30 August 2016 | Global Witness
Global Witness invites candidates to help communicate and instigate with Global Witness, a dynamic international organization that investigates and campaigns to stop human rights and environmental abuses caused by corruption and the exploitation of natural resources. Read More

International News

South Sudan: Are South Sudan’s Wetlands in Danger of Drying up?
26 August 2016 | UNEP
The Sudd ecosystem and its unique cultures are threatened by a variety of development pressures including a plan to almost completely drain the wetland to divert water for agriculture downstream. Such pressures illustrate how unrestrained economic and political forces can threaten the degradation of a valuable and irreplaceable ecosystem and... Read More

Food Security: Food Security Issues Plague Middle East
23 August 2016 | Chris Lyddon, World Grain
The Middle East is a diverse region, but many believe it needs to work together to achieve greater food security. The region faces the challenge of conflict and its effects, particularly the mass movement of people, and the longer term challenge of climate change. Read More

Sudan/South Sudan: South Sudan Asks for Khartoum Technical Assistance to Resume Oil Production
23 August 2016 | Sudan Tribune
South Sudan First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai said that his country has asked Khartoum to provide technical assistance to restart oil production from oil fields in Unity area. Unity oil fields have been shut down since 2014 due to the fighting between the government and SPLM-IO troops. Read More

Myanmar: Myanmar Coffee to Hit Whole Foods as Economic Opening Continues
23 August 2016 | Luc Cohen, Reuters
Two shipments of coffee beans from Myanmar arrived in the United States this month, the first commercial-scale imports in over 15 years and the fruits of a U.S. government development program for farmers in the once-isolated southeast Asian economy. Read More

DRC: Katanga Youth Project Hopes to Cut Minerals Dependence
23 August 2016 | Victor Muisyo, Africa News
The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer, and heavily relies on the mining sector, which, alongside its small oil industries accounts for 98 percent of its export earnings. But majority of the citizens live in poverty. Read More

China: Chinese Fishermen Caught up in Asian Geopolitical Conflict
22 August 2016 | Lucy Hornby, Financial Times
The territorial tensions that are inflaming relations between China and its neighbours are due in part to a collapse in local fish stocks, which is pushing the Chinese fishing fleet into conflict with nearby states. Read More

Iraq: Iraq's New Oil Minister Sticks by Demand to Review Foreign Contracts
22 August 2016 | Reuters
Iraq wants to review contracts with oil companies to cut the fees that the firms receive when crude prices are low, the OPEC nation's new oil minister said, standing by a demand made by his predecessor. Read More

Colombia: How Cocoa is Part of Preserving Newly-Won Peace in Colombia
22 August 2016 | John Rivera, Sojourners
If an agreement is reached between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the current generation of Colombian youth will have a chance to see something they’ve never fully experienced before – peace. Read More

Afghanistan: Funding Cuts, Insurgency Hamper Afghan Goal to Clear Mines by 2023
19 August 2016 | Josh Smith and Mirwais Harooni, Reuters
Afghanistan's campaign to clear millions of landmines left by the Soviet invasion and ensuing civil war is in danger of stalling, as international aid slumps and militant violence makes more of the country inaccessible. The mammoth task, vital to the country's economic recovery, was to have been completed by 2013,... Read More

Myanmar: Year-Long Ban on Myanmar’s Logging Trade Kindles Hope for Forests
17 August 2016 | Ping Manongdo, Eco-Business
Myanmar has enacted a national logging ban for one year and a 10-year logging ban in the Pegu Yoma region to protect the country’s vastly emaciated forests which have been pillaged by illegal logging groups for years. Read More

Colombia: Fracking Operations Spur Violence and Unrest in South Colombia
17 August 2016 | Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports
Protests were reported in El Doncello, El Paujil, Morelia and Valparaiso where thousands of locals reportedly took to the streets to demand action that would protect their lands from the effects of fracking. According to the protesters, fracking activity of British oil company Emerald Energy in the Caqueta province is... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 12 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

Displacement and Environment in Africa: What is the Relationship?
29 August 2016 | UNEP
Droughts combined with population growth, a lack of sustainable land and water management, natural disasters, political conflicts and tensions and other factors have resulted in massive population movements across Africa. Displacement in Africa is the result of a multitude of causes including struggles for political power, communal violence, disputes over... Read More

Hope for Resolving the Water Conflict in the Middle East
22 August 2016 | Marwa Osman
The severity of the water issue in the Middle East is a key strategic issue in understanding future security decisions within the region. Nations in the region have many ongoing disputes, but few are more basic and deep-rooted as the need for water. Read More

From Machetes to Maps: How a ‘Red Line’ Eased Conflict in Bolivia’s Amazon
19 August 2016 | Candido Pastor
Over the past 30 years, Bolivia has tried to protect its valuable forests from agricultural clear-cutting by establishing a protected area system that covers more than 16 percent of the country’s territory. Although community-level conflicts have too often stood in the way of successful conservation efforts, the progress made in Carrasco National... Read More

Every Humanitarian is an Environmentalist
19 August 2016 | Erik Solheim
More than 130 million people worldwide need humanitarian assistance to survive. Some are caught in conflict. Some are caught in disasters beyond human control. Others are caught in disasters humanity has made worse. Read More

Peace Paves the Way for Environmental Gains in Colombia
18 August 2016 | Arnaud Peral
The armed conflict has left an immense ecological footprint and has limited the extent to which Colombia can achieve development through biodiversity. Read More

Beware the Illusion of China-ASEAN South China Sea Breakthroughs
17 August 2016 | Prashanth Parameswaran
According to China Daily, the 13th senior officials’ meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea ended with Beijing and ASEAN nations agreeing to “several breakthroughs.” These included approving guidelines for a ASEAN-China hotline for use during maritime emergencies, a joint declaration... Read More

About Our Community of Practice

Environmental Peacebuilding is a knowledge platform and global community of practice on natural resources, conflict, and peace, hosted by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), UN Environment, McGill University, and the University of Tokyo. The platform unites a global network of researchers, practitioners, and decision makers in sharing experiences and lessons from managing natural resources in fragile states and conflict-affected settings. The platform also helps people to access new publications on the topic, conduct new research, and participate in events to support the growth of the field. As part of our Community of Practice, we bring you biweekly updates on recent developments, including news about our program as well as links to new publications, upcoming conferences and events, and job openings.

Please visit us at www.environmentalpeacebuilding.org for more information. Financial support for the platform has been provided by the Government of Finland, USAID, and the European Commission. 

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