Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 71: 27 Sep 2016


Ambassador Marie Jacobsson to Receive Fourth Al-Moumin Award in Environmental Peacebuilding
27 September 2016
For the last three years, Ambassador Marie Jacobsson has served as the International Law Commission’s Special Rapporteur for the topic Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict. In the fourth Al-Moumin lecture, Ambassador Jacobsson will reflect on her experiences working with States and the United Nations to articulate,... Read More

2017 Warfare, Environment, Social Inequality, and Peace Studies (WESIPS) Biennial Conference Abstract Deadline
20 September 2016 | Organizers of WESIPS 2017
Please consider presenting a paper at the 2017 Warfare, Environment, Social Inequality, and Peace Studies (WESIPS) Biennial Conference to be held at the Center for Cross-Cultural Study in Seville, Spain on May 25-27, 2017.   Read More


In the last two weeks, 17 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Conflicted: The Fight over Congo's Minerals [Video]
Al Jazeera, 2016
AL Jazeera's newest Fault Lines episode travels to the region to hear from miners who have been struggling to make ends meet and questions advocacy groups that say Dodd-Frank 1502 has been a success. With evidence of fraud and smuggling, how can some of the biggest brands in the technology... Read More

Historical Changes of Land Tenure and Land Use Rights in a Local Community: A Case Study in Lao PDR
Saykham Boutthavong, Kimihiko Hyakumura, Makoto Ehara, and Takahiro Fujiwara (Land, 2016)
Land-titling programs, land and forest allocation programs, and projects on state-allocated land for development and investment in Laos have been key drivers of change in land tenure. These have triggered major shifts in land use rights, from customary, to temporary, and then to permanent land use rights. Read More

Energy Resources and Environmental Conflicts in Africa: Implications on Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Environmental Policy
Nelson Ijumba and Hassan Kaya (Journal of Human Ecology, 2016)
Using a survey of secondary sources on energy rich countries in Africa as case studies, the study demonstrates that environmental challenges associated with energy resources create key challenges in the 21st century Africa. The arguments extended are that: despite Africa’s rich endowment with wealth in energy resources including oil and... Read More

Challenges for Global Supply Chain Sustainability: Evidence from Conflict Minerals Reports
Yong H. Kim and Gerald Davis (Academy of Management Journal, 2016)
The vertically-integrated corporation of the 20th century has been replaced by disaggregated global supply chains across many industries. Dis-integration can reduce costs but also limits the ability to monitor and control critical processes, including labor practices and the sourcing of supplies. Read More

Agriculture as a Funding Source of ISIS: A GIS and Remote Sensing Analysis
Hadi H. Jaafar and Eckart Woertz (Food Policy, 2016)
Agriculture is an important source of income for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), which currently rules over large parts of the breadbaskets of the two countries. It has received limited attention compared to other sources of ISIS revenues such as oil, looting, ransom, foreign donations and various... Read More

The Climate Security Consensus Project Statement
The Climate Security Consensus Project (The Center for Climate and Security, 2016)
The Climate Security Consensus Project, a bipartisan group of 26 national security and military leaders, released a statement in September 2016 declaring that: “the effects of climate change present a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security” and urging a “comprehensive policy” in response. Read More

Scorched Earth and Charred Lives: Human Health and Environmental Risks of Civilian-Operated Makeshift Oil Refineries in Syria
PAX (Wim Zwijnenburg, 2016)
Many Syrian civilians have begun refining oil due to the drastic decline in production by professional oil refineries in Syria. The conditions in these makeshift refineries are causing enormous health and environmental pollution problems in the region. Read More

Drivers and Impacts of Fisheries Scarcity, Competition, and Conflict on Maritime Security
Robert Pomeroy, John Parks, Karina Lorenz Mrakovcich, and Christopher LaMonica (Marine Policy, 2016)
Increasingly, non-traditional threats to maritime security are linked to the issue of resource scarcity. An overriding challenge is to address the 'fish wars' cycle which influences or threatens maritime security, competition, conflict and sustainability. In the absence of effective maritime governance, state and non-state actors can engage in illicit activities. Read More

War Crimes Shouldn't Pay: Stopping the Looting and Destruction in South Sudan
The Sentry, 2016
After nearly two years of following the money underwriting South Sudan’s war economy, this report represents the first public release of the findings of The Sentry’s investigation into the links between public corruption and armed conflict. Read More


15 jobs were posted in the last two weeks. Here is a sampling of the new additions. Please visit our jobs page to view these positions and other job opportunities.

Greece: Shelter/WASH Officer (Deadline: 2016-09-30)
27 September 2016 | Danish Refugee Council
The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a humanitarian, non-governmental and non-profit organization, founded in 1956, that works in 40 countries around the world. DRC’s mandate is driven by three global strategic objectives within the DRC Assistance Framework: Saving lives and alleviation of immediate suffering among people affected by conflict; Safeguarding,... Read More

Iraq: Food Assistance Project Manager (Deadline: 2016-09-30)
27 September 2016 | World Vision
World Vision is currently seeking professionals to join our global humanitarian response in Kurdish Region Iraq (KRI) for Mosul, who are passionate about protecting lives, restoring dignity and renewing hope, especially among children affected by conflict. Read More

Campaign Leader, Myanmar Extractive Industries (Deadline: 2016-10-02)
26 September 2016 | Global Witness
Global Witness is looking for a campaign leader to use investigation and advocacy skills to stop oil, gas and mining industries in Myanmar contributing to grand corruption, conflict, human rights abuses and environmental degradation. The candidate will support extractives sector reform in Myanmar, building particularly on our ground-breaking investigations into... Read More

Yemen: Food Security and Livelihoods Program Manager (Deadline: 2016-10-04)
27 September 2016 | Save the Children
Save the Children is the world's leading independent organisation for children. We work in 120 countries. We save children's lives; we fight for their rights; we help them fulfil their potential. We work together, with our partners, to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve... Read More

Kenya: Project Manager (Regional Solar-WASH) (Deadline: 2016-10-06)
27 September 2016 | International Organization for Migration
IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. Read More

Myanmar: Women Roster for Monitoring Assistant (Deadline: 2016-10-07)
27 September 2016 | World Food Programme
The purpose of the Stand-By Roster is empowering women workforce participation at World Food Program in Myanmar and, therefore, qualified women are invited for the inclusion in the Stand-By Roster for the post of Monitoring Assistant at different duty stations in WFP Myanmar. Read More

Nepal: Agriculture Director (Deadline: 2016-10-22)
27 September 2016 | Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps specializes in development in transitional areas. Mercy Corps has been operating in Nepal since 2005, implementing programs in food security, agriculture, market development, financial services, youth engagement, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Read More

International News

Conflict Minerals: What it Takes to Make a Conflict-Free Smartphone
26 September 2016 | Thomas Wilson, Bloomberg
On a moonscaped rise in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands of men and women carve a heavy, off-white mineral away from the hillside with pickaxes, then wash it with shovels in man-made streams and haul it down the hill in 110-pound sacks. Read More

Timor-Leste: Global Court Agrees to Take up Timor, Australia Sea Border Row
26 September 2016 | ABC News
An international arbitration court has agreed to take up a decade-long border dispute between Australia and East Timor over territory in the Timor Sea that contains large oil and gas deposits worth an estimated $40 billion. Read More

Colombia: Colombia Peace Deal to Usher in Rural Reform but Land Conflicts Feared, Experts Say
23 September 2016 | Anastasia Moloney, Reuters
Conflicts over land in Colombia are likely to increase following a peace deal to end half a century of war as once no-go areas in the Andean country open up for business and development projects, land rights experts said. Read More

India: The Source of India's Water Wars
20 September 2016 | Stratfor
Rivers sharing boundaries, whether between other countries or internal states, are traditional points of conflict. Often governed by unpopular treaties, they are the subject of intense negotiations. India's transboundary rivers are no exception. Political disputes surrounding India's rivers are made all the more contentious by water stress and scarcity. Growing populations, increased... Read More

Conflict Minerals: US House Advances Conflict Minerals Reporting Repeal Measure
19 September 2016 | Chemical Watch
The US House Financial Services Committee has approved an amended version of a bill to repeal the US's conflict minerals reporting rule. Read More

Yemen: Ravaged by Conflict, Yemen's Coast Faces Rising Malnutrition
16 September 2016 | Ahmen Al-Haj, Associated Press
The U.N. estimates that about 100,000 children under the age of five in the city and the surrounding province, also called Hodeidah, are at risk of severe malnutrition. As Yemen's conflict dragged on, food prices soared and gasoline ran out. Read More

Conflict Minerals: Al Jazeera Documentary on DRC Minerals up for Emmy
16 September 2016 | Screen Africa
Conflicted: The Fight Over Congo’s Minerals is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting in a News Magazine. It’s one of five Fault Lines episodes nominated and one of ten nominations for Al Jazeera. Read More

ICC Widens Remit to Include Environmental Destruction Cases
15 September 2016 | John Vidal and Owen Bowcott, Guardian
Environmental destruction and landgrabs could lead to governments and individuals being prosecuted for crimes against humanity by the international criminal court following a decision to expand its remit. In a change of focus, the ICC said on Thursday it would also prioritise crimes that result in the “destruction of the... Read More

Liberia: Liberia Land Policy a ‘Challenge to National Development’
14 September 2016 | Mark M. Dahn, Mongabay
Liberians are anxiously awaiting the passage of the stalled Land Rights Act, which many land experts in Liberia say will help drastically curtail conflicts. Liberia has long been plagued by disputes over land for farming and forestry including double land sales, corporate land grabbing, local disputes over territory, and equal gender... Read More

Climate Change: Climate Change Could Pose 'Significant Risk' to US National Security, Reports Say
14 September 2016 | Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News
A bipartisan group of military experts released a statement and two reports today arguing that climate change poses a significant risk to U.S. national security. The statement, released by the bipartisan group Climate Security Consensus project, argues that the effects of climate change will put a strain on water, food... Read More

Myanmar: Obama to Lift Myanmar Sanctions, Including Those on Dirty Jade, Sooner than Human Rights Organizations Wanted
14 September 2016 | Benjamin Soloway, Foreign Policy
After meeting Wednesday with Myanmar’s de facto leader and fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, U.S. President Barack Obama made an announcement that few would have expected when he took office in 2008: The United States would roll back economic sanctions and restore trade benefits to the Southeast Asian... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 14 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

UN Special Rapporteur Calls for Action on TRW to Protect Children
23 September 2016 | Wim Zwijnenburg
This month, Baskut Tuncak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxics, presented the findings of his report on the effects of hazardous substances on the lives of children around the world to the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council. Read More

Water Wars: Unease in the South China Sea—New Normal or Quiet before the Storm?
23 September 2016 | Chris Mirasola
Updated satellite imagery from Google Earth revealed four new concrete structures on Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island (Itu Aba). Taiping Island is the largest maritime feature in the South China Sea and was essential to the Hague tribunal finding jurisdiction in the China-Philippines arbitration. Read More

White House Announces Steps to Address Climate and National Security Alongside New Intelligence Assessment
22 September 2016 | Schuyler Null, Cara Thuringer, and Lauren Herzer Risi
Yesterday afternoon President Obama announced a new Presidential Memorandum on climate change and national security. The policy directs 20 federal agencies to consider the national security implications of climate change and establish a working group that will develop a Climate Change and National Security Action Plan for the federal government. Read More

Myanmar: The Next Great Land Tenure Reform?
20 September 2016 | Roy Prosterman
Since World War II, there have been five great Asian development success stories founded upon land tenure reforms that allocated land ownership, or equivalent long-term land rights, into the hands of small farmers. Will Burma be the sixth? Read More

Major Water Disputes Are Often beyond War and Peace
19 September 2016 | Filippo Menga and The London Water Research Group
Early this June, the Israeli government cut off drinking water to people living in the Salfit region of the West Bank and three villages east of Nablus. The consequences have been dire. Thousands of Palestinians have been left with no running water in their homes, and factories have been forced to shutter. Read More

Can International Cooperation Revitalize Wetlands on Afghanistan-Iran Border?
15 September 2016 | Fatemeh Aman
Efforts to revive the Hamoun wetlands on the Iran-Afghanistan border are intensifying. A recent panel at the Atlantic Council described international involvement as vital both to help resolve this environmental challenge and to raise awareness about the devastating impact of climate change on the region. Read More

China, the Underdog Now, Will Work with Vietnam on Sea Dispute
14 September 2016 | Ralph Jennings
Senior officials from China and Vietnam, never friends and even less so over the past two years, vowed this week to work more together – substantially – on a deep maritime dispute. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pledged Tuesday they would “properly manage maritime differences and further enhance bilateral substantial cooperation”... 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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The strength of the knowledge platform depends on submissions and suggestions on contents from users. To share publications and information on events, job opportunities, and other announcements, please contact share@environmentalpeacebuilding.org. Please also feel free to share ideas on how the platform can be further improved to meet your needs.

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