Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 72: 11 Oct 2016


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

Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group Meeting

13 October 2016 | EPWG, Washington, DC

The Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Thursday, October 13 from 3:00PM-5:00PM. Following introductions and updates from participants, Marina Djernaes will talk about EcoPeace Middle East and the new office they are opening in Washington, DC. Read More

Oil and Gas Operations in Areas Disputed Between States

24 October 2016 | American Society of International Law, New York, NY

Where which State is entitled to control oil and gas resources in a particular area is disputed, companies wishing to exploit those resources face risks not experienced by most projects. These particular risks arise from the fact that the legal foundation for engaging in oil and gas activity depends upon... Read More

Fourth Al-Moumin Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding: Ambassador Marie Jacobsson

3 November 2016 | American University, ELI, and UNEP, Washington, DC

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


In the last two weeks, 20 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Targets of Opportunity: Analysis of the Use of Depleted Uranium by A-10s in the 2003 Iraq War
Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir (International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons and PAX, 2016)
The US and UK have acknowledged firing 116,000kg of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition in the 2003 Iraq War. Just over 45% of this was fired by one platform, the US A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft. Read More

Making Afghanistan Self-Reliant: The Infrastructure and Mining Sector the Country Needs
Rohullah Osmani and Jan Brecht-Clark (Foreign Affairs, 2016)
i early October, representatives from about 70 countries and 30 international organizations and agencies will gather in Brussels to attend the Partnership for Prosperity and Peace conference on Afghanistan. The meeting comes as the country is facing security and political challenges, declining economic growth, and a brain drain. Read More

Energy Governance, Transnational Rules, and the Resource Curse: Exploring the Effectiveness of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
Benjamin K. Sovacool, Götz Walter, Thijs Van de Graaf, and Nathan Andrews (World Development, 2016)
Transnational standards for disclosure have become a defining feature of global governance and sound economic development, yet little is known about their effectiveness. This study statistically explores the efficacy of such standards for the important case of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international non-governmental organization which maintains a... Read More

Mapping Recent Developments in Transparency of Extractive Industries
Zorka Milin (Business and Human Rights Journal, 2016)
Secrecy and poor human rights often go hand in hand with each other, especially in developing countries that are rich in natural resources. This is part of the phenomenon known as the “resource curse”—the paradox that many resource-rich countries tend to be even worse off than otherwise similarly situated countries:... Read More

The Feasibility of Implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the Extractive Industry in Nigeria
Oyeniyi Abe (Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy, 2016)
Extractive resource governance has been a challenging task for resource-rich countries in Africa. It has fuelled civil wars, ethnic clashes and underdevelopment in this region. This has turned the so-called resource wealth into resource curse. To address this particularly nauseating challenge, the international community came together to adopt the UN... Read More

Rivers and Borders: Exploring Cooperative Narratives in Conflict Zones [Video]
Saleem H. Ali (The Univerisity of Queensland, 2016)
Professor Saleem H. Ali discusses opportunities for regional cooperation and peacebuilding along riparian borders, particularly in India and Pakistan, in a presentation at the 2016 International Rivers Symposium in New Dehli. Read More

Breaks with the Past: Conflict, Displacement, Resettlement and the Evolution of Forest Socio-Ecologies in Sierra Leone
Paul Munro and Greg van der Horst (Routledge, 2016)
Through a multidisciplinary approach, African Frontiers counters the superficial, Eurocentric and gender insensitive dominant discursive representation of Africa within the discourse of war and conflict management, and security and peace/nation-building. The chapters historicize and theorize the realities in postcolonial African states, and the ramifications on the continents future. Read More

The Institutions Curse: Natural Resources, Politics, and Development
Victor Menaldo (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
The ʽresource curseʼ is the view that countries with extensive natural resources tend to suffer from a host of undesirable outcomes, including the weakening of state capacity, authoritarianism, fewer public goods, war, and economic stagnation. This book debunks this view, arguing that there is an ʽinstitutions curseʼ rather than a... Read More

Discussion Paper: Development Approaches to Forced Displacement in the Great Lakes Region
UNDP, 2016
Migration and displacement are key priorities for UNDP’s support for achieving the sustainable development agenda in the Great Lakes Region (GLR). In preparation for the 2016 UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, this Discussion Paper presents UNDP’s role in promoting development approaches to forcibly displaced population groups in the GLR,... Read More

Avoiding Catastrophes: Seeking Synergies among the Public Health, Environmental Protection, and Human Security Sectors
Peter Stoett, Peter Daszak, Cristina Romanelli, Catherine Machalaba, Ronald Behringer, Frank Chalk, Stephen Cornish, Simon Dalby, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Zaryab Iqbal, Tom Koch, Florian Krampe, Marieme Lo, Keith Martin, Kyle Matthews, and Jason W. (The Lancet Global Health, 2016)
Global health catastrophes have complex origins, often rooted in social disruption, poverty, conflict, and environmental collapse. Avoiding them will require a new integrative analysis of the links between disease, armed conflict, and environmental degradation within a socioecological vulnerability and human security context. Read More


12 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.

Program Manager – Resilience and Climate Change
10 October 2016 | Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps alleviates poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Our Program Department supports field-led work that delivers measurable impact. Read More

Afghanistan: WASH Program Manager (Deadline: 2016-10-15)
10 October 2016 | Solidarités International
SI has been working in Afghanistan for 35 years. SI is currently implementing Food Security (1 Linking Relief Rehabilitation and Development project, 1 Natural Resources Management project, 1 Rural Development project) and Emergency (1 Food Distribution, 1 Cash For Work) programs. The mission is also managing several WASH projects in... Read More

DRC: Food Security Specialist (Deadline: 2016-10-16)
10 October 2016 | Norwegian Refugee Council
The Norwegian Refugee Council is an independent humanitarian organisation helping people forced to flee. Whatever it takes. NRC is a determined advocate for displaced people. When NRC witnesses injustices, it alerts the world. It promotes and defends displaced people's rights and dignity in local communities, with national governments and in... Read More

Jordan: Regional Advisor for Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WASH) - Region Middle East (Deadline: 2016-10-19)
10 October 2016 | Norwegian Refugee Council
The Norwegian Refugee Council is an independent humanitarian organisation helping people forced to flee. Whatever it takes. NRC is a determined advocate for displaced people. When NRC witnesses injustices, it alerts the world. It promotes and defends displaced people's rights and dignity in local communities, with national governments and in... Read More

Liberia: Country Manager (Deadline: 2016-10-20)
10 October 2016 | International Alert
International Alert is looking for an entrepreneurial individual who has a talent for strategic programme development in the peacebuilding sector. To do this, the individual will have strong process and interpersonal skills which will enable you to gain and maintain the trust and respect of government actors, the business community... Read More

Turkey: WASH Cluster Coordinator-Turkey/Syria (Deadline: 2016-10-31)
10 October 2016 | Global Communities
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Read More

Rwanda: Impact Director (Deadline: 2016-12-03)
10 October 2016 | One Acre Fund
The Rwanda Impact Director is broadly responsible for leading and improving TUBURA’s current and future impact. The position is responsible for managing the entire Innovation team, which is the driving force behind improving TUBURA’s programs, products and services to farmers. Read More

International News

Afghanistan: Afghan Opium Production Increases as Eradication Collapses, UN Says
5 October 2016 | Reuters
Opium production in Afghanistan increased this year to one of the highest levels on record as efforts to eradicate the crop in a country that provides much of the world's heroin collapsed, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Read More

Iraq: Iraqi Forces Burn ISIS Poppy Fields to Curtail Heroin and Opium Revenue
5 October 2016 | Iraqi News
Iraqi security forces burned a 16 thousand square meter field planted with opium poppies belonging to ISIS gangs near Sharqat district in Salahuddin province. Iraqi media outlets explained that ISIS relies on the cultivation of opium poppies to finance part of its operations. Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: Exclusive: U.S. Helped Clinch Iraq Oil Deal to Keep Mosul Battle on Track
4 October 2016 | Reuters
Iraq and the U.S.-led military coalition backing it are relying on cooperation from the Kurds to retake Mosul from the ultra-hardline jihadists and undermine their self-proclaimed caliphate. For Washington, defeating Islamic state has been one of the major foreign policy objectives under the second term of president Barack Obama, who... Read More

Conflict Minerals: Conflict Cobalt Uncertainty Continues to Haunt Consumer Industries
3 October 2016 | Greg Klein, Resource Clips
Nine months after issuing a report on cobalt produced by child labour, Amnesty International says major manufacturers still can’t guarantee conflict-free sources. The organization’s January report focused on the Democratic Republic of Congo, where children work in dangerous conditions up to 12 hours a day, making between $1 and $2... Read More

Sudan/South Sudan: Sudan, S. Sudan Border Commission Approves Demarcation Documents
1 October 2016 | Sudan Tribune
The Joint Border Commission (JBC) between Sudan and South Sudan on Thursday has endorsed a number of documents pertaining to the border demarcation, said Sudan’s official news agency SUNA on Friday. The JBC has held its sixth meeting in Addis Ababa from 26 to 29 September under the auspices of... Read More

Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Fish Now as Precious 'as Diamonds'
29 September 2016 | World Bulletin
Despite an abundance of fish in Sierra Leone’s waters, ordinary people are finding out that this part of their daily food is now increasingly becoming scarce due to “artificial shortages” created by foreign vessels fishing off the country’s shores. Read More

Myanmar: Advanced Israeli Farming Technology offers Options for Myanmar
29 September 2016 | Hong Sar, Mizzima
Israel uses technology for turning the country from desert into a successful agricultural economy. In the dry zone, they use computerized irrigation system and water vapour irrigation in agriculture. Read More

Colombia: Rebels Could become Guides, Cheesemakers in Post-War Colombia
28 September 2016 | Julia Symmes Cobb and Nelson Bocanegra, Reuters
Veterans of Colombia's FARC guerrilla army could soon be making a living as eco-tourism guides, beef processors or cheese makers under plans by the Marxist group to invest in economic projects once a peace deal takes hold. Vast swathes of rural land abandoned for decades because of war will be open to... Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: ISIS No Longer Controls Any Iraqi Oil
28 September 2016 | Rudaw
Following the recapture of Shargat and Qayyarah – two oil-rich towns in northern Iraq – by the Iraqi army, the Islamic State (ISIS) no longer holds an oil well in Iraq, forcing the terrorist group to rely on other resources as it suffers from a lack of fuel. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 7 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

Vietnam Influences China’s Quiet Legal Compliance in South China Sea Dispute
10 October 2016 | James Borton and Tai Van Ta
It’s been nearly three months since the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued its landmark ruling in the Philippines vs. China case, resulting in a nearly unanimous victory for Manila and a humiliating legal defeat for Beijing in their overambitious assertion of power and authority over vast expanses... Read More

We Have Money to Fight Climate Change. It's Just That We're Spending it on Defense.
8 October 2016 | Kenneth Pennington
Climate change poses imminent threat to global and national security. CIA analysts and our nation’s military strategists are rightfully naming it as a contributor to refugee flows, the spread of disease, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water. Read More

Do the ILC’s Draft Principles on Remnants and Data Sharing Reflect State Practice?
6 October 2016 | Doug Weir
A new report from PAX and ICBUW on the legacy of depleted uranium use in the 2003 Iraq War could help inform the debate initiated by the International Law Commission this summer on the emerging legal principles for the post-conflict management of toxic and hazardous remnants of war. Read More

Combat vs. Climate
5 October 2016 | Miriam Pemberton
Our military calls climate change "an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources like food and water." And this month the Obama administration announced a comprehensive strategy to incorporate climate change into our national security strategy. But there was... Read More

As Colombia Pursues Peace, Nature Could be Powerful Bridge
30 September 2016 | Molly Bergen
On October 2, Colombian voters will vote on a historic peace deal between the government and rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known by their Spanish acronym FARC) that would formally end a 52-year armed conflict in the South American country. Read More

Myanmar’s Forests Face Myriad Problems as Logging Ban Continues
29 September 2016 | Jennifer Rigby
Between 1990 and 2015, Myanmar lost nearly 15 million hectares of forest and other wooded land. Since 2010, half a million hectares of forest has been lost every year, or an area about the size of Brunei. Read More

Sierra Leone's Farmers Continue to Fight Multinational Land Grabs
28 September 2016 | Silas Gbandia
A former member of Sierra Leone’s parliament has spoken of his determination to put an end to what he describes as the “underhand deals” taking place between the authorities and international palm oil producers in his country. 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. 

Sharing and Posting Materials

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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September, 2016 2827 4898 2405
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May, 2016 2746 6095 2170
November, 2013 298 5866 108

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