Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 73: 25 Oct 2016


IUCN AEL Call for Papers: Workshop 2017
25 October 2016 | IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Research Committee
Notwithstanding the protection afforded by domestic, regional and international legal instruments, the environment is often the mute victim of armed conflicts, from civil wars, drug wars, terrorism and other forms of violence that rage across many parts of the world. Read More

Climate Security Policy Recommendations - Request for Support
25 October 2016 | The Center for Climate and Security
The Climate Security Working Group-International would like to produce a useful guide to existing recommendations in this field for the defense, diplomacy, development and multilateral institutions sectors. I've built the structure for this work, in the form of an Evernote database, but could use some support in adding publications. Read More

ECSP Is Seeking Winter/Spring 2017 Interns!
20 October 2016 | Environmental Change & Security Program (Wilson Center)
The Environmental Change and Security Program is seeking interns to write for our award-winning blog, New Security Beat, network with leading experts in the environment, development, and security, and work closely with the friendly, dynamic “Green Team” at the Wilson Center Read More


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

Mining in the Colombian Páramo: The Ongoing Struggle to Halt Eco Oro's Angostura Project in Santurbán

26 October 2016 | Committee for the Defense of Water and the Santurbán Páramo, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense, and the Center for International Environmental Law, Washington, DC

The Colombian páramos (high altitude wetlands) are unique and sensitive ecosystems that provide the country with 70% of its potable water. The case of Eco Oro, a Canadian mining company (formally Greystar Resources), is emblematic of Colombia's ongoing battle to protect the páramo. Read More

Combating Violent Kleptocracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo

27 October 2016 | Enough Project, Washington, DC

Please join distinguished experts on the Great Lakes region of Africa as they discuss how to address the crises of democracy and conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The event will launch a new Enough Project comprehensive study authored by Sasha Lezhnev, "A Criminal State: Understanding and Countering... 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

Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative Conference 2016

7 November 2016 – 10 November 2016 | Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, Santa Clara, CA

Once a year, experts and practitioners from industry, governments, and civil society from around the globe and across 3TG supply chains gather to discuss key challenges, best practices and the changing regulatory landscape on responsible sourcing and supply chain due diligence.  This conference will bring together stakeholders to discuss strategies,... 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:

The Climate-Conflict Nexus: Pathways, Regional Links, and Case Studies
Tobias Ide, P. Michael Link, Jürgen Scheffran, and Janpeter Schilling (Springer, 2016)
The role of climate change as a potential cause of violent conflict has been debated in the scholarly and policy communities for several years. We review the most recent quantitative and qualitative literature and find that research on the issue has produced little consensual findings so far. Read More

Water Rights: An Assessment of Afghanistan's Legal Framework Governing Water for Agriculture
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 2016
“Water is the lifeblood of the people of Afghanistan, not just for living but also for the economy, which has traditionally been dominated by agriculture.” Nearly “80% of Afghanistan’s population derive their livelihood from the agriculture sector.” And, agriculture remains one of Afghanistan’s principal growth sectors. Read More

Iraq: Mosul Humanitarian Response Situation Report #1 (17 – 19 October 2016)
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2016
The commencement on 17 October of the operation to retake Mosul city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marked an escalation of the Level 3 emergency in Iraq. There are grave concerns for the women and men, girls and boys caught up in what could become... Read More

Mitigating Transboundary Wastewater Conflicts: Building Partnerships and Trust through Collaborative Dialogue
Clive Lipchin, Jaclin Best, Jacob Cutler, and Shira Kronich (Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 2016)
The effects of the seemingly intractable conflict between Israel and Palestine extend well beyond the political sphere into daily life. Wrangling over the use and management of limited resources, particularly water, gives everyday activities a political weight of their own. Read More

Depoliticizing Water Conflict: Functional Peacebuilding in the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project
Karin Aggestam and Anna Sundell (Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2016)
This article analyses the nexus of technocracy–peacebuilding and its implications on water conflicts and hydropolitics. It is a conceptual exploration which advances an interdisciplinary approach by combining theories from two distinct research fields: peacebuilding and transboundary water management. Read More

Practical Guide: Mining and Communities
Lien De Brouckere (Communities First, 2016)
Working in partnership with Kabinet Cisse (Guinea-based consultant) and more than a dozen authors, especially those affiliated with Insuco, Lien De Brouckere was the lead researcher and editor-in-chief of the Practical Guide, Mining & Communities: Supporting human rights-based development in the context of industrial mining in Guinea, published in June 2015... Read More

Europe’s Twenty‐First Century Challenge: Climate Change, Migration and Security
Michael Werz and Max Hoffman (European View, 2016)
Most of the refugees arriving in Europe are fleeing civil war and unrest. However, it is important to recognise how the second-order effects of climate change—which can undermine agriculture and increase competition for water and food resources—are contributing to instability and decisions to migrate. Read More

Fluid Sovereignty: State–Nature Relations in the Hasbani Basin, Southern Lebanon
Michael Mason and Mohamad Khawlie (Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 2016)
The concept of fluid sovereignty denotes configurations of state authority in which flows of living and nonliving things, within and across borders, render insecure claims of unconditional territorial control. Loss of monopoly control of the means of violence within a territory conventionally signals weak political sovereignty. Read More


13 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.

Iraq: WASH Manager – Mosul Preparedness (Deadline: 2016-10-27)
24 October 2016 | CARE
CARE International (CARE) in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KR-I), together with our partners, has been providing humanitarian assistance to people affected by the current conflict in Iraq since 2014. CARE, is currently in the process of preparing for a humanitarian response to the expected offensive to retake Mosul which... Read More

Cameroon: WASH Officer (Deadline: 2016-10-27)
24 October 2016 | UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UNHCR and its implementing partners have extensively been working to ensure the provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) assistance is maintained to these various caseloads leading to a progressive improvement of the situation. However, the standards are yet to be achieved. Read More

Greece: Project Manager Food Security, Chios Island (Deadline: 2016-10-27)
24 October 2016 | Norwegian Refugee Council
NRC started operations on Chios in mid-October 2015 and has since directly assisted over 70,000 refugees and migrants, working together with the Greek authorities, humanitarian actors and volunteers to set up and maintain a dignified and efficient flow of refugees from arrival at the beach, via registration and reception facilities,... Read More

Turkey: Projects Manager – Water & Sanitation (Syria) (Deadline: 2016-11-02)
24 October 2016 | Gopa Worldwide Consultants
Realising that the world’s natural resources are limited and fragile, GOPA considers en­vironmental protection to be an important component of its corporate responsibility and consistent with its overall goals and values. GOPA is committed to providing quality services in a manner that ensures a safe and healthy workplace for our... Read More

Myanmar: Food Security and Livelihood Head of Department (Deadline: 2016-11-04)
24 October 2016 | Action Contre la Faim
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger. Recognized as a leader in the fight against malnutrition, Action Against Hunger | ACF International saves the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with access to safe water and sustainable... Read More

Nepal: Agriculture and Market Development Director (Deadline: 2016-11-13)
24 October 2016 | Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is looking for an energetic Agriculture Director to manage a large, donor funded integrated nutrition and agriculture development project, who is willing to lead multiple partners and a large field team in the development of a sound agriculture system.  Read More

Liberia: Chief of Party (Deadline: 2016-12-01)
24 October 2016 | Project Concern International
Project Concern International (PCI) has emerged as a dynamic, leading organization in the areas of food and livelihood security, improved child nutrition, social and economic empowerment of women, and strengthened community resilience through its commitment to local capacity building, program quality, and rigorous measurement of sustainable impact. Read More

International News

Colombia: What Does Peace in Colombia Have to Do with the Environment?
24 October 2016 | Camila Bustos and Marcela Jaramillo, Guardian
After 52 years of war, the government finalised a peace accord to cease conflict and construct stable and long lasting peace in Colombia. Without a doubt, the armed conflict has left a footprint on Colombian landscapes and ecosystems. According to the Colombian organisation Dejusticia, the armed conflict has been accompanied... Read More

Afghanistan: UN Report Finds Settling Water Disputes Key to Economic Growth, Avoiding Conflict
23 October 2016 | UN
The demand for water to support agricultural development in conflict-plagued Afghanistan often results in high-stakes water disputes, according to a new United Nations report released today, which underscores the need for more effective and transparent means of resolving the differences. Read More

DRC: The Policy Analyst Going after War Financing in the Congo
21 October 2016 | Ozy
Holly Dranginis is a 32-year-old senior policy analyst for the Enough Project, an advocacy group dedicated to ending genocide and crimes against humanity. It’s not easy to identify ways to cut off financial support to perpetrators of mass atrocities and hold them accountable. Read More

Sudan/South Sudan: Swedish Lundin Petroleum Company Investigated for Crimes in Sudan, South Sudan
21 October 2016 | Sudan Tribune
A Swedish oil company, Lundin Petroleum, which operated in Sudan and the then Southern Sudan’s oil rich Unity state in the past, has been investigated for being allegedly complicit in crimes against humanity. The investigation is a follow up of a similar case opened against the oil company six years agao. Read More

Liberia: The Growth of a New Palm Oil Frontier
20 October 2016 | Clair MacDougall, Guardian
Open doors, fertile soils, high levels of rainfall and large tracts of uncultivated land made Liberia an obvious choice for palm oil companies, says Golden Veroleum Liberia’s CEO David Rothschild. The company’s long-term investment in Liberia, which it says will reach $1.6bn, was signed in 2010 towards the end of... Read More

DRC: 'Catastrophic' Decline in Eastern Lowland Gorilla Blamed on Mining for Minerals Used in Mobile Phones
20 October 2016 | Aislinn Laing, Telegraph
The Eastern lowland gorilla, the world's greatest ape, has suffered a "catastrophic decline" in the restive Democratic Republic of Congo, blamed on mining for minerals used in mobile phones. Scientists said the numbers in the wild have dwindled three quarters in 20 years, to just 3,800 from 17,000 before civil... Read More

China/South China Sea: China Using Ecological Protection to Boost Claims in Disputed Waters
19 October 2016 | Ralph Jennings, Voice of America
China's public order to keep away from a rare, environmentally unique ocean sinkhole in the Paracel Islands signals a new effort to tighten its grip on a tract of water disputed with Vietnam and monitored by the United States. Read More

Afghanistan: Research Farms Build Foundation for Afghanistan’s Agriculture
19 October 2016 | World Bank
The agricultural engineers at the Urdo Khan Research Farm, one of 10 regional research stations across the country owned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), are conducting research to produce breeder seeds appropriate to local conditions in the country. Read More

Colombia: Plan Colombia Casts Shadow on Indigenous Rights as Peace Nears
12 October 2016 | teleSUR
Marginalized Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Colombia have been among the most battered by more than five decades of internal armed conflict between the military, paramilitaries and armed left-wing rebel groups. They are also the communities that overwhelmingly voted “Yes” to the groundbreaking peace deal recently defeated at the polls... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 9 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Environmental Damage as a Weapon of War? Open Source Industrial Risk Analysis of the Mosul Battle
25 October 2016 | Wim Zwijnenburg
The start of the operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (IS)  has seen unprecedented use of environmental pollution as a means to hinder the advancing of troops and as an apocalyptic scorched earth tactic. Read More

As Ivory Becomes Bigger Issue, Environmental Peacebuilding Gaining Ground at IUCN World Congress
21 October 2016 | Bethany N. Bella
A traditional conservation approach to climate change (e.g., habitat restoration, species protection) has been a primary tenet of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) agenda for decades. But this fall at the quadrennial World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i there were new discussions about tackling climate change in the context of... Read More

Conflict Minerals – In Anticipation of EU's Legislation, Learn from the US
12 October 2016 | Camillo Giovannini and Christopher T. McClure
In the last two decades, there has been an increasing international focus on the so called “conflict minerals” which are mining operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries. The main issues are the armed groups actively engaged in mining operations in this region that by... Read More

Statement to the UN General Assembly First Committee on the Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflicts (PERAC)
12 October 2016 | Jessica Dorsey
As armed conflict affects the environment, and vice versa, this forms a vicious cycle in which civilians all too often bear the brunt, including those who find themselves wherever water infrastructure is damaged, a chemical factory or oil installation is destroyed, munitions containing toxics are used or unexploded ordnance blocks... Read More

How We Saved Climate-Smart Seeds from the Conflict in Syria
12 October 2016 | Mahmoud Solh
Since war broke out in Syria, 11 million people have fled their homes. In 2012, the turmoil reached the doorstep of ICARDA Agricultural Research Station in Tel Hadya near Aleppo in Syria. Almost 40 years of research on crops, livestock, soil and water, that was supporting sustainable agriculture development projects... 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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