Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 74: 8 Nov 2016


Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War
31 October 2016 | The Video Project
The award winning documentary Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War and five companion shorts are now available at no charge.  Visit www.scarredlandsfilm to find these valuable free digital resources. You are invited to share the links to raise awareness and help your community connect the dots... Read More


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

Webinar: Land Tenure in Kosovo

9 November 2016 | USAID and LandLinks, Online

Join USAID to learn more about land tenure and property rights country by country, starting with Kosovo. In this 30 minute webinar we will examine land tenure and property rights in Kosovo, and explore USAID’s recently updated Land Tenure Country Profile for Kosovo with Dr. Maureen Moriarty-Lempke, the country profile’s primary author. Read More

Water Security and Sustainable Development for our Common Future

22 November 2016 – 23 November 2016 | EcoPeace Middle East, Dead Sea, Jordan

The conference will uniquely bring together high level national decision makers from Jordan, Israel and Palestine, residents and mayors from cross-border communities, international stakeholders and media. We anticipate over 300 attendees taking part in two days of presentations and discussions. Access to water and water security issues will be the focus of the first day of... Read More

Training Course on Gender Integration in Food and Nutrition Security

5 December 2016 – 9 December 2016 | Indepth Research Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Women in developing countries play a crucial role in meeting the food and nutrition needs of their families through the three pillars of food security which are; food production, economic access to food, and nutrition security. Read More

Training Course on Shelter & Settlement Planning

5 December 2016 – 9 December 2016 | Indepth Research Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Shelter & settlement planning in emergencies helps you understand strategies and practices that are intrinsic to the shelter sector and humanitarian sector in general. The training aims to improve the effectiveness of specialist and non - specialist in emergency response. Read More

Planetary Security Conference 2016

5 December 2016 – 6 December 2016 | Planet Security Initiative & Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands), The Hague, Netherlands

The Planetary Security Initiative is glad to announce the (tentative) dates for the second edition of the Planetary Security conference: 5 and 6 December, 2016. Venue will be, as last year, the Peace Palace in The Hague. Read More


In the last two weeks, 11 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Gidon Bromberg on Environmental Peacebuilding in the Lower Jordan Valley [Audio]
Gidon Bromberg (Environmental Change and Security Program and Maternal Health Initiative, 2014)
“When you turn on the tap in any community in Israel, water will always flow. That’s not the case in Palestine, and it’s not always the case in Jordan either,” says Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director of EcoPeace Middle East, in this week’s podcast. Read More

Oil Fires in Iraq
Joshua Stevens and Pola Lem (NASA Earth Observatory, 2016)
For the past few months, a smoke plume has shifted with the winds over northern Iraq. In recent years, periodic oil fires have cast a dark pall over this arid landscape. They are one consequence of ongoing war in the region. Read More

High-Value Natural Resources and Transparency: Accounting for Revenues and Governance
Levon Epremian, Päivi Lujala, and Carl Bruch (Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, 2016)
The increase in demand and prices of most high-value natural resources over the past five decades has resulted in massive income gains for resource-abundant countries. Paradoxically, many of these countries have suffered from slow economic growth, weak political institutions, and violent conflict. Read More

Achieving Sustainable Development in Rural Areas in Colombia: Future Scenarios for Biodiversity Conservation under Land Use Change
Valeria Borona, Esteban Payánb, Douglas MacMillana, and Joseph Tzanopoulos (Land Use Policy, 2016)
Agricultural expansion is a complex land use change phenomenon with deep environmental and socio-economic consequences, especially across tropical countries where most of this expansion is occurring. Here we use scenario and network analysis combined with sustainability assessment to understand the drivers of landscape change and their effects on sustainable development... Read More

The Conflict Minerals Effect Video Series Part III: Impact on Creation & Our Partners [Video]
David Smart (Creation Technology, 2016)
The third and final installment of the first Conflict Minerals Effect video series discussed the direct impact – cost, resources, and opportunities – that the Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals legislation has on the company and customers. Read More

The Conflict Minerals Effect Video Series Part II: Industry Challenges [Video]
David Smart (Creation Technology, 2016)
This second installment of video series on conflict minerals discusses industry challenges and the effectiveness of the Dodd Frank legislation. Read More

The Conflict Minerals Effect Video Series Part I: The Conflict Minerals Effect [Video]
David Smart (Creation Technology, 2016)
Supply chain awareness is critical for OEMs. Especially when the raw materials used to make their electronic products might have ties to terrorist groups and human rights abuses in Central Africa. Read More

Water Stress in Global Transboundary River Basins: Significance of Upstream Water Use on Downstream Stress
Hafsa Munia, Joseph Guillaume, Naho Mirumachi, Miina Porkka, Yoshihide Wada, and Matti Kummu (Environmental Research Letters, 2016)
Growing population and water demand have increased pressure on water resources in various parts of the globe, including many transboundary river basins. While the impacts of upstream water use on downstream water availability have been analysed in many of these international river basins, this has not been systematically done at... Read More

Transboundary Water Interaction III: Contest and Compliance
Mark Zeitoun, Ana Elisa Cascão, Jeroen Warner, Naho Mirumachi, Nathanial Matthews, Filippo Menga, and Rebecca Farnum (Springer, 2016)
This paper serves international water conflict resolution efforts by examining the ways that states contest hegemonic transboundary water arrangements. The conceptual framework of dynamic transboundary water interaction that it presents integrates theories about change and counter-hegemony to ascertain coercive, leverage, and liberating mechanisms through which contest and transformation of an... Read More

A Criminal State: Understanding and Countering Institutionalized Corruption and Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Sasha Lezhnev (Enough Project, 2016)
The Democratic Republic of Congo is not a failed state—for everyone. It is a failure for the vast majority of Congolese who suffer from abysmal security, health care, and education services. However, it is an efficient state for ruling elites and their commercial partners who seek to extract or traffic... Read More


11 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.

Coordinator, Peace and Development Partnerships Program
6 November 2016 | Conservation International
The Coordinator provides technical and operational support to PDP activities, including providing assistance with the implementation of CI’s Environmental Peacebuilding Strategy; developing basic training packages in peace and conflict-sensitive conservation for CI staff and partners; leading PDP communication efforts; researching potential institutional partnerships with humanitarian, relief and development organizations; and... Read More

Jordan: Syria Livelihoods Advisor (Deadline: 2016-11-10)
6 November 2016 | CARE USA
CARE is seeking a qualified livelihoods expert to support CARE’s growing portfolio of livelihoods activities across Syria. Since 2013, CARE has been working from multiple hubs and through a range of partners to provide food, WASH, health and shelter support to conflict-affected populations, and now requires additional capacity to further... Read More

Iraq: WASH Manager, Northern Iraq (Deadline: 2016-11-13)
6 November 2016 | Norwegian Church Aid
For its 2014 established office in Dohuk, NCA is recruiting a WASH Manager for North Iraq. The programs in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Ninewa governorate include integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene promotion (WASH) to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps and returnees in host communities.  Read More

Emergency Programme Manager – Engineering WASH, Surge Team (Deadline: 2016-11-13)
6 November 2016 | Concern Worldwide
Description of role: Read More

Iraq: Regional WASH Technical Expert (Deadline: 2016-11-15)
6 November 2016 | Norwegian Church Aid
For its newly re-opened and officially registered office in Amman, Jordan, NCA is recruiting an experienced Regional WASH engineer to support the expansion and quality assurance of its programs in Lebanon, North Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Read More

Sierra Leone: International Consultant Technical Advisor (Deadline: 2016-11-16)
7 November 2016 | UNDP
The UNDP Sierra Leone Country Office through its Energy, Environment & Natural Resource Management (EENRM) Cluster works together with including Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the private sector, NGOs, and local communities to strengthen capacities for environmentally sustainable and climate resilient development. Read More

International News

Afghanistan: Illegal Mining, Weak Government Help Taliban Expand in Afghan North
6 November 2016 | Jawad Kakar, Reuters
Afghan Taliban militants have strengthened their grip on lucrative illegal mining operations in the north of the country, as security forces focus most of their efforts on battling the insurgency in the volatile south, officials said. Read More

Conflict Minerals: Conflict Diamonds May Not Be on the Radar, but They're Still a Worry for Some
6 November 2016 | Natalia Wojcik, CNBC
More than a decade ago, the illicit diamond trade was among the most urgent of humanitarian causes, with governments and celebrities rallying around efforts to curtail their role in the world's jewelry supply. Today, the overwhelming majority of the world's diamond supply comes from stable countries. Read More

Iraq: ISIL's Scorched Earth Policy is Wrecking Iraq's Environment and Creating a Public Health Nightmare
6 November 2016 | Alternet
Civilians in Northern Iraq are suffering suffocation and respiratory illnesses due to what appears to be a scorched-earth policy employed by retreating ISIL militants following the launch of a major military offensive to retake the city of Mosul. Read More

Top UN Official: Environmental Protection in War More Urgent Than Ever
3 November 2016 | UNEP
In a year dominated by the tragedy of war, there is no more urgent time to address the need to protect the environment in armed conflicts, Ambassador Marie G. Jacobsson said today at the Fourth Annual Al-Moumin Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding. Read More

Afghanistan: How Opium Fuels the Taliban’s War Machine in Afghanistan
28 October 2016 | Hashim Wahdatyar, Diplomat
The nexus between the Taliban and opium cultivation stems from the establishment of its regime. In 1997, only Pakistan and Saudi Arabia recognized the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and provided assistance to the movement while most of the world balked due to their brutal actions against democracy, human rights, women,... Read More

Myanmar: From Secret Meetings to Public Exhibitions: A New Era of Environmental Activism
28 October 2016 | Samuel Schlaefli, Myanmar Times
Environmental activists have enjoyed more freedom since the “opening up” of the country five years ago, but challenges remain – especially regarding access to information. It was not the Sihasana (lion throne) or the poorly lit betel spittoons that drew people to Yangon’s National Museum early last Sunday morning. Read More

Colombia: Colombia’s Coca Growers Fear New Peace Accord
27 October 2016 | Erika Piñeros, IRIN
In the wake of the shock referendum result earlier this month that derailed the peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), city-dwelling Colombians are pressuring the government to salvage the deal. Read More

South Sudan: Following the Herd: How Cows Fuelled the War in South Sudan, and How They Can Consolidate the Peace
27 October 2016 | Simon Allison, Daily Maverick
As South Sudan struggles with the aftermath of its bloody civil war, the fate of its estimated 12-million cattle will be crucial in helping the country get back on its feet. But the animals have not been immune to the war’s devastating consequences, and the scrawny, disease-ravaged herds are not... Read More

Colombia: Environmental Peacebuilding Training for Executives from Colombia
26 October 2016 | Meredith Smith, Earth Institute
With colleagues at the Center for Information and Earth Sciences Information Network, AC4 designed and offered a one-week intensive executive training program in Environmental Peacebuilding. Fifteen professionals, most from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogatá, Colombia, participated during September 26th-30th at Columbia University. Read More

Myanmar: Myanmar to Consider Becoming Full Member of Mekong River Commission: President
26 October 2016 | Xinhua
Visiting Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw said Wednesday that his country agreed to consider becoming full member of the Mekong River Commission (MRC). U Htin Kyaw made the remark while holding talks with Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang in Vietnam's capital Hanoi during his state visit to Vietnam, reported the... Read More

Climate Security: Charlie Rose and Director Clapper on Climate and National Security
26 October 2016 | Center for Climate and Security
On October 25, 2016 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sat down with PBS’s Charlie Rose to look back on his career and six years as director of national intelligence. The conversation, hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, touched on some of the most pressing issues of the day including... Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: How the Islamic State is Using Scorched Earth Tactics as it Retreats
26 October 2016 | Laris Karklis, Washington Post
Satellite imagery of the current operations by Iraqi forces to retake Mosul reveal how the Islamic State can inflict damage even when the militant group is on the run. Iraqi forces began the operation to retake Mosul on Oct. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 11 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Can Myanmar’s Hydropower Study Truly Be for the People?
7 November 2016 | Pianporn Deetes
The deadly conflict is taking place around the construction site of the Hat Gyi hydropower dam on the Salween River. The 1360-megawatt project is slated for development by a consortium of Thai, Chinese and Myanmar companies, with the electricity generated to be exported to Thailand. Read More

Impact of Conflict Minerals Ruling Begins to be Seen
2 November 2016 | Celia Taylor
Perhaps the most important result of the long and tortured legal proceedings in Nat'l Ass'n of Mfrs. v. SEC ("NAM") is the ultimate finding that the requirement that issuers in certain circumstances must label their products as “non-DRC conflict free” violates their First Amendment rights.   Read More

Rising Water Wars between Indian States
30 October 2016 | Dr. Yogesh Sharma
India has been facing friction over the sharing of river waters. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been fighting like two warring nations over sharing of Cauvery River water. Punjab, Haryana and Delhi have also been engaged in a horrid conflict over sharing of the water of Sutlej River and the... Read More

Water Wars: Sifting through the Tea Leaves in the South China Sea
28 October 2016 | Chris Mirasola
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Beijing last week precipitated a busy news week as commentators and government officials tried to discern how closer Philippine-Chinese cooperation would affect US-Philippine ties and regional security. Two issues from Duterte’s Beijing visit provoked particular scrutiny: what President Duterte meant when he declared Manila’s “separation from the U.S”... Read More

ICC Expands Remit to Environmental Crimes: Is This What the People of Cambodia Have Been Waiting for?
28 October 2016 | Hannah Gerber
Cambodia’s land reforms in 2001 have led to over 10 years of violent and coercive land grabs, damaging the livelihoods of nearly 10,000 Cambodian citizens. These reforms initially legalized the act of spontaneous land-grabbing when such dispossession is justified by public interest of the state. Read More

EU Regulation on Conflict Minerals Has Low Potential to Trigger Dynamic Changes in Supply Chains
27 October 2016 | Chiara Macchi
The first version of the EU draft Regulation on conflict minerals came as a disappointment to the many civil society actors. EU institutions were split, with the Commission and Council favouring a soft approach and the European Parliament proposing amendments that would impose binding due diligence requirements on both upstream... Read More

How to Make Peace with the Forest: Development and War in Colombia
26 October 2016 | Hannah Meszaros Martin
On September 26, the Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP was signed with a pen made from a bullet, while the Air Force “fumigated” the colours of the Colombian flag over a crowd all clad in white. 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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