Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 75: 22 Nov 2016


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

Conflict Minerals Supply Chain Compliance & Transparency Forum

30 November 2016 – 2 December 2016 | Business Intelligence Services, Berlin, Germany

This exclusive BIS forum showcases the best strategies and approaches to optimize conflict minerals supply chain transparency while developing resilient business driven ethical and sustainable sourcing strategy. Vice Presidents, Directors, Heads, Managers and Analysts engaged in supply chain management will meet to share and exchange advanced practices, methodologies, tools and... 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, 21 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Water During and After Armed Conflicts: What Protection in International Law?
Mara Tignino (International Water Law, 2016)
This paper offers an analysis of the principles and rules protecting water in situations of armed conflicts. The monograph also gives insights on the legal mechanisms open to individuals and communities after a conflict. Practice of international organizations and judicial decisions are examined in order to define the contours of... Read More

Evaluation of the Bankruptcy Approach for Water Resources Allocation Conflict Resolution at Basin Scale, Iran’s Lake Urmia Experience
Ershad Oftadeh, Mojtaba Shourian, and Bahram Saghafian (Water Resources Management, 2016)
Water conflicts appear when there are insufficient and less available water resources than water demands claimed by different agents. In this study, a new bankruptcy approach is investigated to resolve water conflicts in the Zarrinehroud River Basin, the largest and most important sub-basin of Lake Urmia’s Basin in the northwest... Read More

Using a Novel Climate-Water Conflict Vulnerability Index to Capture Double Exposures in Lake Chad
Uche T. Okpara, Lindsay C. Stringer, and Andrew J. Dougill (Regional Environmental Change, 2016)
Climate variability is amongst an array of threats facing agricultural livelihoods, with its effects unevenly distributed. With resource conflict being increasingly recognised as one significant outcome of climate variability and change, understanding the underlying drivers that shape differential vulnerabilities in areas that are double-exposed to climate and conflict has great significance. Read More

Causal Linkages between Environmental Change and Conflict
Charlène Cabot (Springer, 2016)
There are many approaches to the causal linkages between environmental change and conflict. This chapter reviews the different schools of thought (including both theoretical considerations and supporting studies). The chapter begins by introducing one of the best-known approaches, inspired by Malthusianism, which stipulates that environmental change and population growth will... Read More

The Farmer Becomes the Criminal -- Human Rights and Land Confiscation in Karen State
Caroline Stover (Human Rights Watch, 2016)
In Burma, where 70 percent of people earn a living through agriculture, securing land is often equivalent to securing a livelihood. But instead of creating conditions for sustainable development, recent Burmese governments have enacted abusive laws, enforced poorly conceived policies, and encouraged corrupt land administration officials that have promoted the... Read More

From Coca to Butterflies: Managing Natural Resources for Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. A Case Study of Otanche Community, Colombia.
Ani Mosulishvili (Lund University, 2016)
Inspired by environmental peacebuilding literature, this research explores the peacebuilding potential of natural resources through a qualitative case study of a conflict-affected community’s transition of livelihood strategies from coca cultivation to butterfly farming. The fieldwork was carried out with peasant families in rural Otanche - a biodiversity-rich area that, besides... Read More

The Inequality-Resource Curse of Conflict: Heterogeneous Effects of Mineral Deposit Discoveries
Joeri Smits, Yibekal Tessema, Takuto Sakamoto, and Richard Schodde (United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, 2016)
Despite a sizeable literature, there is no consensus as to whether and how mineral resources are linked to conflict. This paper estimates the relationship between giant mineral deposit discoveries and the intensity of armed conflict (measured by battle deaths) around the world in the post-war era. Read More

Managing Resource-Related Conflict: A Framework of Lootable Resource Management and Postconflict Stabilization
Vita Roy (Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2016)
States endowed with valuable lootable natural resources tend to experience longer armed conflicts, more intense fighting in extractive regions and face a higher risk of recurring conflict than states without such resources. At the same time, many states defy resource-fueled conflict traps and set up institutional arrangements that seem to... Read More

For Better or Worse: Major Developments Affecting Resource and Conflict Dynamics in Northwest Kenya
Janpeter Schilling, Thomas Weinzierl, Augustine Ekitela Lokwang, and Francis Opiyo (Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, 2016)
The county of Turkana, located in northwest Kenya, has a long history of violent conflicts. These are fought by pastoral groups over scarce water, land, pasture and livestock resources. Now oil has been found in Turkana, fuelling both hopes for a resource blessing and fears of a resource curse. Read More


9 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.

Myanmar: Water Access Market Analysis Consultancy (Deadline: 2016-11-25)
21 November 2016 | Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is an international development organization that helps people around the world survive and thrive after conflict, crisis and natural disaster. MercyCorps is looking to engage a short-term consultant for its Water Access Market Analysis in Yangon, Southern Shan and Rakhine States. Read More

Lebanon: WASH Expert – South Base (Deadline: 2016-12-02)
21 November 2016 | Acción Contra el Hambre España
In coordination and under the supervision of the Action Against Hunger South Head of Base and with the technical support and oversight from the WASH Coordinator, will be responsible of monitoring and supervision of all WaSH projects in South Lebanon (2 or more), organize, follow up and capacitate the project teams,... Read More

Regional Director, Sahel and West Africa (Deadline: 2016-12-04)
21 November 2016 | Mines Advisory Group
Mines Advisory Group’s work has helped more than 16 million people in conflict-affected communities in over 40 countries since 1989, giving them greater safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and futures. Read More

DRC: Financial Service Development Specialist (Deadline: 2016-12-20)
21 November 2016 | Banyan Global
Banyan Global is currently seeking qualified candidates for Financial Service Development Specialist positions on an anticipated USAID-funded Feed the Future Value Chain Activity in Kivu, DRC. The goal of the activity is to expand economic opportunities for vulnerable populations participating in coffee and other selected value chains. Read More

International News

Myanmar: What Myanmar Could Learn from Singapore about Urban Water Management
21 November 2016 | Aye Sapay Phyu, Myanmar Times
Here is a vision of Yangon’s future. Its 17 reservoirs, fed by 8000 kilometres (5000 miles) of drains, rivers and canals, provide ample fresh water to residents, while also serving as boating lakes and beachfront attractions. Read More

Myanmar: Drugs, Money and Wildlife in Myanmar's Most Secret State
17 November 2016 | BBC
The remote Wa region of Shan state in Myanmar's east is a place few outsiders have seen. The people who live in this unofficial, effectively autonomous state within Myanmar used to be called the Wild Wa, and as the BBC's Jonah Fisher found, drugs, money and the wildlife trade are flourishing. Read More

Colombia: Illegal Gold Mining in Colombia is Destroying the Rainforest
16 November 2016 | Bram Ebus, Newsweek
Colombia’s 52-year-old civil war has devastated the country’s Pacific coast, so close to 80 percent of the people who voted in the recent referendum supported a peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: Several Oil Wells Still on Fire Near Mosul, Affecting Health and Environment
16 November 2016 | Rudaw
Almost three months after the retreating Islamic State set oil wells ablaze in Qayyara, 60 km south of Mosul, more than a dozen oil wells continue to burn and release black smoke into the sky. Locals also complained of health issues related to the smoke, in particular respiratory problems. Read More

Bolivia: Bolivia's Water Warriors, Reignited
16 November 2016 | Nasya Razavi
“They’re charging for air,” laments a Cochabamba resident. It is July 2016, and a serious drought has affected Cochabamba and its surrounding municipalities. After the levels of the reservoirs and subterranean waters dropped by 30%, Semapa, the municipal water company, has begun rationing water. Read More

Afghanistan:Climate Change Fuels Insurgency in Afghanistan
15 November 2016 | Agence France-Presse
The mountainous land-locked country was classed in 2012 as among the most vulnerable to climate change, a worldwide problem that is the subject of a UN conference in Marrakesh this week. And it is here that the knock-on effects of global warming will be keenly felt. Read More

Sudan/South Sudan: Security Council Extends Mandate of Interim Security Force for Abyei, Recognizing Situation as Serious Threat to International Peace
15 November 2016 | United Nations
Recognizing that the situation along the Sudan-South Sudan border remained a serious threat to international peace and security, the Security Council decided this afternoon to extend until 15 May 2017 the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Read More

Conflict Minerals: New Initiative Aims to Advance Responsible Sourcing of Raw Materials in Technology Supply Chains
15 November 2016 | Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition
The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) today announced the launch of the Responsible Raw Materials Initiative (RRMI) to address the most significant social and environmental impacts related to the extraction and processing of raw materials used in the global supply chains of technology companies... Read More

Satellite Images Map Deforestation
14 November 2016 | Caitlin Bird, Boston University
Satellite images of forests in New England—and across the world—are allowing experts to observe how they are changing over time, and in doing so, to measure deforestation. Read More

Kuwait: Photos of the Gulf War Fires that Turned Kuwait's Oil Fields into Hell
13 November 2016 | Sebastião Salgado, VICE
Oil was both the beginning and the end of the story of the Iraqi invasion. Baghdad insisted that it had an historical claim to the territory of Kuwait, but what most angered Saddam Hussein was his perception that overproduction by Kuwait's oil industry was weakening the global oil price. Read More

Unfriendly Fire: Why Environmental Protection Must Be a Priority in Armed Conflict
11 November 2016 | UNOCHA
Contamination of natural resources is devastating communities, leaving behind toxic ruins and detrimental environmental and humanitarian consequences, which can last for generations. But while these pernicious tactics are hardly new, protection of the environment in armed conflicts has not featured prominently on the international agenda in over two decades. Read More

Afghanistan: Farmers See Pay Off in Adopting Modern Methods in Herat Province
8 November 2016 | World Bank
Nangabad village lies in Enjil district, 25 kilometers from Herat city, the provincial capital. Agriculture is the village’s primary source of income and livelihood, and the majority of the villagers are farmers, growing mostly grapes. The grapes are dried to raisins before being sold in Herat city markets. 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:

So What Should We Do about Conflict Minerals Compliance for Next Year?
18 November 2016 | Cydney Posner
As of now, Forms SD and conflict minerals reports are still due on May 31, 2017.  With all the discussion, in light of the election results, of rolling back legislation and regulations, through the Financial CHOICE Act and otherwise, many are wondering whether they should still plan to file those... Read More

How to Ensure That You Are in Compliance with New EU Due Diligence Regulations
18 November 2016 | Source Intelligence
In a recent decision, the European Union reported it reached an agreement concerning how it will regulate conflict minerals. The new guidelines set forth will require that companies who are involved in the importing of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) perform their due diligence to ensure that the minerals... Read More

120 minutes: A Story of a Water Master and Transformative Irrigation in Afghanistan
13 November 2016 | Bashit Ahmad
As the local mirab - “water master” and I walked along the high-elevation canal, high winds blew sand in our mouths and eyes. The elevation canal in Herat province is famous for its “120 days of wind.” Located in the far west of Afghanistan, Herat is home to the Hari... Read More

From Syria to Iraq: Federalize or Perish
8 November 2016 | Norman Ricklefs and Hadi Fathallah
Federalism is the natural solution to the crisis gripping Syria and the Sunni regions of Iraq. Unfortunately, calls for federalism are often viewed in the Middle East as a conspiracy against regime stability and sovereignty and as a gateway to a new Sykes-Picot carving up national borders. But federalism can work. Read More

Progress on Protecting the Environment from Conflict is Long-Overdue
8 November 2016 | Doug Weir
As Islamic State forces had retreated, they had opened oil pipelines, and blown-up well heads. The smoke plumes from the wells were so intense they were visible from space. By mid-October, three wells were still burning. Residents who had fled were returning to their homes, facing exposure to the noxious fallout from... 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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