Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 76: 6 Dec 2016


Registration is Open for the 2017 International Peace Park Expeditions
28 November 2016 | International Peace Park Expeditions
Registration for 2017 is open for undergraduate and graduate students for International Peace Park Expeditions three Accredited Academic Expeditions on Environmental Peacebuilding (http://eepurl.com/cqKArz). Earn academic credit, visit multiple countries, and learn from local and international experts about environmental peacebuilding, transboundary cooperation, international development, ecotourism and the language of peace and... Read More


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

Water Issues, from Source of Conflict to Vehicle for Regional Cooperation and Stability

8 December 2016 | Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel

In cooperation with the global German political foundation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – Israel, and the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Tel Aviv, EcoPeace Middle East will hold an Israeli and international stakeholder roundtable event on December 8th at the INSS conference hall in Tel Aviv. Read More

Sustainable Development in the Lower Mekong: Prioritizing Environmental Security

8 December 2016 | US-Asia Institute, Washington, DC

This will be a discussion on sustainable development in the Lower Mekong Delta region in Asia. The United States launched the Lower Mekong Initiative in 2009 with the foreign ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Burma in order to enhance cooperation in environment, health, education, and infrastructure development. Read More

Presentation: Strategic Report: Environment, Peace and Security – A Convergence of Threats

9 December 2016 | Interpol & UNEP, Washington, DC

A presentation on the forthcoming UNEP INTERPOL “Strategic Report: Environment, Peace, and Security – A Convergence of Threats,” is scheduled on December 9, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM during LJD Week at the World Bank Headquarters. The speakers will present the report and facilitate discussion around it. Read More

Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders 2016 Awards

9 December 2016 | Alliance for Peacebuilding & Peace Direct, Washington, DC

The Alliance for Peacebuilding and Peace Direct are proud to announce that we have selected winners for our Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders competition! This annual competition selects winners from three peacebuilding categories: “Women-led Peacebuilding”, “Inter-Religious Peacebuilding” and “Environmental Peacebuilding”. Read More

Artisanal Mining, Property Rights, and Development

13 December 2016 | USAID LandLinks, Webinar

Join USAID LandLinks and leading experts in artisanal mining for an interactive online discussion about the challenges faced by small-scale and artisanal miners around the world, as well as emerging lessons from global development programs that work with artisanal mining communities across different sectors. Read More


In the last two weeks, 16 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Navigating Complexity: Climate, Migration, and Conflict in a Changing World
Schuyler Null and Lauren Herzer Risi (Wilson Center and USAID, 2016)
Record levels of displacement and accelerating climate change have prompted many to wonder if the world is headed toward a more violent future. Whether a policymaker, practitioner, diplomat, or peacebuilder, the nexus of climate change, migration, and conflict is posing fundamental challenges in a myriad of ways. Read More

North Korea and Green Diplomacy -- An Opportunity for Peace Building?
Saleem Ali and Rakhyun E. Kim (Environmental Law and Policy, 2016)
International environmental agreements have historically been considered to be in the realm of “low politics”, disconnected from the “high politics” of war and peace. There is growing evidence, however, suggesting that, if the issues are framed appropriately with a scientific exchange, and mediation, ecological factors can foster cooperation between perceived adversaries. Read More

Women Economic Participation in Conflict Affected Countries
Ann Hudock, Karen Sherman and Sarah Williamson (The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, 2016)
The inability to put women entrepreneurs at the center of post-conflict reconstruction is one of development’s greatest failures. Addressing this issue requires more than gender lenses on post-conflict assessments or consultations with women’s groups when experts design macroeconomic development frameworks. Read More

Practical Guide on the Social Aspects of Oil, Gas and Mining
Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid, 2016
With little or no access to relevant information and technical advice, limited public participation and weak organization, local communities confronted with the arrival of oil, gas and mining companies often cannot realistically assess the potential risks or advantages that a project might bring to their community. Read More

Special Focus Yemen: What Does the Conflict Induced Public Sector Crisis Mean for Food Security in Yemen?
World Food Programme (World Food Programme, 2016)
Since the breakout of conflict in Yemen in March 2015, the population has been the primary victim, sustaining air bombardments, rocket attacks and economic blockades. Over 10,000 people have been killed, approximately 4,000 of them civilians, and 3.15 million Yemenis are internally displaced. Read More

Scoping and Status Study on Land and Conflict: Towards UN System-Wide Engagement at Scale
Filiep Decorte, Clarissa Augustinus, Erika Lind, and Michael Brown (UN Human Settlements Programme and Global Land Tool Network, 2016)
Global Challenges. Member States and United Nations staff are increasingly concerned that land is more and more a trigger for conflict, or a re-lapse into conflict, and a bottleneck to recovery. This situation will be made worse in the coming decades by global challenges such as population growth, urbanization, increasing... Read More

A Rapid Overview of Environmental and Health Risks Related to Chemical Hazards in the Mosul Humanitarian Response
UNEP and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2016
This report provides a rapid, not fully exhaustive, overview of the chemical hazards related to ongoing military operations that aim to retake the city of Mosul in Iraq from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Read More


17 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.

Africa Peacebuilding Advisor
5 December 2016 | Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular... Read More

French Speaking Experts in WASH – Available Immediately - Expert Deployment/ NORCAP (Deadline: 2016-12-08)
5 December 2016 | Norwegian Refugee Council
Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) is part of the dedicated Sustainable Development Goal’s of the 2030 Agenda, which demands that we address universal access to drinking water and sanitation along with issues of quality and supply, in tandem with improved water management to protect ecosystems and build resilience.  Water scarcity,... Read More

South Sudan: Food Security & Livelihood Advisor (Deadline: 2016-12-09)
5 December 2016 | World Vision
World Vision is a humanitarian, development and advocacy organisation devoted to improving the lives of children, families and their communities around the world. Our 45,000+ staff members working in more than 90 countries are united through our ethos, mission and shared desire for all individuals, especially children, to overcome poverty,... Read More

Farming Systems Specialist for the USAID Funded Africa RISING West Africa (WA) Project (Deadline: 2016-12-12)
5 December 2016 | International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a non-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. Read More

Consultancy: WASH in Emergencies Surge Mechanisms Consultant (Deadline: 2016-12-17)
5 December 2016 | UN Children's Fund
The purpose of this consultancy is to support the WASH in Emergencies team in managing the transition to the new system hosting the global WASH roster and to ensure that relevant candidates can be identified quickly when surge needs are expressed.  Read More

Livelihoods & Economic Opportunities Specialist (Deadline: 2016-12-18)
5 December 2016 | Pact
At the heart of Pact is the promise of a better tomorrow.  The promise of a healthy life.  Of a decent livelihood. Of sustainable natural resources that benefit communities.  Now more than ever in its 42-year history, Pact is helping millions of people who are poor and marginalized discover and... Read More

Palestine: Emergency Project Manager (Deadline: 2016-12-21)
5 December 2016 | Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
ACTED started its activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in May 2007, with a food security programme in the West Bank. ACTED Occupied Palestinian Territory plans to expand its mission through agriculture, water supply, and economic development projects. Read More

International News

Afghanistan: The Taliban and China's Quest for Afghan Copper
2 December 2016 | Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi, Deutsche Welle
It sounds paradoxical: The Taliban want to support and encourage big infrastructure and development projects in Afghanistan. That's the bottom line of an unexpected statement the insurgent group published on its website on Tuesday, November 29. For more than a decade, the militant Islamists have been dominating the headlines because of their frequent bomb... Read More

Climate Change: Climate Change Already Major Security Threat – Military Chiefs
1 December 2016 | RT
Climate change and the ‘unimaginable’ refugee crisis which will follow is a threat right now and shouldn’t be seen merely as something which may emerge in the future, military chiefs have said. Speaking ahead of a major London conference on security and the climate, serving and retired military figures said... Read More

Syria: Toxic Hell of Syria’s Oil Fields
1 December 2016 | Kieran Cooke, Middle East Eye
The satellite images tell the story: black, T-shaped marks littered across areas of the land in eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State. On closer inspection, these are small, makeshift oil refineries – analysts have counted nearly 6,000 sites near Deir Ezzor, the main centre of Syria’s oil industry, and say... Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: Mosul: Drone Vision Shows 'Smoke-Filled Hell' Facing Civilians near Iraq's Burning Oil Fields [Photos]
1 December 2016 | ABC News
Newly released drone vision has revealed the devastation burning oil fields are having on communities near the Iraqi city of Mosul. Aid agencies said Islamic State militants had set fire to at least 19 oil wells in the Qayarrah district, south of Mosul, as they were forced to retreat by... Read More

Colombia: Latin America Has Most Unequal Land Distribution, Colombia Fares Worst — Charity
30 November 2016 | Anastasia Moloney, Reuters
Land distribution in Latin America is the most unequal in the world where only one percent of the farms and estates control more than half of the region's productive land, aid group Oxfam said on Wednesday. Read More

Liberia: Global Witness Pleased with Liberia’s New Oil Law
29 November 2016 | FrontPageAfrica
Global Witness has welcomed Liberia’s new Petroleum Law, which marks a significant step towards the transparent management of the country’s oil sector, but warns that new regulations are also necessary to ensure that it is effective. Read More

Conflict Minerals: EU Reaches Final Agreement on Conflict Minerals Regulation – An Overview
29 November 2016 | Michael R. Littenberg, Amanda N. Raad, Katerina Sandford, Emily Burke, and Julia Chen, Ropes & Gray LLP
On November 22, the EU Council, Commission and Parliament reached an informal final agreement on a conflict minerals regulation. Last week's agreement builds upon the "political agreement" reached during June. The regulation generally will require EU smelters and refiners and direct importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (3TG) into... Read More

South Sudan: South Sudan Unveil Measures to Improve Non-Oil Revenues
29 November 2016 | Sudan Tribune
South Sudan’s economy is currently in dire straits as the local currency, South Sudan Pound has fallen by over 50% and revenue generated from oil, the mainstay of foreign earnings, is at its lowest in the past years, leading to macroeconomic spillovers and consequent quest for economic diversification. Read More

India/Pakistan: Pakistan Warns against Use of Water as an Instrument of Coercion
25 November 2016 | Pres Trust of India
In an apparent reference to row over Indus Water Treaty, Pakistan has warned against use of water as an instrument of coercion or war and asserted that international community must remain vigilant to any sign of unwillingness to maintain cooperation on resolving water issues. Read More

Water Resources ‘a Reason for Cooperation, Not Conflict,’ Ban Tells Security Council
23 November 2016 | UN
Noting that three quarters of UN Member States share rivers or lake basins with their neighbours, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted the value of water resources as a reason for cooperation, not conflict. “The need for coordination in water management is especially compelling for the more than 260... Read More

Land Mine Casualties Jump 75% as Funding for Their Removal Declines
23 November 2016 | Rick Gladstone, New York Times
Despite a global treaty that bans land mines, casualties from those weapons and other unexploded munitions lurking in current and past war zones rose sharply last year to the highest point in a decade, a monitoring group said Tuesday in its annual report. Read More

South China Sea: Oil Becoming Code for Sovereignty in Contested South China Sea
23 November 2016 | Ralph Jenning, Voice of America
The search for oil and natural gas is seen as a driving factor in rival claims to the South China Sea, with many of the countries in the region currently reliant largely on fuel imports. Analysts who follow the South China Sea disputes point to national sovereignty as a top... Read More

Afghanistan: Spice of Life: Saffron Harvest Offers Jobs, Opportunity in Afghanistan
23 November 2016 | Jalil Ahmad Razayee, Reuters
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, selling for as much as $1,200-$1,800 a kilogram, and has long been seen as an alternative crop to opium poppies for poor farmers in a country struggling with the legacy of decades of war and lawlessness. Read More

Myanmar: Sweden Sets Legal Precedent with Prosecution of Myanmar Teak Trader
15 November 2016 | Mike Gaworecki, Mongabay
A Swedish court upheld a ruling today that finds an importer of teak from Myanmar to be in violation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) — setting a legal precedent that conservationists hope will be followed across Europe. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 8 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

Modi's Dangerous Anti-Pakistan Antics Could Push the Two Countries towards a Water War
4 December 2016 | Usman Ali Khan
Recently, the distribution of water between two Indian states Tamil Nadu and Karnataka has become a source of conflict over water divide, sweltering both into flames. This issue is India's internal matter regarding water distribution from the river Cauvery. Read More

Water Wars: Beijing Charts Post-Election Path Forward
2 December 2016 | Chris Mirasola
Many have wondered how China would respond to uncertainty regarding the US’ role in the Asia-Pacific since last month’s election. If news from this week is any indication, it appears that a more assertive regional posture from Beijing may be in the cards. Read More

The Environmental Consequences of Iraq's Oil Fires Are Going Unrecorded
1 December 2016 | Doug Weir
The oil fires burning in and around the northern Iraqi town of Qayyarah began in July when retreating Islamic State forces ignited wells, storage tanks and a refinery. Fires at facilities on the Alas oil field near Baiji and Tikrit around 100km south east of Qayyarah have been burning since... Read More

Why You Should Care about More Than Just “Conflict Minerals” in the Congo
28 November 2016 | Carol Jean Gallo
Starting around the early 2000s, a global human rights advocacy movement was mobilized to raise awareness of how certain raw materials in electronics came from mines controlled by armed groups in eastern Congo. In the international press, the advocacy message often made a direct link between cell phones and violent atrocities in the... Read More

No Sun over Qayyara
27 November 2016 | Benedetta Argentieri
A haze of thick black smoke obscured the view of the sky. The only source of illumination was a wall of flames at least three-stories high. A constant humming drone came from boiling oil which looked like lava ready to spill out from a volcano. Suddenly a small pin prick... Read More

The New EU Conflict Minerals Regulation — Is It Something to Be Thankful for?
24 November 2016 | Dynda A. Thomas and Christina Economides
Since the US Presidential Election 2 weeks ago, some have been looking forward to a possible repeal of the US conflict minerals rule by a newly-elected Trump Administration. But, the completion of the negotiations on the new EU conflict minerals regulation makes it clear that companies should not slow their... Read More

Food Scarcity Causes Conflicts — But So Can Food Abundance. Here’s Why.
23 November 2016 | Ore Koren
For a new U.S. administration facing global security challenges, the relationship between food security — what the World Bank defines as “access to enough food for an active, healthy life” — and armed conflict deserves serious consideration. As new research shows, even an abundance of food resources can cause conflict. Read More

Water Wars: Duterte Entrenches New Normal in South China Sea
23 November 2016 | Chris Mirasola
In a stark upending of the status quo, Philippine vessels have had access to traditional fishing grounds around Scarborough Shoal for the past month.  This breakthrough followed a State visit to Beijing in mid-October, where Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte finalized a raft of strategic and economic deals, including enhanced... 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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