Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 79: 17 Jan 2017


Public Consultation: Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct
9 January 2017 | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Businesses can play a major role in contributing to economic, environmental and social progress, especially when they minimise the adverse impacts of their operations, supply chains and other business relationships. The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises recommend that enterprises conduct due diligence in order to identify, prevent or mitigate and... Read More

Funded PhD in Newcastle
5 January 2017 | Northumbria University School of Law
The adoption of non-compliance procedures has become common practice in Multilateral Environmental Treaty Regimes. The task of such procedures tends to be three-fold: firstly, they provide a system by which States report on their efforts in the implementation of treaty commitment; secondly, they provide a forum by which alleged incidences... Read More


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

Building Sustainable Peace for All: Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace

24 January 2017 | UN, New York, NY

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the concept of Sustaining Peace, as outlined in Security Council Resolution 2282 (2016) and General Assembly Resolution 701262, are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Sustainable development underpins sustainable peace and more peaceful and inclusive societies create an environment conducive to sustainable development. Read More

4th Istanbul International Water Forum

10 May 2017 – 11 May 2017 | Turkish Water Institute, Istanbul, Turkey

The world is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the number of people fleeing wars and conflicts. Turkey being in the midst of this phenomenon, the 4th Istanbul International Water Forum (IIWF) will address the impacts of the current refugee crisis on water. Read More

Warfare, Environment, Social Inequality and Peace Studies (WESIPS) Conference

25 May 2017 – 27 May 2017 | Dr. Richard J. Chacon (Winthrop University) and Dr. Yamilette Chacon (James Madison University), Seville, Spain

Over millennia, warfare, environmental degradation, and social inequality have brought much suffering to humankind. In an effort to facilitate interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, WESIPS brings together a cadre of internationally recognized scholars to address the underlying causes of warfare, environmental degradation, the advent of social complexity, and social inequality from a host... Read More


In the last two weeks, 19 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

The Ebb and Flow of Water Conflicts: A Case Study of India and Pakistan
Kristina Roic, Dustin Garrick, and Manzoor Qadir (Springer, 2016)
A growing body of evidence suggests that domestic water conflicts are not only more prevalent and violent than water conflicts at the international level, they can also have regional and international implications. Using India and Pakistan as a case study, this chapter explores how water conflicts within these two countries... Read More

Managing the Indus in a Warming World: The Potential for Transboundary Cooperation in Coping with Climate Change
David Michel (Springer, 2016)
Decision-makers in Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan must reconcile a host of overlapping socioeconomic, ecological, and policy pressures to ensure their countries’ future water needs. Growing populations and expanding economies are driving rising water demands, even as environmental degradation and unsustainable consumption practices increasingly stretch the shared resources of the... Read More

Fording Differences? Conditions Mitigating Water Insecurity in the Niger River Basin
Steven T. Landis, Babak Rezaeedaryakenari, Yifan Zhang, Cameron G. Thies, and Ross Maciejewski (Political Geography, 2017)
River basins are an extremely important source of freshwater for Africa and the impact of climate change on these communities constitutes an important question worth studying. Among these basins, the Niger River Basin is an ideal candidate for meso-level theory testing of climate change-induced political violence because of its importance... Read More

Demanding Rights in Company-Community Resource Extraction Conflicts: Examining the Cases of Vedanta and POSCO in Odisha, India
Kate Macdonald, Shelley Marshall, and Samantha Balaton-Chrimes (Springer, 2016)
Amidst intensified competition for land available to private investors in mining, industrial and commercial agriculture sectors, contests between transnational companies and communities over land are emerging in many countries as a significant domain of social conflict. Read More

A Bigger Problem than ISIS?
Dexter Filkins (The New Yorker, 2017)
On the morning of August 7, 2014, a team of fighters from the Islamic State, riding in pickup trucks and purloined American Humvees, swept out of the Iraqi village of Wana and headed for the Mosul Dam. Read More

80% Of Companies Don't Know If Their Products Contain Conflict Minerals
Yong H. Kim and Gerald F. Davis (Harvard Business Review, 2017)
Manufacturing used to be highly vertically integrated in the U.S. For example, Ford’s River Rouge plant not only assembled cars but also made its own steel, glass, fabrics, power, and cement on-site. But since outsourcing has become an increasingly common approach to cutting costs, many producers now rely heavily on globally... Read More

Rethinking Environmental Peacebuilding in the Context of Resource Extraction in Colombia
Juliana Sporsheim Maisto (Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 2016)
In this thesis I seek to explain the links between the governance of resources and the peace process in Colombia. To meet this aim, I explore the role of civil society movements in struggles related to extractive projects in the country. Read More

Sustainability Transition with Sustainable Peace: Key Messages and Scientific Outlook
Ursula Oswald Spring, Hans Günter Brauch, and Jürgen Scheffran (Handbook on Sustainable Transition and Sustainable Peace, 2016)
This chapter presents the key messages of this Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace found in the previous texts by the sixty authors, arranged into ten parts. They focus on I) moving towards sustainability transition; II) aiming for sustainable peace; III) meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century: demographic imbalances, temperature... Read More

Climate Change and Conflict: Taking Stock
Halvard Buhaug (De Gruyter, 2016)
Is climate change a major security threat? How has research on climate and conflict progressed in recent years? And where should it move forward? This brief essay reflects on some ways in which climatic changes could constitute a threat to peace and stability. Read More

Prospects and Issues in Systemizing Ecological Defense Planning: Case Study of Korea
Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi (Pacific Focus: Inha Journal of International Studies, 2016)
This paper purports to outline the prospects and issues in systemizing ecological defense planning and to assess the progress in the ROK. While the defense sectors in the United States and a number of European states have taken steps toward systemizing ecological measures in recent years, progress in the ROK... Read More


Please visit our jobs page to view these positions and other job opportunities.

Sudan: Livelihoods Advisor (Deadline: 2017-01-18)
16 January 2017 | Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide is an Irish-based non-governmental, international, humanitarian organisation dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. Read More

South Sudan: Pipeline Coordinator (Shelter/NFI and WASH) (Deadline: 2017-01-23)
16 January 2017 | International Organization for Migration
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. Read More

Somalia: National WASH & Infrastructure Coordinator (Deadline: 2017-01-27)
16 January 2017 | Danish Refugee Council
The position of the National WASH & Infrastructure Coordinator is an overall coordination of the technical Infrastructure sectors of DRC construction projects in Somalia, in support to the ongoing management conducted by the WASH & Infrastructure Manager in Somalia. Read More

Yemen: WASH Coordinator (Deadline: 2017-01-28)
16 January 2017 | International Medical Corps
International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Read More

Afghanistan: Natural Resources Management & Food Security and Livelihood Coordinator - Kabul (Deadline: 2017-01-31)
16 January 2017 | Solidarités International
SI has been working in Afghanistan for 35 years. It is currently implementing Food Security (1 Natural Resources Management and Rural Development project) and Emergency/livelihood (Food Distribution, Cash For Work and kitchen gardening) program. The mission is also managing several WASH projects in Bamyan and Khost provinces. Read More

Environmental Affairs Officer (Deadline: 2017-02-08)
16 January 2017 | United Nations
The United Nation Secretariat maintains rosters of qualified and available candidates to fill anticipated job openings in peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and other field operations. The purpose of this job opening is to generate a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in the roster. Read More

Global Surge Delegate - Food Security & Livelihoods (Deadline: 2017-02-28)
16 January 2017 | British Red Cross
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. It enables vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. Read More

International News

Syria: Damascus Goes Dry as Syria’s Grim Water Wars Intensify
16 January 2017 | Sami Moubayed, Middle East Online
Days before Christmas, Damascus went dry due to an aerial attack on the Ain al-Fijah spring 18km north-west of the Syrian capital, which feeds the Barada river that supplies 70% of the water for the city and its environs. Read More

Afghanistan: Bearing Fruit: Japan and UNDP Boost Output for Northern Farmers
16 January 2017 | UNDP
Some provinces in Afghanistan are famous for their fruit. In Kandahar, it’s the pomegranates; in Parwan, the grapes. Now Takhar is earning its own place on these lists, with superb pomegranates and nashpati pears – thanks to support from UNDP that has allowed local farmers to boost the quality and... Read More

Israel/Palestine: Water Deal Reached between Israel and Palestinians
15 January 2017 | Elior Levy, Yedioth Internet
Israel's Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT) signed an agreement with the Palestinian Authority's Minister of Civil Affairs on Sunday to renew the activity of the Joint Water Committee. According to the agreement, the JWC will reconvene after not having met regularly for six years. Read More

Afghanistan: Tenkiv Nexus Uses Solar to Clean Water in Afghanistan
11 January 2017 | Tom Spendlove, Engineering.com
The team at Tenkiv Nexus says that the average person needs five liters of water a day to survive, and ten liters a day for basic hygiene and cooking. Approximately one billion people on earth don’t have access to that clean water. Read More

Timor-Leste: East Timor Axes Australia Border Treaty over Oil Reserves
10 January 2017 | BBC
East Timor says it wants to tear up a controversial 2006 maritime border treaty with Australia which has soured relations between the two countries. The treaty dealt with how oil and gas beneath the Timor Sea should be shared, but has been disputed ever since. Read More

Cambodia: Cambodians Stand Their Ground against Government’s Land Grabs
9 January 2017 | Daniel Soo, Channel News Asia
A spate of land grabs by the government has seen more than 800,000 Cambodians evicted from their homes, according to the International Federation of Human Rights. But rather than submit, some villagers are standing their ground and making their voices heard. Read More

Colombia: Land Access and Restitution at the Heart of Peacebuilding in Colombia
8 January 2017 | Military News
FAO will support Colombia in carrying out a comprehensive rural reform aimed at strengthening food security and peace, including measures which address issues of land access and restitution on behalf of the millions of farmers affected by the conflict that plagued the country for more than 50 years. Read More

Syria: A New Casualty of Syria’s War: Drinking Water in Damascus
4 January 2017 | Ben Hubbard, New York Times
For millions of Damascus residents, long-term concerns about the direction of the war in Syria have been replaced by worries about where to get enough water to do the dishes, wash clothes or take a shower. Read More

Sierra Leone: One Man's Search for Diamonds [Photos]
4 January 2017 | BBC
During its 11-year-long civil war, Sierra Leone became famous for blood diamonds. Rebel and government groups fought brutally over diamond-rich territory in the north of the country and funded themselves by selling the stones to international buyers. Read More

Egypt/Ethiopia: A River Runs through an African Rivalry
4 January 2017 | Stratfor
Geography forces Egypt and Ethiopia to compete over the Nile's water. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 9 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

Land Grabs are Partly to Blame for Skyrocketing Violence in Central America
16 January 2017 | Saskia Sassen
In 2013, San Pedro Sula in Honduras was the world’s murder capital, with a murder rate of 187 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, driven by a surge in gang and drug trafficking violence. Nationwide, the year before, Honduras’s murder rate was 90 murders per 100,000 people ― the highest in the world. Read More

Adapting NATO to Climate Change, and the Economic Benefits of the 1.5-Degree Limit
13 January 2017 | Sreya Panuganti
In his dissertation, Tyler H. Lippert of the Pardee RAND Graduate School explains how the transboundary security impacts of climate change will both challenge and elevate the role of international multilateral institutions like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Lippert argues that while there are groups within NATO working on climate-related issues... Read More

Water Wars: Sparks (and Planes) Fly as Countries Contest Access to the Seas
13 January 2017 | Chris Mirasola
After a period of (relative) quiet last week, Beijing returned to the center of action in the East and South China Seas. The Liaoning aircraft carrier group, which had embarked on a groundbreaking tour two weeks ago, returned to its homeport in China’s north through the highly significant Taiwan Strait. Read More

For Rural Afghan Women, Agriculture Holds the Potential for Better Jobs
12 January 2017 | Anuja Kar and Mansur Ahmed
In Afghanistan, agriculture continues to be the backbone of the rural economy – about 70% of the population in rural areas is engaged in on-farm activities. At the same time, large share of the employment generated in non-farm and off-farm sectors, such as manufacturing, are also closely linked to agriculture... Read More

Backdraft Revisited: The Conflict Potential of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
12 January 2017 | Lauren Herzer Risi
Whether or not we respond to climate change – and the security implications of that decision – is a major public policy question. But increasingly experts are paying closer attention to how we respond. Read More

The Impact of War on Syrian Water is So Vast, You Can See it from Space
9 January 2017 | Kieran Cooke
A new study by researchers at California’s Stanford University has found that the ongoing war has caused a dramatic change in river flows and water availability both in Syria and over the border in Jordan. Read More

Legalizing Opium Won't Work for Afghanistan
5 January 2017 | Adam Wunische
In recent months, a debate has been raging over what to do about poppy cultivation in the country. Some are reviving old arguments in favor of legalization of the opium trade in Afghanistan, but these arguments suffer from a significant misunderstanding of the political realities on the ground (along with... Read More

The Plan to Dam Asia’s Last Free-Flowing, International River
4 January 2017 | Diana Suhardiman
Thousands of protesters gathered in Myanmar’s North Kachin state on October 4, as fresh violence and clashes between ethnic groups continue to mar the ongoing peace process. But hopes for economic development in the region remain high, particularly related to potential foreign investment in the country’s growing hydropower infrastructure, as State Counsellor Aung San... Read More

To Avoid the "Conflict Trap", Myanmar Should Protect Its Forests
4 January 2017 | Michael Jenkins and Art Blundell
About a third of Myanmar’s population depend on forests for their livelihoods, and effectively managed forests could make a significant contribution to these livelihoods, and strengthen the political and economic reform processes. While Myanmar’s Forest Department has already taken the first step by placing a moratorium on logging, unfortunately the... 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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