Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 83: 14 Mar 2017


Seeking Applicants: Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative Intern
7 March 2017 | Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative
The Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative (PBDI) promotes transboundary cooperation in protected areas globally. Through the PBDI, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity can share knowledge and best practices in transboundary cooperation. They may also wish to strengthen existing cooperation mechanisms or develop new ones with the facilitation of... Read More


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

4th Arab Water Week 2017: Managing Water Systems within Fragile Environments in the Arab Region

19 March 2017 – 23 March 2017 | Arab Countries Water Utilities Association, Dead Sea, Jordan

Water is increasingly becoming a binding constraint on Arab development. According to the Arab Development Challenges Reports by UNDP; available renewable fresh water resources per capita in the Arab world are among the lowest worldwide. Threatening levels of water stress exist in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Yemen, while significant... Read More

From Scarcity to Security: Water as a Resource for Middle East Peacebuilding

20 March 2017 | Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, DC

In the Middle East, water has often constituted a source of tension between Israel, the Palestinians and neighboring states. In recent years, however, regional leaders have increasingly identified water security as a shared interest that transcends borders - and even a potential avenue for peacebuilding. Read More


In the last two weeks, 30 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

The Paradox of Land Reform, Inequality and Development in Colombia
Jean-Paul Faguet, Fabio Sánchez, and Marta-Juanita Villaveces (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2017)
Over two centuries, Colombia transferred vast quantities of land, equivalent to the entire UK landmass, mainly to landless peasants. And yet Colombia retains one of the highest concentrations of land ownership in the world. Why? We show that land reform’s effects are highly bimodal. Read More

Understanding Resilience Dimensions and Adaptive Strategies to the Impact of Recurrent Droughts in Borana Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia: A Grounded Theory Approach
Zewdie Birhanu, Argaw Ambelu, Negalign Berhanu, Abraraw Tesfaye, and Kifle Woldemichael (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017)
Recurrent shocks and stresses are increasingly deteriorating pastoralist communities’ resilience capacities in many aspects. A context specific resilience framework is essential to strengthen pastoralist community’s resilience capacity towards the impact of recurrent drought. Hence, the present study was aimed to develop a context specific and data driven resilience building framework... Read More

Understanding and Resolving Conflict between Local Communities and Conservation Authorities in Colombia
Kobe De Pourcq, Evert Thomas, Bas Arts, An Vranckx, Tomás Enrique León Sicard, and Patrick Van Damme (World Development, 2017)
Conflicts between indigenous and local communities, on the one hand, and national protected area administrations on the other are pervasive. A better understanding of these park-people conflicts would assist in suitable policy changes to constructively address them while concurrently pursuing conservation and livelihood goals. Read More

Phronesis and Resource Curse Hypothesis in Post-Independent Sierra Leone
Emerson Abraham Jackson (Ilorin Journal of Economic Policy, 2016)
This study was undertaken with a view of presenting a balanced critical discourse on the concept of Phronesis as applied in the political economy of Sierra Leone. The country is renowned for being endowed with the abundance of non(renewable) natural resources, while at the same time for poor management of... Read More

The Influence of Conservancies as a Strategic Tool on Conflict Management by Samburu County Government -- A Case of Baragoi Subcounty Kenya
Letipila Dominic Eli and Rugami Maina (Journal of Conflict Management, 2017)
Descriptive study design was used by the study. The target population for the study was 204 people who included all the conservancy rangers, Committee members, Chiefs, Religious leaders, Members of Parliament, Conservancy managers, County assembly and county administration. A formula was used to arrive at a sample size of 96. Read More

Backdraft Episode #2: Stacy VanDeveer on the New Energy Economy and the Fate of Petro States [Podcast]
Lauren Herzer Risi (Wilson Center, 2017)
A “green economy,” an energy sector composed entirely of renewables, is the goal of many. But we haven’t thought out the full implications of that change, says Stacy VanDeveer, professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, in this week’s “Backdraft” podcast. Read More

Lage.Bericht//Middle East//EcoPeace - Water and Energy: Working Together for More Security [Video]
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, 2017
In the Middle East, the consequences of climate change are already a reality of life. The region is one of the most water-stressed areas in the world, the average temperature is rising faster than elsewhere, and a massive reduction in rainfall is also expected for the coming years. Read More

Asymmetric Bargaining between Myanmar and China in the Myitsone Dam Controversy: Social Opposition Akin to David's Stone against Goliath
Debby Sze Wan Chan (Pacific Review, 2017)
The Myitsone Dam suspension is an asymmetric negotiation between Naypyitaw and Beijing. The bilateral agreement of the hydropower project was concluded in 2009. However, Myanmar's civil society started to oppose the dam when political opportunities expanded in 2011. Read More

Borderlands and the Restructuring of Sudan Following South Sudan’s Secession
Abdalbasit Saeed (Springer, 2017)
The chapter recognises that the split between the two Sudans has given to political, economic and security challenges, and that these have been insufficiently addressed by the two Sudans in post-separation decade. Separate sections of the chapter focus on border issues between Sudan and Sudan, particularly, contentious issue of the... Read More

Energy, Governance and Security in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma)
Shaun Lin (Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 2017)
The effort to sustain economic growth has seen many countries keenly demand and seek energy. This is especially so in East Asia, where energy demand is growing because of rapid urban growth. Energy security, therefore, is of critical concern for the governments of those countries to ensure their cities secure... Read More


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

Afghanistan: SFNS/NRM Expert for Partner Advisory (Deadline: 2017-03-30)
9 March 2017 | Welthungerhilfe
Welthungerhilfe is one of the large and respected private organisations in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid in Germany. It carries out projects in 39 countries and campaigns for fairer cooperation with developing countries. Read More

Chad: Directeur(trice) Adjoint(e) - Soutien aux Programmes (Deadline: 2017-03-31)
9 March 2017 | CARE
CARE has been present in Chad since 1974 where over time it has developed humanitarian and development programs, serving the poorest communities on the margin of society. Today CARE Chad works with Internal Displaced persons in the Lake Chad, refugee populations from neighboring countries (CAR), and Chadian communities through its... Read More

Head of Natural Resource Management and Climate Change (Deadline: 2017-04-03)
9 March 2017 | International Alert
International Alert is looking for a dynamic leader for the post of Head of Natural Resource Management and Climate Change. This area of work is one of its six strategic focus areas and the successful candidate will be responsible for developing and implementing its strategic direction. Read More

International News

EU: 2017 Anti-Corruption Focus on Mines, Security, Courts
12 March 2017 | Tamim Hamid, TOLOnews
The European Union’s anti-corruption drive for 2017 in Afghanistan will focus on key sectors such as the illegal extraction of minerals from mines and corruption in the security and judicial institutions, the EU announced on Sunday. Read More

Myanmar: Water-Saving Tech, Vegetable Gardens Grow Hope in Myanmar's Dry Zone
10 March 2017 | Thin Lei Win, Reuters
Myanmar recently emerged from decades of military dictatorship only to face a bigger existential threat. The Dry Zone, an area comprising 58 townships in Mandalay, Magwe and Sagaing, is home to around 10 million people, who mostly rely on rain-fed agriculture. It suffers from year-round water shortages. Read More

Conflict Minerals: Apple Pledges to Treat Congolese Cobalt as a Conflict Mineral amid Reports of Child Labor
8 March 2017 | Jennier McKevitt, Supply Chain Dive
Apple's supply chain woes continue as its attempts to abide by ethical sourcing standards falter in the wake of ongoing abuses in the cobalt mineral value chain used downstream to build smartphone lithium batteries, the Washington Post reported last week. Read More

Afghanistan: Enhancing the Success of Afghanistan’s Women Farmers
7 March 2017 | International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
Against the odds, a new agricultural outreach model targeting rural women is taking shape in Afghanistan – and delivering on its promise of empowerment, greater productivity, and higher incomes. Read More

Afghanistan/Iran: Afghanistan Refuses to Supply Iran with Water Share of Hirmand
6 March 2017 | Tasnim News Agency
In a move in violation of a 1973 treaty with Iran, Afghanistan has refused to supply its neighbor with share of water from the Hirmand River, which rises in Afghanistan and flows through eastern parts of Iran, according to Iran’s Energy Ministry. Read More

South Sudan: UNEP Warns of Increasing Floods, Droughts in Parts of South Sudan
6 March 2017 | Radio Tamazuj
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned that natural disasters such as floods and droughts have increased in recent days in parts of Jonglei, Unity and Eastern Equatoria states. Speaking during a workshop at Juba Grand Hotel last week, Arshad Khan, UNEP’s head in South Sudan, said climate change... Read More

Iran/Iraq: Iraq and Iran Agree to Resolve Dispute on Joint Oil Fields
5 March 2017 | Sara al-Qaher, Al-Monitor
On Feb. 20, the Iraqi Oil Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iranian Oil Ministry to settle disputes over the joint oil fields and examine the possibility of building a pipeline to export crude oil from the Kirkuk fields, in the north of Iraq, through Iran. Read More

Liberia: FDA, Communities Sign Community Forest Management Agreement
3 March 2017 | Gloria T. Tamba, Daily Observer
The Peoples Rules and Organizations Supporting the Protection of Ecosystem Resources (USAID/PROSPER), in partnership with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), recently signed a community forest management agreement in Monrovia. The agreement between the FDA and eight forest dependent communities resulting in eight Community Forest Management Agreements (CFMAs), is intended to... Read More

Food Security: Hunger Persists in Chronic Conflict Zones Despite Strong Global Harvests – UN
2 March 2017 | UN
Despite robust food supply conditions, droughts are worsening food security across swathes of East Africa, and access to food has been dramatically reduced in areas suffering civil conflicts, a new United Nations report has found. Read More

Uganda: Museveni: There Is No Reason for Conflict over River Nile
2 March 2017 | Nigeria Today
President Yoweri Museveni has said Uganda has not yet ratified the “Nile Agreement” on the use of the River Nile, as it is pursuing  a maximum consensus on the issue. He said the disagreement between Egypt and other nations on the River Nile is either due to misinformation or not... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

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

15 Years of Environmental Peacemaking: Overcoming Challenges and Identifying Opportunities for Cooperation
13 March 2017 | Sreya Panuganti
As the 1990s drew to a close, there was a sense that much of the momentum gained at the first Earth Summit on sustainable development, a positive, affirming environmental narrative, was waning. Read More

From Conflict to Communities: Forests in Liberia
10 March 2017 | John C. Cannon
Charles Taylor, who led the rebellion that began in 1989, funneled revenue from selling timber, as well as diamonds, iron ore, and rubber, into weapons purchases and building his own wealth. When he was elected president of Liberia in 1997, Taylor maneuvered so that eventually he had near-full control of... Read More

What the Potential Repeal of Dodd-Frank Means for Conflict Minerals
9 March 2017 | Jabil
The Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law in 2010 as a response to the 2008 financial crisis. As the most far-reaching Wall Street reform in history, the main purpose of Dodd-Frank was to prevent the excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis in the first place. Read More

Here's Why Nations Go to War Over Water
6 March 2017 | George Friedman and Allison Fedirka
Access to and control over water is a strategic imperative for all countries. As such, it has been a source of conflict throughout history. Read More

Afghanistan-Pakistan Treaty on the Kabul River Basin?
2 March 2017 | Shafqat Kakakhel
Pakistani officials and experts have, time and again, suggested the negotiation of an Afghanistan-Pakistan treaty to regulate the sharing of the Kabul River Basin (KRB). These calls have, however, not been reciprocated by Afghanistan. Given the looming water crisis in Pakistan and Afghanistan’s plans to utilise its water assets to... Read More

Axing “Conflict Minerals” Rule Also Threatens DRC’s Endangered Grauer Gorillas
2 March 2017 | Wilson Center
For weeks, the primatologists had followed a group of Grauer’s gorillas over rugged terrain – hacking through dense rainforest; following knife-edged ravines; and crossing a nearly impenetrable mountainous landscape in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 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. 

Sharing and Posting Materials

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.

Platform Statistics

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February, 2017 2908 5478 2636
January, 2017 2900 4909 2556
December, 2016 2893 4453 2505
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October, 2016 2836 4557 2438
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Brooke Helstrom, Liz Hessami, Natalia Jiménez Galindo, Britt Sheinbaum, Sofia Soto Reyes, Annabelle Vinois, and Erin Wenk
Edited by Joel Young
Coordinated by Kathleen McLean and Jessye Waxman
Design by Graham Campbell
Managed and edited by Carl Bruch and David Jensen

Copyright ELI and UNEP 2017