Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 84: 28 Mar 2017


Call for Nominations/Expressions of Interest for Chair(s) of the Theme on Environmental Peacebuilding, Security and Conflict Resolution
22 March 2017 | IUCN Commission on Environment, Economics, and Social Policy
The Chair of CEESP seeks nominations/expressions of interest for the position of Chair(s) on the Theme on Environmental Peacebuilding, Security and Conflict Resolution, if two chairs (or young professional deputy) they should come from two different geographic regions. Read More

Call for Abstracts: A Special Issue of Journal of Hydrology
22 March 2017 | UNESCO International Centre for Water Conservation
Approximately 2 billion people depend on groundwater, sourced from over 300 transboundary aquifer systems. Furthermore about 286 river basins cross the political boundaries of two or more countries. These rivers are a primary source of freshwater for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population. Read More


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

Water Cooperation and Conflict: The Local and Global Challenge

13 April 2017 | Pace University, New York, NY

Water is essential to life. An age of unprecedented planetary change demands new strategies to manage this substance upon which nature, nations and neighborhoods depend. Building on our past two conferences focused on the subject of resilience, Water Cooperation and Conflict will convene experts and practitioners from the public, academic and private... Read More

2017 Environment and Emergencies Forum

26 September 2017 – 28 September 2017 | UN Environment and OCHA, Nairobi, Kenya

The Environment and Emergencies Forum (EEF) is a unique opportunity to discuss global policy, share experiences and knowledge, forge new partnerships and agree on key actions related to environmental emergencies. It will consist of three days of interactive dialogue, inspiring sessions and networking opportunities. Read More


In the last two weeks, 17 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Conflict Minerals [Podcast]
Marta Latek (European Parlamentary Research Service Blog, 2017)
After lengthy interinstitutional negotiations concluded in a trilogue agreement with the Council, Parliament is due to adopt its first-reading position on a proposed regulation laying down supply chain due diligence obligations for importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, as well as their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected areas. Read More

Global Water Wars [Video]
National Geographic, 2017
This episode of Parched zeroes in on India and Syria, two of the world’s most vulnerable hot spots for water-related conflict. Read More

Greening Peace in Colombia
Brigitte Baptiste, Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez, Victor H. Gutierrez-Velez, Germán I. Andrade, Pablo Vieira, Lina M. Estupiñán-Suárez, Maria C. Londoño, William Laurance, and Tien Ming Lee (Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2017)
As peace consolidates in Colombia, can biodiversity survive development? We discuss challenges and opportunities for integrating forest biodiversity conservation into developing, war-dilapidated economies of post-conflict regions, paving the way for a green economy and climate resilient society. Read More

Restitución de Tierras
(Land Restitution)
Adriana Fuentes, Andrea Lopera Lombana, Javier Lautaro Medina, and Tulia Moreno (Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular, 2017)
La presente publicación recoge una serie de artículos producidos por el Observatorio de Restitución de Tierras de Cinep/PPP “Tierras y derechos”, que ha realizado un seguimiento detallado a la implementación de la política de restitución de tierras a partir de la entrada en vigor de la Ley 1448 de 2011,... Read More

Climate-Fragility Risks - The Global Perspective
Lukas Rüttinger (adelphi, 2017)
Climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier. It will aggravate fragility, contribute to social upheaval and even violent conflicts. The problem is the seven compound risks that emerge when the impacts of climate change interact with problems that many weak states are already facing. Read More

Environmental Sustainability in Post-Conflict Countries: Insights for Rural Colombia
Andres Suarez, Paola Andrea Arias-Arévalo, and Eliana Martinez (Environment Development and Sustainability Journal, 2017)
Post-conflict countries (PCC) guide their priorities toward restoration of socioeconomic conditions and relegate sustainability objectives to the background. With the aim to provide insights for the current discussion on rural environmental sustainability in today’s post-conflict Colombia, we analyzed the environmental dynamics of seven PCC. Read More

Framework for Management of Post-Conflict Waste in Libya
Ashraf Ali and Chukwunonye Ezeah (European Scientific Journal, 2017)
An important aspect of the Libyan conflict since the 2011 Arab Spring is the generation and management of huge volumes of construction and demolition (C&D) type waste, arising from conflict-related damage to the built environment. Estimates put the amount of Post-Conflict Waste (PCW) at about 82 million tonnes, much of... Read More

Climate Change and Insecurity: An Examination of Gombe State’s Predicament in the Northeastern Nigeria
U. A. Abubakar and A. Ahmed (Global Changes and Natural Disaster Management: Geo-information Technologies, 2017)
Insecurity as a result of climate change has become a global phenomenon, which imposes a major challenge to human environments especially in the twenty-first century. This phenomenon prompted scholars to conduct scientific investigations to find out solutions to the problems. The overwhelming challenges related to socioeconomic activities, migration, and agricultural... Read More


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

Ethiopia: Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihood Coordinator (Deadline: 2017-03-30)
23 March 2017 | Oxfam
Oxfam has been working in Ethiopia since 1974, devoted to empowering people against poverty. In 2015-16, the organisation consolidated its efforts to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and has reached close to one million people across Ethiopia with life-saving humanitarian assistance. Read More

Colombia: Senior Volunteer in Livelihoods (Deadline: 2017-04-10)
23 March 2017 | EU Aid Volunteers
The initiative focuses on strengthening the European Union's capacity to deliver needs-based humanitarian aid by providing professional support through the deployment of trained volunteers to people in need. Furthermore, it aims to strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities in third countries, through the implementation of joint projects between... Read More

Sudan: Project Managers (Deadline: 2017-04-10)
23 March 2017 | Cooperazione Internazionale
COOPI Cooperazione Internazionale is a humanitarian, non-confessional and independent organization founded in 1965 in Milan, Italy. For more than 50 years we have been dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and to supporting populations affected by wars, socio-economic crises or natural disasters in their path to recovery and sustainable... Read More

Turkey: Chief of Party, Syria Sustainable Opportunities for Livelihoods Agricultural Recovery (Deadline: 2017-04-11)
23 March 2017 | Global Communities
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Global Communities is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) for an anticipated $7 million USAID-funded food security and livelihood project in Syria. Read More

DRC: Program Director Land Access and Food Security (Deadline: 2017-04-15)
23 March 2017 | Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 250 people working in North and South Kivu. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in Katwe, Mweso, Butembo (North Kivu), Bukavu (South Kivu). Read More

Chad: Consultant International - Elaboration d'un Programme Pays (Deadline: 2017-04-17)
23 March 2017 | Centre de Suivi Ecologique
Dans le cadre du partenariat qui le lie au Fonds Vert Climat, (FVC), le Tchad a choisi le Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Pêche (MEP) comme Point Focal (PF) chargé de la coordination des actions du FVC et a également demandé à bénéficier du programme de préparation pour l'élaboration... Read More

DRC: WASH & Infrastructure Advisor (Deadline: 2017-05-15)
23 March 2017 | Medair
Medair is a humanitarian organisation inspired by Christian faith to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places. We bring relief and recovery to people in crisis, regardless of race, creed or nationality. Read More

International News

Climate Security: Republicans Cite National Security to Justify Climate Action
27 March 2017 | Sam Mintz and Hannah Hess, E&E News
Even though climate change can be politically toxic for many Republicans, linking the issue to national security and citing military leaders' acceptance of global warming is prompting more GOP lawmakers to act. Read More

Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s Relentless Opium Woes Have a 'New Seed in Town,' and It Comes from China
25 March 2017 | Mariam Amini, CNBC
A problem that Afghanistan and international governments have tried to eradicate for decades is only getting worse, and China is a big reason why. Last week, Afghanistan released new data showing opium production is surging, information that dovetailed with a widely circulated 2016 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime... Read More

Gaza/Palestine: In War-Scarred Gaza, Water Pollution behind Health Woes
23 March 2017 | Sakher Abou El Oun, Agence France-Presse
More and more Gazans are falling ill from their drinking water, highlighting the humanitarian issues facing the Palestinian enclave that the UN says could become uninhabitable by 2020.  The situation has already reached crisis point in the war-scarred, underdeveloped and blockaded territory, says Monther Shoblak, general manager of the strip's... Read More

Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Precious Minerals – Public Trust and Government Openness
23 March 2017 | Abdul Rashid Thomas, Sierra Leone Telegraph
The recent finding of Sierra Leone’s second largest diamond in the Kono district by pastor Emmanuel Momoh  and the involvement of the Koroma government, in what will soon become a bonanza sale of the century to be staged in the capital Freetown, has prompted the Sierra Leone Telegraph and other... Read More

Could Conservation Provide Ground for Peace in Conflict Zones?
22 March 2017 | Eva Botkin-Kowacki, Christian Science Monitor
"Ecological problems know no boundaries," says Alexandre Roulin, a biologist at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and first author on a paper published Wednesday in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution highlighting the potential of nature conservation for peacebuilding. Read More

Colombia: Colombia to Implement Almeria's Agricultural Model in ex-FARC Territory
22 March 2017 | Fresh Plaza
The peace agreement signed by the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has liberated 18 million hectares previously under guerrilla control.  This opens a historic business opportunity for Almeria's agricultural auxiliary industry, which could be a basic transfer of technology or developing a more ambitious and... Read More

Water Wars: Water Wars? Experts Urge Rethinking Our Relationship with Water
21 March 2017 | teleSUR
As the world marks the World Water Day, one cannot help but recall that the United Nations has already warned that water shortages will hit a record high in 2030, while some experts caution that water — arguably human beings' most valuable resource after air — could become the next commodity over which... Read More

South Sudan: South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea Partner on Oil and Gas
21 March 2017 | Sudan Tribune
South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea announced an historic partnership today in Juba, setting out the terms for a strong bilateral relationship between the African oil and gas producers. The two nations will use the new partnership as a basis for exchanging information on policy and regulation promoting upstream, downstream and... Read More

Colombia: Colombian Coffee Inspires Banana Growers to Reclaim Land Lost to Violence
21 March 2017 | AL DÍA News
Growing along with the bunches of bananas in the plantations of Uraba in northwestern Colombia are the hopes of a region that is working to erase once and for all the stigma of violence by raising the brand image of its bananas to the status of Colombian coffee. Read More

India/Pakistan: Water War to Water Talks
20 March 2017 | Zeeshan Haider, The News
It is quite interesting to see the Indian water officials and experts sit across the table with their Pakistani counterparts to discuss the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) which Modi, incensed over Uri attack, had threatened to scrap. Read More

South Sudan: Fighting Famine in War-Torn South Sudan [Video]
19 March 2017 | Scott Pelley
A rare famine emergency has been declared in the youngest nation on Earth. South Sudan, in East Africa, was brought into the world, in 2011, with the help of the United States.  But it’s one of the world’s least developed countries and civil war has left it destitute. Read More

India/Pakistan: Delhi Returns to the Table after Water War Threats
16 March 2017 | Express Tribune
Pakistan and India are set to resume stalled water-sharing talks later this month under a 1960 treaty that the Indian prime minister had threatened to scrap blaming Islamabad of promoting terrorism in the region. Late last year, Narendra Modi had threatened to scrap the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) in an... Read More

Iraq: Meet the Iraqi Firefighters Battling ISIS' Oil Fires [Photos]
16 March 2017 | Olivier Laurent, Time
For almost a year now, oil fields around Mosul have been on fire. As Iraqi forces launched an assault on Islamic State-held cities, retreating militants have left behind ruins and blazes. Today, some of these fires still rage on. Read More

Conflict Minerals: Parliament Adopts Binding Law on Conflict Minerals
16 March 2017 | Cécile Barbière, EURACTIV
After two and a half years of debate, the European Parliament on Thursday definitively adopted the new rules on mineral imports from conflict zones, which will come into force in 2021. This new law, which will apply across all EU member states, will oblige importers of tungsten, tantalum, tin and... Read More

Myanmar: Battling for Blood Jade
15 March 2017 | Hannah Beech, Time
While conflict diamonds have yielded Hollywood scripts and rap lyrics, jade has largely escaped international scrutiny. Last October, then U.S. President Barack Obama lifted sanctions on the importation of Burmese jade and rubies, which had been put in place because of the gem trade’s abysmal reputation. Read More

Russia/US: Trump's Russian Connections May Kill 'Peace Park'
15 March 2017 | Corbin Hiar, E&E News
With increased scrutiny of the Trump administration's possible ties to the Kremlin, a long-running National Park Service effort to promote cultural and scientific connections between native groups in the United States and Russia could be targeted for elimination, budget experts say. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 21 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Here is a sampling:

Why Our Human Rights Depend on Turning Conflict into Conservation
24 March 2017 | Alex Reid
Biodiversity hotspots cover just 1.4% of the planet’s surface, yet 80% of major armed conflicts between 1950 and 2000 occurred in these areas. This figure should be striking, but the connections between the environment and conflict continue to be overlooked. Read More

European Conflict Minerals Regulation — Details on What EU Importers Must Do
22 March 2017 | Dynda A. Thomas and Christina Economides
The proposed European Union conflict minerals regulation has almost reached the last step before becoming an official EU regulation. On March 16, 2017, the European Parliament voted to approve the regulation, and the Council of the EU is expected to formally approve it in the weeks to come.  The Council’s... Read More

Afghanistan’s Water Plans Complicated by Worried Neighbors
20 March 2017 | Elizabeth B. Hessami
More than 40 years ago, the Soviet Union attempted to harness hydropower to modernize Afghanistan. Between 1960 and 1968, they poured money and technical knowledge into the 100-meter Naghlu gravity dam outside Kabul and a village for its workers called Sharnak. Read More

How Minerals Fuel Conflicts in Africa
17 March 2017 | Nicolas Berman, Mathieu Couttenier, Dominic Rohner, and Mathias Thoenig
Fighting groups have long understood how important it is to secure a stable stream of financial resources in order to sustain the fighting effort over a prolonged time. Fighters need to be fed and remunerated. In other words, no cash, no conflict. Read More

Julia McQuaid on the Complex Link Between Water and Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa
17 March 2017 | Benjamin Dills
Does global water stress matter for U.S. national security, and if so, how? That’s a major focus of the next CNA Military Advisory Board report, says Julia McQuaid of the CNA Corporation in this week’s podcast. She talks about the preliminary findings of the report and how the national security community views water. Read More

Expand the Indus Waters Treaty to Make Peace
15 March 2017 | Ashok Swain
Water scarcity is a serious and growing security challenge for South Asian countries. The twin pressures of population growth and climate change are further intensifying this problem. In this context, shared river systems, the major sources of fresh water in the region are often becoming flashpoints of tension. Read More

Conflict Minerals Rule Legal Challenge: Done and Done
15 March 2017 | Dynda Thomas
“Hear ye, Hear ye.”  The parties to the legal challenge of the SECs conflict minerals rule have agreed that no further court proceedings are necessary and have requested that the US District Court enter a judgment in accordance with the decisions of the Court of Appeals — that is, that certain elements of... 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.

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