Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 18: 16 Sep 2014


Environmental Peacebuilding Logo Design Contest (Deadline: 15 October 2014)
15 September 2014
The Environmental Law Institute, United Nations Environment Programme, McGill University, and the University of Tokyo announce a public competition to design a logo for the Environmental Peacebuilding Knowledge Platform and Community of Practice. Read More

Call for Submissions: Warfare, Environment, Social Inequality and Peace Studies (WESIPS) Conference (Deadline: 1 October 2014)
14 September 2014 | Winthrop University & James Madison University
Organizers Dr. Richard J. Chacon (Winthrop University) Dr. Yamilette Chacon (James Madison University) Read More

Call for Papers: Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2015: Linking Land Tenure and Use for Shared Prosperity (Deadline: 31 October 2014)
14 September 2014 | The World Bank
The World Bank is pleased to announce the 16th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty being held from March 23 – 27, 2015 at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. Participants include leaders and professionals from across governments, civil society, academia, the private sector and partners to interact and discuss... Read More


What’s Next? Celebrating 20 Years of the Environmental Change and Security Program
18 September 2014 | Washington, DC
For the last 20 years, the Environmental Change and Security Program has brought together a wide range of communities that do not always interact with one another to create new connections and discuss some of the most critical challenges facing the world today. Read More

Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group Meeting
29 September 2014 | Washington, DC
The next periodic meeting of the Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group (for researchers and practitioners in the Washington, DC area) will be held on Monday, September 29.  The theme of the meeting will be monitoring and evaluating environmental peacebuilding programs.  For more information, contact bruch@eli.org. Read More

Fossil Fuels Expert Roundtable: Managing Disputes and Arbitrations Involving the Extractive Sector in Africa
30 September 2014 | London, UK
Disputes between international companies and national governments commonly arise in the extractive industry where high expectations from producer countries often run alongside emotive issues of ‘ownership’ and ‘exploitation’. In 2013, Chatham House published the report Conflict and Coexistence in the Extractives Industries, examining the rising occurrence of long-running and expensive... Read More

The 2014 Nile Basin Development Forum – Challenges, Lessons, and Prospects in Building Sustainable Transboundary Cooperation in a Complex River Basin
6 October 2014 | Nairobi, Kenya
The Nile River Basin is a vital natural resource and economic lifeline for its 238 million inhabitants, in eleven riparian countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda).  The basin is characterized by a largely untapped and tremendous potential for... Read More

Workshop: Improving the Environmental and Social Performance of Military and Civilian Actors Operating in the Same Area
15 October 2014 | Stockholm, Sweden
Background: Peace-support and crises management operations play a fundamental role in stabilizing conflict-affected regions as well as bringing relief to affected populations. It is further predicted that military and security forces may be asked to more frequently address the challenges of humanitarian disasters.1 However, such operations have inevitable environmental and... Read More

New Library Resources

In the last two weeks, 28 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Water Pressures in Central Asia
International Crisis Group, 2014
Water has long been a major cause of conflict in Central Asia. Two states – Kyrgyzst and Tajikistan – have a surplus; the other three say they do not get their share from the region’s great rivers, the Syr Darya and Amu Darya, which slice across it from the Tien... Read More

Drillers in the Mist: How Secret Payments and a Climate of Violence Helped UK Firm Open African National Park to Oil
Global Witness, 2014
A British oil company and its contractors have made illicit payments, appear to have paid off armed rebels, and benefited from fear and violence fostered by government security forces in eastern Congo, as they sought access to Africa’s oldest national park for oil exploration. Read More

South Sudan: Why Peace Remains Elusive
Baffour Ankomah (New African, 2014)
From the outside, the conflict in South Sudan appears very much a local issue but the fighting itself has petered out into a kind of war of attrition, affecting three of the country’s 10 states. The rest of the country is absolutely peaceful. Read More

From Conflict to Coping: Evidence from Southern Ethiopia on the Contributions of Peacebuilding to Drought Resilience Among Pastoralist Groups
Jon Jurtz and Greg Scarborough (Mercy Corps, 2014)
The idea of promoting resilience has gained increased attention in the wake of recent drought in the Horn Africa – the worst in 60 years. Humanitarian and development actors, keen to avoid the need for massive relief assistance, are looking toward programming that can mitigate the effects of future shocks and... Read More

Land Disputes and Settlement Mechanisms in Nepal's Terai
Danielle Stein and Bert Suykens (The Asia Foundation, the Justice and Security Research Programme, 2014)
Land has long been among the most politically contentious issues in Nepal. This stems from historical patterns of land tenure which, by concentrating land ownership the wealthy and those close to the monarchy, were the primary channels through which authority wasestablished and expressed. Read More

Climate Wars - Years of Living Dangerously [Video]
Showtime (Showtime - Years of Living Dangerously, 2014)
The Pentagon has called climate change a “threat multiplier,” a “stressor” that can take a volatile political situation and push it over the edge. In "Climate Wars - Years of Living Dangerously," New York Times correspondent Thomas L. Friedman witnesses this effect in three Middle Eastern countries: Egypt, Syria, and Yemen. Read More

Conservation's Blind Spot: The Case for Conflict Transformation in Wildlife Conservation
Francine Madden and Brian McQuinn (Biological Conservation, 2014)
Unaddressed or poorly addressed conflicts present increasingly difficult obstacles to effective conservation and management of many wildlife species around the world. The material, visible manifestations of such conflicts are often rooted in less visible, more complex social conflicts between people and groups. Read More

Green Planet Blues: Critical Perspectives on Global Environmental Politics
Ken Conca and Geoffrey D. Dabelko (eds.) (Westview Press, 2014)
This anthology examines paradigms of sustainability, environmental security, and ecological justice and how they illustrate the many ways environmental problems and their solutions are framed in contemporary international debates about climate, water, forests, toxics, energy, food, biodiversity, and other environmental challenges of the twenty-first century. Organized thematically, the selections offer a global scope. Read More


In the last two weeks, 18 new jobs were added to our online listing of job postings. Please visit our jobs page to view these positions and other job opportunities.

DRC: Lake Tumba Program Manager/Landscape Leader (Deadline: 2014-09-18)
12 September 2014 | WWF
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the largest independent conservation organizations in the world. We are an international NGO committed to environmental protection active in almost 100 countries. WWF has been working in the Congo Basin in Central Africa since 1978. Read More

Madagascar: WASH Manager (Deadline: 2014-09-19)
12 September 2014 | Medair
To implement, monitor and evaluate the tasks assigned, improving access to safe water and sanitation for the target population. Assess WASH needs, initiate and effectively manage assigned WASH project(s) and report on the activities in line with the objectives, budget and timeframe laid down in the proposal(s). Read More

Ethiopia: Focal Region Manager (Deadline: 2014-09-21)
8 September 2014 | IWMI
The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), is looking for an experienced Focal Region Manager to help ensure that there is impact from its research towards achieving the vision of WLE (‘a world in which agriculture thrives within vibrant... Read More

Iraqi Kurdistan: IDP Community Project Manager (Deadline: 2014-09-23)
12 September 2014 | Croix-Rouge Française
Mid-2013, the French Red Cross (FRC) launched operations to assist the Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict that had been affecting the country for 3 years. There are today more than 2,3 million people that have crossed the border to neighboring countries, living in camps or in host communities. Read More

United Kingdom: Campaign Director for Conflict and Fragile States (Deadline: 2014-09-25)
10 September 2014 | Global Witness
Global Witness is an international organisation that investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses. We collect irrefutable evidence through our investigations and combine it with our powerful advocacy to force change. Read More

Ethiopia: Capacity Development/ Instructional Design Specialist (Deadline: 2014-09-30)
14 September 2014 | International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Capacity Development / Instructional Design Specialist to enhance ILRI’s contribution to the capacity development and learning aspects of several of its CGIAR Research Programs (CRP) and programs. Read More

United States: Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies/Geography (Deadline: 2014-10-01)
14 September 2014 | Colgate University
Colgate University's Peace and Conflict Studies Program (P- Con) and Department of Geography invite applications for a jointly appointed tenure-track assistant professorship in Peace and Conflict Studies and Geography, with a focus on environmental security, to begin Fall 2015. Completion of Ph.D. Read More

South Sudan: Food Security and Livelihoods Manager (Deadline: 2014-10-19)
14 September 2014 | International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. Read More

International News

Iraq/Syria: Isis Crisis: An Unholy Alliance - Islamic State 'Selling Oil to President Assad's Regime'
13 September 2014 | Mark Piggot, International Business Times
Terrorist group Isis (Islamic State) is so desperate to fund its military activities in Iraq and Syria that it is secretly selling oil to its mortal enemy: the regime of President Bashar Assad. Read More

India: Water Wars Have Begun: HC on Hijack of Water Tanks in Dwarka
12 September 2014 | The Indian Express
“This is the beginning of water wars. In some years the situation will worsen,” the Delhi High Court on Thursday observed, while voicing concern over the recent incidents of DDA water tanks being “hijacked” by mobs from areas adjoining Dwarka. Read More

South Sudan: South Sudan to Split Oil Concession as Lawmakers Question Award
12 September 2014 | Mading Ngor, Bloomberg
South Sudan plans to split an oil block awarded to Star Petroleum SA, a Luxembourg-registered company, as part of a review of a concession criticized by the country’s lawmakers, Petroleum Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said. Read More

Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan/Uzbekistan: Water Pressures in Central Asia
11 September 2014 | International Crisis Group
Political rivalries, economic competition, heightened nationalism and mistrust hamper the search for a solution to the region’s growing water and energy needs. In its latest report, Water Pressures in Central Asia, the International Crisis Group examines the impact of water issues on shared border areas in the volatile Ferghana Valley;... Read More

Russia/Ukraine: With Gas Cut Off, Ukraine Looks West
11 September 2014 | Danny Hakim, The New York Times
UZHGOROD, Ukraine — Keeping Ukraine warm keeps Andriy Kobolev up at night. Read More

Timor-Leste: Big Oil Stands By as Con Man Swindles East Timor
10 September 2014 | Tom Allard, The Sydney Morning Herald
As Bobby Boye surveyed his extensive property portfolio, the 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost and other luxury vehicles in the garage, he may well have reflected with some satisfaction on a job well done. Read More

Myanmar: VP Nyan Htun Contemplates Burma’s Energy Needs
10 September 2014 | Binny Mary Paul, Democratic Voice of Burma
Burmese Vice- President Nyan Htun has raised concerns about energy consumption in Burma. Read More

DRC: DR Congo’s Miners Bear Brunt of Attempts to Make Minerals Conflict-Free
10 September 2014 | The Guardian
Legislation that requires firms to trace the supply chains of minerals sourced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is disrupting people’s livelihoods and creating sources of funding for armed groups. Read More

Somalia: War-Torn Somalia Faces Starvation
10 September 2014 | Allan Olingo, The East African
Somalia is staring at a fresh food crisis due to delayed rains, rising food prices and persistent conflict. Read More

Israel/Palestine: New Emblem of an Elemental Conflict: Seized West Bank Land
9 September 2014 | Isabel Kershner, The New York Times
WADI FUKIN, West Bank — At the edge of this small Palestinian village, an asphalt road turns into a dirt path that winds through a fertile valley where natural springs irrigate lush plots planted with a rich ratatouille of vegetables, as well as orchards and vines. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

Energy Competition in South China Sea: A Front-Burner Issue?
12 September 2014 | Nation Multimedia
The recent clashes between Vietnam and China over the latter's deployment of a deep-water drilling rig in disputed waters have refocused the spotlight on energy in the South China Sea. How important is it as a driver in China's South China Sea policy? To what extent is competition over seabed... Read More

DRC: Conflict Minerals Movement at a Crossroads
11 September 2014 | Aljazeera
When we think of the Democratic Republic of Congo today, we may think of bloody resource wars where women are being raped by armed groups trying to gain access to, and control of, the country's minerals. Read More

Russia’s Next Land Grab
9 September 2014 | New York Times
WASHINGTON — UKRAINE isn’t the only place where Russia is stirring up trouble. Since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Moscow has routinely supported secessionists in bordering states, to coerce those states into accepting its dictates. Its latest such effort is unfolding in the South Caucasus. Read More

Opportunity Costs: Evidence Suggests Variability, Not Scarcity, Primary Driver of Water Conflict
2 September 2014 | New Security Beat
Nearly 1 billion people lack reliable access to clean drinking water today. A report by the Water Resources Group projects that by 2030 annual global freshwater needs will reach 6.9 trillion cubic meters – 64 percent more than the existing accessible, reliable, and sustainable supply. 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 Jensen Andersen, Jonny Beirne, Joel Young, and Julie Melrose
Coordinated by Patrick Woolsey
Design by Graham Campbell
Managed and edited by Carl Bruch and David Jensen

Copyright ELI and UNEP 2017