Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 30: 3 Mar 2015


Call for Applications: The United Nations Mandated University for Peace is Now Accepting Applications for 2015-2016 Academic Year
2 March 2015
UPEACE embraces an innovative and inter-disciplinary approach to both the pedagogy and content of post-secondary learning. Our nine master programmes offer specialized, multi-disciplinary courses and our international faculty use engaging and participatory teaching models for face-to- face classroom instruction which address various areas related to peace and peacebuilding immersed in... Read More

Register for Course in Natural Resource Management in Post-Conflict Countries
25 February 2015 | United Nations Institute for Training and Research
At the end of the course, participants will be able to: describe how natural resources can contribute to or prolong conflict as well as undermine peace; identify the principles for effective post-conflict natural resources management; relate natural resources management to other post-conflict stabilization  and state building interventions; explain how peacekeeping missions... Read More

Call for Papers: The 8th International Spatial Socio-Cultural Knowledge Workshop: Defence Regional Engagement - The Role of Human Geography in Enabling Defence Engagement
30 January 2015 | The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and Cranfield University
Proposals for presentations, based on one of the workshop objectives (listed below), are invited from interested parties. Presentations will be 30 minutes in length. Presentations should preferably focus on research emphasizing field work results. Past workshops have considered data requirements, the associated operational needs and the tools for addressing those needs. ... Read More

Call for Papers: Human Migration and the Environment: Futures, Policies, Invention
4 January 2015 | Durham University, UK
Human migration and the environment are two of the most pressing issues of our times. But what is stake when these two phenomena are articulated as a singular relation? By asking this and many other questions, this conference provides a multidisciplinary forum for scholars, policymakers, practitioners and artists to chart... Read More


Conflict Minerals, Gender and (In)Security in Africa’s Great Lakes Region: The Limitations of the Sexual Violence Paradigm

4 March 2015 | Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

This discussion with Joanne Lebert on gender-based violence in the context of conflict minerals will be held from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM in room 433 of Paterson Hall at Carleton University. Prior to joining PAC in 2011, Joanne Lebert was based at the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research... Read More

Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2015: Linking Land Tenure and Use for Shared Prosperity

23 March 2015 | The World Bank, Washington, DC

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

The Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

24 March 2015 | Chatham House, London, UK

The price of oil has fallen by more than half since June 2014, the result of low demand, changes in technology and new oil supply coming onstream from outside OPEC. European and other oil-importing countries are at present benefiting from lower energy prices. Read More

Films as Change Agents for Peace and Climate Change

27 March 2015 | Women's National Democratic Club, Washington, DC

The presentation of these films represents a progression from the despair at what we see the Iraq war has left behind to the hope that real change is possible through creating alternatives to military force and building a new ethic of interdependence with the natural world. Read More

Conflict Minerals Rule: Disclosure Compliance and Latest Updates

1 April 2015 | The Knowledge Group, Webcast

In a two hour live webcast, a panel of thought leaders and practitioners assembled by The Knowledge Group will discuss the latest updates and strategies for compliance with conflict minerals disclosures as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act as well as the US Securities and... Read More

Course: Natural Resource Management in Post-Conflict Countries

1 April 2015 – 28 April 2015 | United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Online

Natural resources can play a central role in building sustainable peace in post-conflict societies. The root causes of many conflicts are directly related to or fuelled by valuable natural resources, and the transition to peace in fragile post-conflict societies often requires careful consideration of natural resource management. Using case studies, the... Read More

Conflict Sensitive Conservation, Community Organizations & Coffee

3 January 2015 – 18 March 2015 | International Peace Park Expeditions, Panama & Costa Rica

Students will have a unique opportunity to explore Conflict Sensitive Conservation initiatives in a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Parque Internacional La Amistad (International Friendship Park) on the border of Panama and Costa Rica.  Gain practical experience applying conflict analysis methodology, interview a diverse range of stakeholders, learn how to... Read More


In the last two weeks, 27 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Climate Change in the Fertile Crescent and Implications of the Recent Syrian Drought
Colin P. Kelleya, Shahrzad Mohtadib, Mark A. Canec, Richard Seagerc, and Yochanan Kushnirc (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2015)
Before the Syrian uprising that began in 2011, the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the most severe drought in the instrumental record. For Syria, a country marked by poor governance and unsustainable agricultural and environmental policies, the drought had a catalytic effect, contributing to political unrest. Read More

Event Report: Mine Action, the Environment and Toxic Remnants of War, Geneva Feb 18th
Doug Weir (Toxic Remnants of War Project, 2015)
Between February 16th and 19th, the international mine action community gathered in Geneva for the 18th International Meeting of Mine Action National Program Directors and UN Advisors. This year’s theme was “Beyond Mine Action”. The TRWP and the GICHD hosted a side event on “Mine Action, the Environment and Toxics... Read More

Human Conflict and Ecosystem Services: Finding the Environmental Price of Warfare
Robert A. Francis and Krishna Krishnamurthy (International Affairs, 2014)
Environmental degradation resulting from warfare is a growing concern, particularly with increasing recognition of humanity's dependence on healthy ecosystems. Though environmental legislation does exist that seeks to prevent or mitigate environmental harm before, during and after conflict, it has limited scope and effectiveness. Read More

Conflict and Tourism in Uganda
Stephen Frenkel (Portland State University, 2014)
This report looks into the relationship between conflict and tourism. It specifically focus on the case study of Uganda in East Africa. Uganda has a strong history of conflict and a reputation of violence. The country has undergone tragedy that gets viewed and heard of around the world. Read More

Political Memories of Conflict, Economic Land Concessions, and Political Landscapes in the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Ian G. Baird (Geoforum, 2014)
Political memories—which are crucial for establishing and maintaining ‘political capital’, based on individual and group positioning during past conflict and wars, but also in relation to presentday politics—are important when considering varied outcomes from negotiations and other interactions that occur in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in relation to large-scale... Read More


In the last two weeks, 4 new jobs were added to our online listing of job postings. Please visit our jobs page to view these positions and other job opportunities.

Somalia: Research Associate
23 February 2015 | One Earth Future Foundation
The primary role of the Research Associate: Somalia will be to develop an active empirical research program supporting OEF’s core mission and the work that we do in Somalia.  The Research Associate will be expected to develop novel research projects culminating in policy, popular, and academic outputs and respond to... Read More

Colombia: Research Associate
23 February 2015 | One Earth Future Foundation
The primary role of the Research Associate: Colombia will be to develop an active empirical research program supporting OEF’s core mission and peacebuilding in Colombia.  The Research Associate will be expected to develop novel research projects culminating in policy, popular, and academic outputs and respond to requests to develop applied... Read More

United Kingdom: Policy Adviser (Deadline: 2015-03-11)
23 February 2015 | ActionAid
With your critical understanding of the underlying causes of all kinds of crises - from natural disasters to conflict to long-term insecurity - you are just the person we are looking for at ActionAid UK. Read More

International News

South Sudan: Study: ‘Direct Link’ Between Oil Exploration and Water Pollution
28 February 2015 | Radio Tamazuj
The results of a new three-year scientific study show that oil production at Thar Jath and Mala fields in Unity State has polluted groundwater in the area to such an extent that it is no longer safe for human consumption. Read More

Russia/Ukraine: Russia and Ukraine Move toward Resolution of Feud over Natural Gas Payments
27 February 2015 | Andrew E.Kramer, New York Times
A natural gas payment dispute between Russia and Ukraine that had been casting a shadow over European energy markets appeared to be winding down on Friday, as both sides agreed to European-brokered negotiations next week in Brussels. Read More

Sierra Leone: Conflict Between Rice Farmers and Cattle Herdsmen in the Northern Province
26 February 2015 | Concord Times
Due to its geographical proximity to Guinea and as a result of vast savanna landscape, the Northern Province attracts nomadic Fullah herdsmen. Almost all five districts within the province host nomadic Fullahs to the annoyance of local rice farmers who on several occasions have clashed with the nomads over grazing/farming land. Read More

Liberia: As Gov't Cries for Revenue Intake, Illegal Mining Rocks
25 February 2015 | Cholo Brooks, GNN Liberia
The illegal mining of Liberia’s mineral sectors around the country has reportedly climbed to its highest peak. Both Liberians and foreign nationals have advantage of the absent of mining inspectors from the Ministry of Land, Mines and Energy to counties covered by these illegal miners.This situation, according to reports is... Read More

Timor-Leste: LNG Collapse Threatens Trade
25 February 2015 | Global Trade Review
East Timor’s future as a major LNG exporter remains in the balance, after the collapse of the US$17bn Sunrise project this week.The Australian company Woodrise Petroleum walked away from plans to process the offshore gas field after the government in East Timor stood by its commitment to redraw its maritime... Read More

Corruption, Climate Could Trigger Water Wars
24 February 2015 | News Editor, Environment News Service
Cleaning up widespread corruption in the water supply industry is crucial to avert looming water conflicts born of desperation, warns a new United Nations report based on case studies in 10 countries. The report, “Water in the World We Want,” warns that water supplies for 2.9 billion people in 48... Read More

Myanmar: Canadian Mining Firm May Have Breached Sanctions, Rights Group Says
20 February 2015 | Seamus Martov, The Irrawaddy
For many years, Canada’s since-rebranded Ivanhoe Mines was one of the very few Western mining companies involved in Burma through its stake in one of the country’s largest mines, located near Monywa. Recently disclosed documents reveal that during the period between April 2003 and January 2004, Ivanhoe’s local Burmese joint... Read More

Iraq: Falling Oil Prices Reveal Iraq’s Structural Problem
19 February 2015 | Etienne Lepers - International Policy Digest
Despite all the attention to falling oil prices over the last six months, the impact on the world economy has not and will not be as large as many pundits have predicted: no disaster for exporting countries, no panacea for importing countries. Read More

DRC: 'Conflict Minerals' Law Reaps Unforeseen Results
19 February 2015 | Ciaran McEvoy, Investor's Business Daily
If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then critics of an obscure provision in the Dodd-Frank Act believe there is a highway paved to the Congo. The lucrative mineral trade has been cited by human rights groups as a reason the long-running war rages in the eastern... Read More

Myanmar: Myanmar’s Mysterious Uranium is No Panacea
19 February 2015 | Chan Mya Htwe and Phyo Lwin Aung, The Trade Times
A claim of a uranium find in Mandalay Division has sparked debate over whether the country should pursue nuclear power. The billionaire tycoon Tay Za held a rare press conference at his home last month to announce that he had purchased uranium from villagers who discovered the mineral near Ohn-dan. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

India’s Water Aggression against Pakistan
2 March 2015 | Sajjad Shaukat
In the modern world, there are various forms of bloodless wars like economic wars which amount to aggression. In these terms, besides supporting subversive acts including cross-bordering shelling, India has also stared water aggression against Pakistan. In March, 2011, while speaking in diplomatic language, Indus Water Commissioner of India G. Read More

Wars for Resources?
27 February 2015 | John Foster
Recent conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine have ostensibly been about “bad guys” who threatened peace with weapons of one kind or another, or stifled freedom and democracy. Whatever the accusation, concerns about petroleum — oil and gas — are missing from official pronouncements. Read More

George Clooney on Sudan’s Rape of Darfur
25 February 2015 | George Clooney, John Prendergast, and Akshaya Kumar
Over time, international outrage has shifted away from Darfur. When change doesn’t come fast enough, attention spans are short — especially for places that appear to have no strategic importance. In the last two years, however, Darfur became important to the Sudanese government when major gold reserves were discovered in... Read More

Iraq’s Shortsighted Approach on its Gas Needs
22 February 2015 | Saadallah Al Fathi
Given the growing need for fuels for power generation, Iraq resorted to burning more expensive liquid fuels while the diesel part is mostly imported. But natural gas is the preferred fuel of the Ministry of Electricity, which then resorted to importing gas from Iran, and the Ministry of Oil only... Read More

Liberia: A Dangerous Trend against Corruption Fight
19 February 2015 | All Africa
A consultant hired by the National Legislature to craft the new oil law is a dead man and nobody knows what may have been responsible for his death. There are conflicting accounts about his death. Some Liberians have presumed that he may have drowned while others claimed foul-play. Read More

Climate Change and Terrorism
18 February 2015 | Keith Kloor
Last month, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Nature published a Q & Awith an anthropologist who studies the murderous motivations of Islamic extremists. He discussed socio-cultural factors and an allure to a radical ideology. That may help explain Islamic attacks against “infidels” in Europe and the United States, but then what’s driving suicide bombers in... Read More

Why Can't Uganda Simply Stamp out Blood Minerals?
18 February 2015 | Jeff Mbanga
Let's talk about blood minerals today. About nine years ago, I was assigned to write a story about Uganda's gold exports. Back then, as it is today, a number of government reports would list the amount of revenue the country earned from gold exports. 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, 2015 2275 5646 1370
January, 2015 2252 6916 1277
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November, 2013 298 5866 108

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