Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 34: 28 Apr 2015


Call for Abstracts: Reframing the Arctic: Cooperation, Not Conflict Workshop
28 April 2015 | Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security
Too much of the popular narrative, in particular media framing, of polar politics is driven by the notion of inevitable conflict. The “Arctic cold war” trend piece continues to characterize coverage across popular media, reinforced by the regular publication of books that support such an interpretation. Read More

Call for Abstracts: Rethinking Peace, Security and Development in Contemporary Africa
22 April 2015 | University of Bradford
Dubbed as the year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, 2013 saw many African countries celebrate their 50th anniversary of independence. Looking at its past, present and future developments, an air of optimism and determination has indeed pervaded the continent. Read More

Call for Abstracts: Peace Conference at Wageningen University
21 April 2015 | Wageningen University
Natural resources often lie at the heart of wars and civil strife. At least forty percent of all intrastate conflicts over the past sixty years have had a link to natural resources and the environment. Global trends such as population growth, climate change and environmental degradation place a significant, and... Read More

A New Climate for Peace Report
17 April 2015 | adelphi, International Alert, The Wilson Center, and the European Union Institute for Security Studies
The executive summary of an independent report commissioned by the G7 Foreign Ministers was released on April 14th to coincide with the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting today in Lübeck, Germany. In the independent report by adelphi, the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), International Alert, and the Wilson Center,... Read More


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

2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Summit

29 April 2015 – 30 April 2015 | Automotive Industry Action Group, Novi, MI

This conference will discuss best practices in: 1) Conflict Minerals Reporting: How to conduct Due Diligence and develop a CMR, 2) Societal Connection: Why society cares and how it drives our industry to react, 2) Emerging Issues: A look at developments on the horizon that could impact your business, 3) Leadership: What are the... Read More

Course: Governance of Extractive Industries

4 May 2015 – 5 June 2015 | United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Online

Large extractive industries often appear to have retarded economic and social development through a number of phenomena often referred to collectively as the "resource curse." This online course will discuss the basics of governance principles, and allow participants to apply these principles to the specific domain of natural resources in... Read More

9th Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains

4 May 2015 – 6 May 2015 | OECD, Paris, France

This meeting will provide the opportunity to review and discuss the ongoing implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance, the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism, and other initiatives to enable responsible mineral supply chains. Issues pertinent to the tin, tantalum and tungsten (3Ts) and gold supply chains will also be addressed during the... Read More

The South China Sea: Perspectives from Law and History

13 May 2015 | International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands

The lecture to be given by Justice Antonio T. Carpio, Senior Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines, will tackle issues relating to the South China Sea dispute including its scope, the nature of the arbitration case filed by the Philippines before an arbitral panel under UNCLOS, and the legal questions raised... Read More

Increasing Collaboration in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention: A Multi-disciplinary Call to Action

15 May 2015 | Alliance for Peacebuilding, Washington, D.C.

This session at Alliance for Peacebuilding's 2015 Annual Conference will brainstorm effective collaboration to advance peacebuilding and reduce conflict over natural resources. Following an introduction to the theory and practice of environmental peacebuilding, the session will break into small groups to discuss the relevance of environmental peacebuilding to practice in the... Read More


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:

Digging for Transparency: How U.S. Companies are Only Scratching the Surface of Conflict Minerals Reporting
Amnesty International and Global Witness, 2015
Democratic Republic of Congo’s minerals are exported, smelted, and sold internationally, where they end up in cell phones, laptops, or as pieces of jewelry. We know that some of these minerals sourced from conflict areas have funded violence, abuses, and corrupt criminal networks. Read More

Understanding the Enforcement of Environmental Provisions of Petroleum Act 2012 and Why Environmental Ruin Continues
Nhial Tiitmamer (The Sudd Institute, 2015)
When the South Sudanese Petroleum Act was enacted in 2012, a flicker of hope of a better environmental management was felt after many years of environmental degradation due to negligence by the government in Khartoum. However, since the Act was passed three years ago, environmental ruin has continued. Read More

Burma's Revolution from Below
Elliott Prasse-Freeman (Foreign Policy, 2015)
In the streets, paths, and paddy fields of hundreds of Burmese towns and villages, thousands of protesters are mobilizing, in creative and often radical ways, for everything from constitutional change, to educational liberalization, to improved labor standards, to fair energy prices. Read More

The Stolen Lands of Afghanistan and its People: The State Land Distribution System
The second in a series of three reports entitled, “The Stolen Lands of Afghanistan and its People; The State Land Distribution System,” this report focuses on how state lands are distributed. This paper is the result of a desktop review and joint research by the UNAMA Rule of Law Unit... Read More

The UN Peacebuilding Commission and the Potential of Water in Post-Conflict Development, Governance and Reconciliation
Andrea Beck (Taylor & Francis Online, 2015)
This paper examines the extent to which the UN Peacebuilding Commission (UNPBC) has considered the "peacebuilding potential of water." Based on an analysis of documentation of 2006–14, it is argued that the UNPBC has paid significant attention to the role of water in post-conflict development, governance and reconciliation. Read More

Promoting Climate-Resilient Peacebuilding in Fragile States
Alec Crawford, Angie Dazé, Anne Hammill, Jo-Ellen Parry, and Alicia Natalia Zamudio (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2015)
Efforts to help fragile states move onto a path toward stability and sustainability continue to face enormous challenges. Climate change is one of these challenges. This is true for a number of reasons: the high exposure of many fragile states to climate risks, their economic reliance on climate-dependent sectors (particularly... 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.

Central African Republic: Program Food Security (Deadline: 2015-04-30)
22 April 2015 | ACTED
ACTED is a French humanitarian NGO, founded in 1993, which supports vulnerable populations, affected by humanitarian crises worldwide. ACTED provides continued support to vulnerable communities by ensuring the sustainability of post-crisis interventions and engaging long-term challenges facing our target populations, in order to break the poverty cycle, foster development and... Read More

Afghanistan: Participatory Watershed Management Project Consultant (Deadline: 2015-04-30)
22 April 2015 | Afghanaid
Afghanaid (leader of the Afghanistan Resilience Consortium – ARC) is a British-registered international NGO, which has worked in Afghanistan for over 30 years. We assist community-driven processes that address the rights and fundamental needs of people in some of the most remote areas of Afghanistan, providing basic services, supporting development... Read More

Central African Republic: Consultant (Deadline: 2015-05-03)
22 April 2015 | Welthungerhilife
Welthungerhilfe (www.welthungerhilfe.de) is one of the largest and most respected private organisations in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid in Germany. It carries out projects in 39 countries and campaigns publicly for fairer cooperation with developing countries. To start as soon as possible, we are looking for a Consultant for... Read More

Haiti: Haiti Earthquake Programme Consultants (3) (Deadline: 2015-05-04)
22 April 2015 | British Red Cross
Following the Haiti earthquake of January 2010, the British Red Cross, within the framework of the International Red Cross Red Crescent, supported the affected population to recover from the disaster in a number of ways. In June 2012, the British Red Cross began a community-driven Urban Regeneration and Reconstruction Programme... Read More

International News

South Sudan: Sudd Institute Reports Cover-Up of South Sudan Oil Spills
26 April 2015 | Radio Tamazuj
An independent South Sudanese research organization has found that none of the environmental transparency provisions of the Petroleum Act 2012 are being enforced, in particular a requirement that oil spills and leaks be disclosed to affected communities. Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: Falling Prices, Rising Threats Cool Interest in Kurdish Oil
26 April 2015 | Bram Janssen and Paul Schemm, Associated Press
The hall for the Irbil Oil and Gas Exhibition this week was crowded with company displays, executives and investors. But conspicuously absent were international oil giants like Shell, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron that only a year ago were eager to exploit the promising reserves of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region. Read More

Palestine: How Israel’s War Has Left Gaza Dry
25 April 2015 | Kate Shuttleworth, The National
A tanker pulls up on a dirt road outside a two-level house where five families live. Three men jump out and unwind a plastic hose through the gates. Because there is no electricity supply, the men have to struggle with a diesel-powered pump before they can start filling five black... Read More

Liberia: A Closer Look at Alternative Land Dispute Resolution (ALDR) Systems
23 April 2015 | Liberian Observer
As inscribed in the Act establishing the Land Commission, one of the duties and functions is to promote "prompt and fair resolution of conflicts over land." Even though the Commission itself does not have an adjudicatory or implementation role, notwithstanding, the Commission has the mandate to initiate activities that facilitate... Read More

Water: OSU Geoscientist Wins $250,000 Award for Global Water Negotiations
22 April 2015 | The Oregonian
An Oregon State University geoscientist who specializes in resolving complex international water conflicts will receive a $250,000 Heinz Award for Public Policy. Professor Aaron Wolf participated in talks resulting in the U.S.-Canada Columbia River Treaty and has helped broker agreements in Southeast Asia and Africa. Read More

Conflict Minerals: Conflict Minerals Remain Unchecked by Most U.S. Manufacturers
22 April 2015 | Stephen E. Stapczynski, Bloomberg
Metals that are sold to help fund armed groups in Africa could be making their way into the U.S manufacturing industry unchecked, a Global Witness and Amnesty International study shows. Almost 80 percent of the public companies analyzed failed to properly disclose whether their products contain gold, tin, tungsten and... Read More

DRC: Responsible Gold Also Means Supporting Livelihoods of Artisanal Miners
22 April 2015 | Tyler Gillard and Roel Nieuwenkamp, The Huffington Post
Last year, Congolese civil society leader Eric Kajemba helped broker a deal between the army, local authorities, three powerful Congolese families and a Canadian mining company to demilitarize the Mukungwe gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Read More

Water Wars: Battle Lines Drawn for Control over Water
16 April 2015 | Suparna Dutt-D’Cunha, Gulf News
Societal unrest and strategic manoeuvring over water have pervaded the Middle East for a long time now, pushing people to act aggressively to secure the most precious natural resource. The River Jordan is at the heart of the siege of Gaza Strip; Iraq, Syria and Turkey are close to war... Read More

DRC: Illicit Wildlife, Gold, Timber Trade Funds DRC Conflict
16 April 2015 | Environmental News Service
Organized crime funded by illegal trade in natural resources is fueling the 20-year-long conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, that has cost the lives of several million people, the United Nations Environment Programme reports. Read More

Yemen: Yemen War Puts 2015 Crop at Risk, Food Security Worsening - FAO
15 April 2015 | Reuters
Conflict in Yemen is disrupting the crop planting season and threatens to create food shortages, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Wednesday. The FAO has been working since 2014 to support Yemeni farmers but it says only $4 million of the required $12 million have been... Read More


War, Famine, and Drought – the Unholy Trinity Changing Our World
27 April 2015 | Boyd Tonkin
Earlier this week, the outgoing Deputy Prime Minister at last backtracked on his government’s part in the withdrawal last year of EU search-and-rescue operations for migrants in the southern Mediterranean. Clegg argued that amid the proposals now aimed at stemming the flow, “It’s all too easy to forget that they... Read More

Violence and Conflict over Minerals Still Plague Eastern Congo
23 April 2015 | Sarah Morrison
For Darlène Ndango, fear builds at night. Just over two weeks ago, she was woken up in her bed by the sound of gunshots ripping through the air. Armed men had ambushed the cassiterite mine where she sold her merchandise in South Kivu, eastern Congo. Immediately, she fled. Read More

The Ukraine Conflict’s Legacy of Environmental Damage and Pollutants
22 April 2015 | Nickolai Denisov, Otto Simonett, Doug Weir and Dmytro Averin
One year after violent conflict began, information is now emerging on the specific environmental impact of war in Ukraine’s highly industrialised Donbas region. Although obtaining accurate data is difficult, indications are that the conflict has resulted in a number of civilian health risks, and potentially long-term damage to its environment. Read More

The Coming Water Wars
20 April 2015 | Jo Ankier and John Fengolio
“Around 60% more food will be needed to feed the world’s growing population by 2050 and with the demand for water set to increase by 55% water supplies in less developed countries are under severe threat as agriculture tries to meet that demand, according to a United Nations Report. Read More

New Photo Shows China's First Airfield in the World's Most Contested Archipelago
17 April 2015 | Ishaan Tharoor
The image, provided by IHS Jane's Defense Weekly, shows that China has begun building a runway on an island in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. According to Jane's, satellite photos dated from March 23 show "a paved section of runway" on the northeastern side of Fiery Cross Reef,... Read More

Catalyzing Cooperation: Disaster Diplomacy and its Potential to Short-Circuit the Climate-Conflict Link
15 April 2015 | Tim Kovach
Here is a growing chorus of voices claiming climate change will foster more conflict and violence. Books have been released on the impending age of climate wars, while media outlets dutifully report on research that purports to show how global warming will increase violence of every form, from the number 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. 

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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.

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