Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 38: 23 Jun 2015


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

6th International Meeting on Conflict Management, Peace Economics, and Peace Science

24 June 2015 – 26 June 2015 | Manas Chatterji, Binghamton University, Bangkok, Thailand

The 6th International Meeting on Conflict Management, Peace Economics, and Peace Science will take place from July 24th through 26th in Bangkok, Thailand. Several sessions will focus on resource and environmental conflict, as well as peacebuilding theory and methodology. Read More

Warden Ghislain Somba Discusses His Work Protecting Mountain Gorillas in Virunga and Garamba National Parks

29 June 2015 | National Park Service and World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC

Warden Somba, having recently completed an exchange program at Everglades and Biscayne National Park, will speak about his US training as well as his work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  The National Park Service and World Wildlife Fund partnered to coordinate Warden Somba’s program as a first... Read More

Free Webinar: Conflict Minerals Data Management and Audit Requirements

14 July 2015 – 16 July 2015 | Douglas Hileman Consulting LLC, Online

Analysts are currently reviewing the Conflict Minerals SEC filings for 2014 – the last “transition year” in the SEC Final Rule for Dodd-Frank 1502. For 2015, you can expect substantial changes, including more demands for better data, and the requirement for an Independent Private Sector Audit (IPSA).  Read More


In the last two weeks, 34 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

The Longest Conflict: Australia’s Climate Security Challenge
Robert Sturrock and Peter Ferguson (Centre for Policy Development, 2015)
This report argues Australia is underprepared and underpreparing for what is now a known security threat. Australia must position herself to protect the country and the region more effectively. Australia can be a regional leader in preserving human security by acting in concert with our partners to prepare for the... Read More

Natural Resources Governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Breaking Sector Walls for Sustainable Land Use Investments
Raymound A. Samndong and Isilda Nhantumbo (IIED, 2015)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has immense natural wealth. Political stability and good governance, including strong resources rights to local communities and sustainable investments, can galvanize sustainable development and enable the Congolese people to benefit from that wealth. Read More

Experts' Background Report on Illegal Exploitation and Trade in Natural Resources Benefiting Organized Criminal Groups and Recommendations on MONUSCO's Role in Fostering Stability and Peace in Eastern DR Congo
UNEP, United Nations Great Lakes, and MONUSCO, 2015
This report examines the role of transnational environmental crime as one of several key factors fuelling the protracted conflict cycle in eastern Democratic of Congo (DRC). It makes recommendations on how MONUSCO, in its forthcoming down-sizing phase, might wish to endeavour supporting the Government of the Democratic Republic of the... Read More

Warlord Business: CAR’s Violent Armed Groups and Their Criminal Operations for Profit and Power
Kasper Agger (Enough Project, 2015)
“Warlord Business” is the second in a new series of in-depth, field research-driven reports on the dynamics of profit and power fueling war in the Horn, East and Central Africa. Violent kleptocracies dominate the political landscape of this region, leading to protracted conflicts marked by the commission of mass atrocities by... Read More

Conflict Basins: Powderkegs to Peacepipes
David Michel and Ricky Passarelli (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2015)
Many of the world’s most critical transboundary waterways are facing unprecedented economic and environmental pressures. The combined impacts of population growth, climate change, and wasteful or ineffective water management are particularly concerning in several geopolitically important areas in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, which are likely to emerge as... Read More

Conflict Minerals: Still Early Days Despite Deadlines [Infographic]
EBN, 2015
The infographic provides key information on conflict minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the impact of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act on conflict minerals trade. Read More

Rules and Rocks: The US-China Standoff over the South China Sea Islands
Mel Gurtov (The Asia-Pacific Journal, 2015)
The long-running, multi-party dispute over control of islets in the South China Sea (SCS) is worsening both in rhetoric and provocative activity. Meeting in late May at the Shangri-La Dialogue on regional security, US and Chinese defense officials sparred over responsibility for the increased tension, though they stopped short of... Read More

The National Security Implications of a Changing Climate
Executive Office of the President of the United States of America, 2015
The effects of climate change are already being felt across many parts of the world, increasingly posing new risks to America’s national security – both domestically and internationally. This document draws from some of the reports published by the Federal government addressing the national security implications of climate change. Read More

Use of Upgraded Evidence in Cadaster Approaches for Syrian Refugee Return
Jon D. Unruh (McGill University, 2015)
The enormity of the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, together with the difficulties of their livelihoods and the burden placed on host countries, highlights the importance of planning now for the eventual return of refugees to their housing, land and property (HLP) in Syria. Read More

The Euphrates in Crisis Channels of Cooperation for a Threatened River
M. Nouar Shamout and Glada Lahn (Chatham House, 2015)
The Euphrates River is of critical importance for water, food and energy security in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Flowing southeast for 2,700 kilometres from eastern Turkey to the Persian Gulf, it supports over 60 million people and – along with the Tigris, with which it runs almost in parallel –... Read More

Men and Women as Conservation Partners in Conflict Settings
Brittany Ajroud, Kame Westerman, and Janet Edmond (Routledge, 2015)
From the forests of Central and Western Africa to the river systems of the Amazon Basin, many of the world’s most critical ecosystems are located in fragile and conflict-affected settings. It is in these places, where natural resources intersect with violence, instability, and community unrest, that conservationists take on the... Read More


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

Switzerland: Project Officer (Deadline: 2015-06-28)
13 June 2015 | UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Safe and reliable access to energy for cooking, lighting, and power is a basic need for everyone. While we use energy every day; to make our meals, to light our homes, to read and to work, for many refugees this is a luxury. Read More

Myanmar: Livelihood Coordinator (International Consultant) (Deadline: 2015-06-29)
23 June 2015 | UNDP
Background: Read More

The Netherlands: Research Fellow Private Sector Development and Peacebuilding (Deadline: 2015-07-13)
23 June 2015 | Clingendael: Netherlands Institute of International Relations
CRU is currently looking for an experienced researcher in the area of private sector development in contexts emerging from or prone to violent conflict. The position intends to reinforce CRU’s role in providing evidence-based research to inform and guide policies and intervention strategies that minimise harmful effects and maximise the... Read More

Artisanal Gold Programme Officer (Deadline: 2015-08-21)
3 August 2015 | Partnership Africa Canada
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) has been working on the question of responsible natural resource governance in Africa for over 15 years, combining a search for innovative solutions with their successful implementation. PAC has taken a multistakeholder approach, working with governments, the private sector, civil society partners and international and regional... Read More

Rwanda: Embedded Advisor in Rwanda Development Board (RDB) (Deadline: 2015-12-31)
8 September 2014 | Crown Agents
The goal of USAID Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth Project (PSDAG) is to increase smallholder incomes by promoting private sector investments– internationally and domestically - that contribute to the Government of Rwanda’s (GoR’s) Vision 2020 aim of “transforming agriculture into a market-oriented, competitive, and high value sector.” PSDAG has two... Read More

International News

Australia: Australia Military ‘Unprepared’ for Climate Impacts – Experts
22 June 2015 | Ed King, Responding to Climate Change
Australia’s defence force has “one eye shut” to the impending threat of global warming, say experts in a report released today by the Melbourne-based Centre for Policy Development. It quotes Admiral Chris Barrie, head of the ADF from 1998-2002 saying the top brass is “not prepared” for potential future extreme weather events –... Read More

Yemen: Yemen Facing Serious Food Insecurity as Conflict Deteriorates, New UN Study Finds
18 June 2015 | United Nations
Six million people in Yemen are slipping towards severe hunger and now need emergency food and life-saving assistance, “a sharp increase” from the last quarter of 2014, according to a new joint study by two United Nations organizations. Read More

Syria: ISIS is Using Oil as a Weapon against Syrians
18 June 2015 | Jeremy Bender, Business Insider
ISIS, which controls all of the oil-producing regions in eastern Syria, has started blockading oil sales to rival Syrian rebel groups in the north of the country.The fuel blockade couple cripple rival groups, undermining the civic and military structures that non-ISIS rebel groups have tried to create in Syria. Read More

DRC: Brandeis Addresses Use of ‘Conflict Minerals’ in Electronics
15 June 2015 | Bill Schaller
Underscoring its longstanding commitment to social justice, Brandeis University has approved a policy that addresses the use of conflict minerals in the university’s most commonly purchased and leased electronic items. Brandeis now requires its suppliers of desktop and laptop computers, printers, scanners, and copiers to share the annual reports that... Read More

Timor-Leste: East Timor Drops Australia Spying Case at United Nations Court
12 June 2015 | ABC News
East Timor has officially dropped its case against Australia before the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ), after the Government returned sensitive documents relating to a controversial oil and gas treaty. Read More

South Sudan: Why George Clooney is Supporting Coffee Farming in South Sudan
12 June 2015 | Aryn Baker, Time
When it comes to celebrities and their causes, there is perhaps no more indelible pairing than George Clooney and the nation of South Sudan. After decades of conflict and a genocide that left 2.5 million dead in the East African nation of Sudan, Clooney turned the light of his celebrity... Read More

Liberia: How Bribery, Interests Killed Liberia’s Rice Farm Project
10 June 2015 | Samwar S. Fallah, Front Page Africa
Liberians across the divide are still wondering why a US$30 million mechanized rice production project which was dubbed a rescue for a country heavily reliant on importation of its staple food rice is at a standstill despite the importation of sophisticated farming machineries which according to the Chairman of the... Read More

Iraq: Wheat-Importing Iraq Plans to Be Net Grain Exporter by 2017
10 June 2015 | Khalid Al Ansary, Bloomberg
Iraq, a wheat-importing nation where flat bread is a staple, plans to become a net exporter of the grain within two years, government officials said. The Middle Eastern country is in talks in London with international inspection companies about the classification of locally grown wheat for sale overseas, the national... Read More

Colombia: Crudo Derramado por las Farc en Putumayo Afectó 9 Humedales (Oil Spilled by the FARC in Putumayo in September Affected Wetlands)
10 June 2015 | El Tiempo
Si el costo ambiental inmediato del derrame de 3.120 barriles de crudo en el Putumayo en la madrugada del lunes por presión de las Farc es alto, el costo económico también lo es. El plan de emergencia y la recuperación inicial de las áreas afectadas costaría cerca de 5.000 millones... Read More

Tajikistan: Second President Says about Threat of Water Wars in Central Asia
10 June 2015 | Azerbaijan Business Center
More and more leaders of Central Asian states support the forecast of Islam Karimov, President of Uzbekistan, on a threat of wars due to water deficit in the region. Thus, at the international conference Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, said that over recent 50 years water consumption has increased almost 2-fold. Read More

China/Japan/East China Sea: Don’t Blame the Oil Rigs for Unrest in East China Sea
10 June 2015 | Emily Meierding, Time
A year ago last month, China moved its oil drilling rig, the HD-981, into waters around the Paracel Islands. China’s exploratory drilling provoked a confrontation with Vietnam, which also claims the area. Both countries deployed coast guard vessels and fishing fleets to the drilling site. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 10 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Assessing the U.S. Navy's Arctic Roadmap
21 June 2015 | Andreas Kuersten
Shielded by a significant expanse of sea ice, the Arctic Ocean has historically had limited naval strategic relevance outside of submarine and early warning operations.  But the process of climate change is increasingly melting away this covering and laying bare previously inaccessible northern waters.  As a result, and in concert... Read More

Vatican Encyclical: “War Always Does Grave Harm to the Environment”
19 June 2015 | Doug Weir
The Vatican’s latest encyclical ‘Care for Our Common Home’ has triggered much rejoicing from the environmental movement, and justifiably so, coming as it does in the run up to the latest round of climate change negotiations. Read More

The Truth about China’s South China Sea Land Reclamation Announcement
18 June 2015 | Prashanth Parameswaran
Earlier this week, as The Diplomat reported, China declared that some of its land reclamation work in the South China Sea will be completed soon. Considering the feverish pace of Chinese activity in this respect over the past few months, one might be tempted to heave a sigh of relief. Read More

Oil, Arms, and Corruption: A Poisonous Nexus?
14 June 2015 | Sam Perlo-Freeman
While world military spending has fallen slightly in recent years, some regions, notably Africa and the Middle East, have seen continuing rapid increases. When SIPRI published its annual military expenditure data for 2014 this April, it featured a list of the 20 countries with ‘military burdens’ – the share of military... Read More

Judging the Civilian and Environmental Risks of Cyber Warfare
12 June 2015 | Doug Weir
How much of a threat do cyber attacks on industrial infrastructure pose to civilians and the environment? More to the point, how do we judge the environmental acceptability of new forms of warfare, or current practices for that matter? Doug Weir takes a look. 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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