Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 39: 7 Jul 2015


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


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

CGD Film Screening: Big Men

16 July 2015 | Center for Global Development, Washington, D.C.

As part of their Summer Film Series, The Center for Global Development will be showing the Nigerian oil documentary "Big Men." After the screening Todd Moss will host a Q&A with filmmaker Rachel Boynton and George Owusu, who features in the film. Read More

Conference on Conflict, Peace and Natural Resources

7 October 2015 – 10 October 2015 | National Committee Commemorations Capitulations 1945 (Wageningen45), Wageningen University and Research Center, and European Network of Places of Peace , Wageningen, Netherlands

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

Course: Introduction to Water Diplomacy

9 November 2015 – 6 December 2015 | United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Online

Water is every living organism’s common denominator. Societies depend on it for their own subsistence and growth, and go great lengths to ensure water secure futures. But freshwater is not, in essence and in practice, an egalitarian resource and its accessibility to some often means inaccessibility to others. Read More


In the last two weeks, 57 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

“Yes to Peace”? Environmental Peacemaking and Transboundary Conservation in Central America
Karina Barquet (Geoforum, 2015)
The use of transboundary conservation as tools for improving interstate relations has become a widely supported initiative in nature conservation. The rationale follows the environmental peacemaking hypothesis, which argues that seemingly neutral environmental issues can provide a sound basis for cooperation between states. Read More

Flood-Induced Displacement and Civil Conflict
Ramesh Ghimire, Susana Fereira, and Jeffrey H. Dorfman (World Development, 2015)
Large, catastrophic floods intensify environmental scarcity and can lead to mass displacement from affected areas. The sudden and mass influx of migrants could increase the risk of social tensions in receiving areas. In this paper, we analyze the impact of the displacement induced by large floods on civil conflict using... Read More

Natural Resources and Gender in Conflict Settings
Holly Dunn and Richard Matthew (Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 2015)
Over the past fifty years, analyses of world affairs have been steadily enriched by thinking through the core issues of justice and ethics, trade and development, and violent conflict and peace from the perspectives of gender and the environment. Read More

Gender-Sensitivity in Natural Resource Management in Cote d'Ivoire and Sudan
Adrienne Stork, Cassidy Travis, and Silja Halle (Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 2015)
Over the past decade, a wide body of scholarship has emerged on the relationship between violent conflict and natural resources. As this research unequivocally demonstrates, inequitable rights and access to natural resources are a significant contributing factor to many of the most protracted conflicts in the world today, including those... Read More

Global and Regional Mechanisms for Governing the Resource Curse in Africa
Gilbert M. Khadiagala (Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies, 2015)
International norms around natural resource governance have proliferated in the face of civil wars and feeble state institutions in Africa. These norms have been captured in institutions such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), and the African Mining Vision (AMV). Read More

Nexus Meets Crisis: A Review of Conflict, Natural Resources and the Humanitarian Response in Darfur with Reference to the Water Energy Food Nexus
Brendan Bromwich (International Journal of Water Resources Development, 2015)
Darfur has been widely used as a case study by both those arguing for causality between environmental scarcity and war and those disputing it. This article challenges that approach by drawing on debates taking place within Darfur, reflecting on both the conflict and the humanitarian response. Read More

Addressing Natural Resource Conflicts: Working towards More Effective Resolution of National and Sub-National Resource Disputes
Michael Keating and Oli Brown (Chatham House, 2015)
Disputes over natural resources – such as land, fresh water, minerals or fishing rights – are ubiquitous. When resolved peacefully, as is most often the case, such disagreements are an essential part of progress and development. Read More

Environmental Dimensions of Resilient and Peaceful Societies
UNEP, 2015
At least 40 percent of all violent conflicts in the last 60 years have been linked to natural resources. Climate change and increasing natural disasters are expected to increase the risk of such conflicts by degrading the available resource base. Read More

Weather Shocks and Violence against Women in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sara Cools, Martin Flatø, and Andreas Kotsadam (Center for Effective Global Action, 2015)
This study uses variation in rainfall to study how extreme shocks to income affect intimate partner violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. It finds that women experiencing a recent drought are more likely to have been abused during the last year. Read More

Transboundary Water Management and the Climate Change Debate
Anton Earle, Ana Elisa Cascao, Stina Hansson, Anders Jägerskog, Ashok Swain, and Joakim Öjendal (Routledge, 2015)
This book charts approaches which have been taken over the past two decades to promote more effective water management institutions, covering issues of conflict, cooperation, power and law. A new framework for a better understanding of the interaction between transboundary water management institutional resilience and global change is developed through... Read More

A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate and Fragility Risks
Lukas Ruttinger, Dan Smith, Gerald Stang, Dennis Tanzler, and Janani Vivekananda (adelphi, International Alert, The Wilson Center, and The European Institute for Security Studies, 2015)
Climate change is a global threat to security in the 21st century. We must act quickly to limit the future risks to the planet we share and to the peace we seek. Read More

The Political Economy of Water Management in Yemen: Conflict Analysis and Recommendations
The Hague Institute for Global Justice, 2014
Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab region and is faced with political instability. An acute water crisis looms over the country, as Yemenis are amongst those populations with the lowest water availability per capita in the world. Read More

Congo's Conflict Gold Rush: Bringing Gold into the Legal Trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Fidel Bafilemba and Sasha Lezhnev (Enough Project, 2015)
Conflict gold remains a major obstacle to peace and a driver of the black market economy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It provides a significant source of income to armed actors, from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group and Mai Mai Sheka factions to... Read More

Fighting Windmills in Eastern Congo? The Ambiguous Impact of the 'Conflict Minerals' Movement
Ben Radley and Christoph Vogel (The Extractive Industries and Society, 2015)
The artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is currently undergoing rapid reform of its governance structure as a result of multiple national, regional and international policies and initiatives designed to sever the direct link between minerals and conflict in the region. Read More

Doing Things Differently: Can Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Services Support Peace- and State-Building Processes?
Michelle Kooy, Leni Wild, and Nathaniel Mason (Development Policy Review, 2015)
Interventions across all sectors in fragile states are called to contribute to tackling conflict and fragility despite the lack of evidence on how/if this is possible. This article reviews the existing literature to identify five entry points through which water supply and sanitation service delivery might interact, both positively and... Read More


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

Artisanal Gold Programme Officer
1 July 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

Sierra Leone: Climate Change Consultant (Deadline: 2015-07-10)
28 June 2015 | USAID
USAID’s Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) Project has commissioned value chain assessments for horticulture, maize (food and feed), legumes/pulses (plant-based protein, food and feed), and animal protein in Sierra Leone, with a focus on Tonkolili and Bombali districts, including relevant trade corridors. Read More

Sierra Leone: Short Term Climate Change Consultant (Deadline: 2015-07-10)
28 June 2015 | USAID
USAID’s Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) Project has commissioned value chain assessments for horticulture, maize (food and feed), legumes/pulses (plant-based protein, food and feed), and animal protein in Sierra Leone, with a focus on Tonkolili and Bombali districts, including relevant trade corridors. Read More

Democratic Republic of Congo: National Coordinator (Deadline: 2015-07-10)
28 June 2015 | METI Inc / US Forest Service
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as one of the world’s least developed countries and part of the world’s second largest rainforest ecosystem, presents a critical challenge and opportunity for biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and climate change mitigation. Read More

Nepal: Health and Hygiene Manager (Deadline: 2015-07-10)
28 June 2015 | Splash
Our goal in Nepal is to ensure sustainable WASH coverage at 100% of all 650 government schools within the Kathmandu valley by 2019.  Currently, we have worked with 150 schools, and a primary goal of this position would be developing the strategy to scale our hygiene program to reach all... Read More

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Policy Analyst (Deadline: 2015-07-14)
28 June 2015 | Enough Project
The Policy Analyst for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region will be responsible for researching and writing about the drivers of conflict and policy options in Congo, as well as related U.S. government, corporate, and international policy for the Enough Project’s policy papers, briefings, and advocacy efforts. Read More

Afghanistan: Senior International Expert/HPS Mid-Term Evaluation (Deadline: 2015-07-16)
28 June 2015 | Afghanistan National Horticulture Development Organization
Since 2003, The European Union (EU) continues its support to the creation of the required institutional and organizational frameworks for enabling the agriculture sector to finally play the expected role as an engine of growth and for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) to provide support to and... Read More

International News

Iraq/Kurdistan: Iraqi Kurdistan's Export of Oil is 'Unconstitutional', Says Official
6 July 2015 | Middle East Monitor
A senior Iraqi official has accused the autonomous government of Kurdistan of exporting oil from Kirkuk and Erbil oil fields without coordinating it with the federal authorities in Baghdad. Such exports, insisted an adviser on oil and energy to the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, is "unconstitutional". Read More

Somaliland: Living at the 'Mercy of the Rain' in Somaliland
2 July 2015 | Katie Riordan, Al Jazeera
It has been particularly dry this year in parts of Somaliland, the internationally unrecognised nation-state that broke away from Somalia in 1991. Small, frequent droughts have left the land and its inhabitants parched. On a bumpy single-track dirt road just south of the capital Hargeisa near the Ethiopian border, a... Read More

Russia/Ukraine: Russia Halts Gas Supply to Ukraine Amid Pricing Dispute
1 July 2015 | NewsOK
The Russian gas company Gazprom halted supplies to neighboring Ukraine on Wednesday after the collapse of pricing talks, a company official said — but an EU official said the dispute would not affect the flow of Russian gas to Europe. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Russia stopped deliveries at 10 a.m. Read More

Iraq/Islamic State: Water Shortages Unite Iraq, Islamic State against Turkey
1 July 2015 | Zaid Sabah, Selcan Hacaoglu, and Jack Fairweather, Bloomberg
There’s one thing Islamic State militants and the Iraqi government they’re besieging agree on: Turkey is using more than its fair share of water. Iraq and Islamic State say Turkey needs to release more water from its dams to replenish the river in the former Fertile Crescent area where drought-like... Read More

China/India: Revisiting the ‘Water Wars’ Narrative
30 June 2015 | Zhang Hongzhou, The Diplomat
With China’s late-2014 completion of the Zangmu dam, the largest hydropower dam on the Brahmaputra River (known in Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo River), many Indian and international security experts have been warning of the coming of “water wars” between the two countries. Read More

Islamic State: India Bans Oil Trade with Islamic State-Linked Organisations
30 June 2015 | Reuters
India on Tuesday banned trade with Islamic State-linked entities in oil and other products, complying with a U.N. resolution to act against militants active in oil-rich countries such as Iraq, Syria and Libya. "In compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution ..., trade in oil and refined oil products, modular... Read More

Liberia: World Bank Upbeat over Liberia Forest Carbon Initiative
30 June 2015 | Front Page Africa
The New Liberia Media Initiatives says after an engagement of stakeholders during a ten day visitation mission geared at starting preparation of Liberia's Forest Sector project, a visiting World Bank team has rated Liberia's S REDD+initiatives as encouraging. Read More

Yemen: Rising Water Price Hits Yemenis, Shortage May Become Bigger Problem than War, Experts Say
29 June 2015 | Magdalena Mis, Reuters
The price of water is rising steeply in Yemen, which may run out of water for its 25 million people, experts say, adding to the misery caused by Arab air strikes and the civil war ravaging one of the world's poorest and driest countries. Read More

Rwanda: Lions to Be Reintroduced to Rwanda after 15-year Absence Following Genocide
28 June 2015 | David Smith, The Guardian
Seven lions in South Africa are to be tranquillised, placed in steel crates and loaded on to a charter flight to Rwanda on Monday, restoring the predator to the east African country after a 15-year absence. Read More

South Sudan: Economics of a Failed State
27 June 2015 | Al Jazeera
South Sudan is only four years old, but the world's youngest nation tops the rank of failed states worldwide. After decades of conflict with its neighbour Sudan, long-sought autonomy in 2011 was meant to be a dream come true, but the country has been wracked by violence ever since. Read More

China/Vietnam/South China Sea: China Moves Controversial Oil Rig Back towards Vietnam Coast
26 June 2015 | Reuters
China has moved an oil rig at the center of last year's violent dispute with Vietnam closer to Vietnam's coast in the disputed South China Sea, just weeks ahead of the first visit by a chief of Vietnam's Communist Party to Washington. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 6 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Collateral Damage Estimates and the Acceptability of Attacks on Industrial Sites
3 July 2015 | Doug Weir
The deliberate or inadvertent damage or destruction of industrial facilities during conflict has the potential to cause severe environmental damage and create acute and long-term risks to civilians. Can such attacks ever be justified, particularly when the consequences of attacks may be difficult to anticipate with any degree of certainty? Read More

Welcome to Basrastan
1 July 2015 | Peter Schwartzstein
This port city in southern Iraq is not an easy place to love. Once the handsome backstop of the Persian Gulf, its famous canals are now choked with trash and reek of sewage in the brutal summer sun. Read More

Thailand and Sri Lanka Show How Disasters Can be Catalysts of Fragility or Opportunities for Peace
26 June 2015 | Lukas Ruttinger
In 2011 Thailand was hit by unprecedented monsoon rains far above the average rainfall of the previous 30 years. Two million people across 26 provinces were affected. During the crisis, hundreds of civilians took it to the streets to protest discrimination by the Flood Response Operation Center and the unfair... Read More

Proposed EU Law to Help in Fight against Conflict Minerals
26 June 2015 | Kristen Moran
Mining Weekly reported that campaigner Emily Norton from the nongovernmental organisation Global Witness conflict minerals believed that the proposed European Union (EU) conflict minerals law will help make responsible sourcing a natural part of doing business in countries struggling with conflict. 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

Members Page Views Library
June, 2015 2481 7032 1641
May, 2015 2415 6368 1561
April, 2015 2387 6936 1499
March, 2015 2331 6014 1449
February, 2015 2275 5646 1370
November, 2013 298 5866 108

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