Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 41: 4 Aug 2015


Take the Environmental Peacebuilding Community of Practice Survey - Closes October 20
20 October 2015 | Environmental Peacebuilding
We invite you to participate in a short survey about the Environmental Peacebuilding Knowledge Platform, the Environmental Peacebuilding Update, and other activities. This survey will close October 20, 2015. Read More


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

Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group Meeting

28 August 2015 | EPWG, Washington, DC

The Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place August 28, 2015 from 3:00PM-5:00PM. The meeting's location is to be determined.The theme of the meeting will be funding for environmental peacebuilding programs. Read More

Third Al-Moumin Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding: Liz Alden Wily

6 October 2015 | American University, ELI, and UNEP, Washington, DC

Liz Alden Wily will deliver the Third Al-Moumin Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding, entitled, "Communities & the State: Getting the Property Relationship Right for a Safer 21st Century." Read More

Course: The Mediation Process

26 October 2015 – 30 October 2015 | CDR Associates, Boulder, CO

CDR Associates blend mediation framework presentations and discussions, conflict analysis and strategy design exercises, quick-decision role plays and mediation simulations into an exciting and highly engaging program. The variety of case studies and simulations makes this training relevant to a wide-range of audiences, including people who mediate environmental and public policy... Read More


In the last two weeks, 40 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Conversion Timber, Forest Monitoring, and Land-Use Governance in Cambodia
Forest Trends, 2015
In many countries, the accelerated clearing of forests for agricultural purposes has resulted in the rapid growth of so called “conversion timber” in recent years. This has fundamental implications for sustainable forest management (SFM) and the legality of domestic and international timber trade, as it is happening at a time... Read More

Climate Change and Vietnamese Fisheries: Opportunities for Conflict Prevention
Marcus DuBois King (The Center for Climate and Security, 2015)
Eighty percent of the world’s fish stocks are overfished or at maximum capacity.vii This situation is especially evident in the South China Sea where coastal fishing grounds have been depleted to 5-30 percent of their unexploited stocks.viii Consistent with this trend, unsustainable fishing practices have been confirmed in local areas... Read More

Reforestation Strategies amid Social Instability: Lessons from Afghanistan
J.W. Groninger (Southern Illinois University, 2015)
Foreign and domestic government agencies and other international organizations pursue reforestation programs in rural upper watershed areas of Afghanistan over the past decade to alleviate poverty, combat the insurgency and rehabilitate a depleted forest resource base. Read More

National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate
U.S. Department of Defense, 2015
This report identifies the most serious and likely climate-related security risks for each Combatant Command, the ways in which the Combatant Commands are integrating mitigation of these risks into their planning processes, and a description of the resources required for an effective response. Read More

The Dragon as a Fisherman: China’s Distant Water Fishing Fleet and the Export of Environmental Insecurity
Christopher Carolin (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2015)
China has been a coastal fishing nation known for targeting “trash fish,” which are smaller, less valuable coastal and bottom-dwelling species. Over the last thirty years, the country’s fishing activities have evolved considerably as China has grown increasingly reliant on a growing Distant Water Fishing (DWF) fleet to provide for... Read More

International Military Cooperation and Water Security in the Sahel: A New Approach to Old Problems
Callie Stinson (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2015)
By 2030, nearly half of the world’s population will be water stressed, with many people residing in conflict-affected and fragile states. Against a backdrop of environmental degradation, population growth, increased temperature variability, migration, conflict, and radicalization, governments in the Sahel are increasingly concerned with addressing the complex and interrelated threats... Read More

Green Terror: Environmental Crime and Illicit Financing
Johan Bergenas and Ariella Knight (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2015)
For decades, politicians have left the responsibility to protect the world’s natural resources to environmental organizations and aid agencies. Yet, with environmental crime on the rise and revenue filling the coffers of the world’s worst terrorist organizations and transnational criminals, governments are now responding with more resources and energy than... Read More

Climate Change Blowback: The Threats to Energy Security
Michael T. Klare (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2015)
The role of energy in driving climate change is well understood. Far less understood, however, is the reciprocal effect of climate change on energy. Not all of these effects can be foreseen, but many are beginning to be perceptible. Read More

Did We See It Coming?: State Fragility, Climate Vulnerability, and the Uprisings in Syria and Egypt
Caitlin E. Werrell, Francesco Femia, and Troy Sternberg (SAIS Review of International Affairs, 2015)
This article examines how climate change, drought, environmental conditions, and natural resource management contributed to instability in Syria and Egypt leading up to the events of 2011. It further examines the Failed States Index and the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index as two popular indices and predictive tools utilized by... Read More

The New Snake Oil?
Global Witness, 2015
Liberia is on the brink of a land grabbing crisis, driven by one of the country’s biggest investors and supporters in the Government. This report shows how Liberians are reported to have been violently beaten, threatened, and arrested for protesting the expansion of Golden Veroleum (GVL), a palm oil company... Read More


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

Senior Communications Advisor (Deadline: 2015-08-07)
27 July 2015 | Global Witness
Global Witness is seeking a dynamic and experienced communications professional to work on our conflict and fragile states campaign. This campaign covers our work on conflict minerals, DRC, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. The successful candidate will provide communications expertise to all aspects of this area of work, serving as an integral part of... Read More

African Great Lakes Region: Independent Mineral Chain Auditor (Deadline: 2015-08-07)
4 August 2015 | International Conference on the Great Lakes Region
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) is an inter- governmental organization of 12 countries in the African Great Lakes Region with a conference secretariat in Bujumbura, Burundi. Based on the Declaration of Lusaka of December 15, 2010, the ICGLR aims to operationalize the six tools of the... Read More

DRC: Policy Analyst (Deadline: 2015-08-14)
31 July 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: University Agribusiness Development Specialist (Deadline: 2015-08-14)
2 August 2015 | Purdue University
Provide the critical coordination function for capacity building activities within the Ministry of Higher Education partner universities (Balkh, Kandahar, Khost, Kunduz and Nangarhar) related to establishing an agribusiness degree program to prepare students for the job markets. The position will be located in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan at Balkh University. Read More

South Sudan: Portfolio Manager (Deadline: 2015-08-14)
3 August 2015 | UNDP
The Republic of South Sudan became an independent state on July 9, 2011 after 99% of the population voted for cession from northern Sudan in the January 2011 Referendum. Whilst the attainment of independent by South Sudan opened an unprecedented window of opportunity to turn the devastation of over 20... Read More

Natural Resources and Conflict Policy Analyst (Deadline: 2015-08-17)
4 August 2015 | Enough Project
[NOTE: Job open until filled.] The Natural Resources and Conflict Policy Analyst will be responsible for policymaker outreach, research, report writing, and review surrounding the nexus of corruption and the natural resource drivers of violent conflict and atrocity crimes in the Horn of Africa, East Africa, and Central Africa. Read More

Nepal: Senior Adviser (National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme) (Deadline: 2015-08-18)
2 August 2015 | Danida
As senior adviser at the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre you will support the Director in managing the 40 staff to implement the programme, which is aimed at reducing dependency on traditional energy and attain sustainable development through integrating alternative energy technologies. You have solid experience working with management and implementation of rural development programmes related to energy, environment and natural resources. 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

Sierra Leone: Capacity Development Specialist (Deadline: 2015-08-23)
4 August 2015 | Pact
Pact seeks a Capacity Development Specialist for a five year USAID-funded contract in West Africa called ‘West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change’, aiming to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of West African institutions, ecosystems, and communities. Capacity development for key West African NGO partners is an integral part of the activity. Read More

Nepal: Shelter Delegate (Deadline: 2015-08-28)
2 August 2015 | Swiss Red Cross
The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) is part of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – the world’s largest independent humanitarian organization. The movement has three parts: the national Societies, the international Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Read More

Iraq: Youth Employment Manager (Deadline: 2015-08-28)
3 August 2015 | Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps has worked in Iraq continuously since 2003 with a strong presence in the Basra and southern areas of the country. Mercy Corps implements both emergency response and longer-term development programs assisting Iraqis – internally displaced persons (IDPs), host communities and other vulnerable groups throughout the country. Read More

International News

Iraq: Rivers Dry Up in Iraq as Country Struggles through Unprecedented Heatwave Three Days after Temperatures Hit 71C
2 August 2015 | Mark Duell, Daily Mail
The people of Iraq today continued to battle through temperatures so hot that the country has been given a mandatory four-day holiday. Scorching weather is normal for the time of year, but the unprecedented heatwave prompted authorities to declare a break from Thursday. Read More

South China Sea: AMM to Discuss South China Sea Dispute
1 August 2015 | Rahimy Rahim, The Star
Malaysia is encouraged by the progress to finalise the code of conduct (CoC) among claimant countries in the South China Sea, but expressed concern that recent activities in the area can threaten peace and security. Read More

South Sudan: Sad About Cecil? These African Animals Are Slaughtered by the Thousands
1 August 2015 | Margot Kiser, The Daily Beast
A hopeful myth persists in this region that “wildlife refugees”—fauna in flight from war-ravaged habitats—will return one day when the conflict is over. Would that it were so. But in South Sudan, no end of the conflict appears in sight, and amid vast human suffering, nature is being ravaged as well. Read More

Conflict Minerals: Fair-Trade Thinking in Smartphone World
30 July 2015 | Derek Scally, Irish Times
The Fairphone is about bringing fair-trade thinking to the smartphone world. The story began five years ago with a campaign to raise public awareness of conflict minerals. Like conflict diamonds, conflict minerals are essential to the operation of smartphones and other electronic devices. Read More

Myanmar: Myanmar Frees Loggers From China amid a Broader Amnesty
30 July 2015 | Wai Moe
Days after a court in Myanmar sentenced more than 150 Chinese citizens to life in prison for illegal logging, resulting in objections from Beijing, the national government said on Thursday that they would be freed as part of a broader amnesty. Read More

Timor-Leste: Labor Backs Talks on New Maritime Boundary with East Timor
27 July 2015 | Tom Allard, Sydney Morning Herald
A Labor government will enter into maritime boundary negotiations with East Timor, a move that would likely give the tiny half-island state a far greater share of royalties and tax receipts from the $40 billion Greater Sunrise oil and gas project. Read More

Yemen: When War Creates Environmentalists
27 July 2015 | Almigdad Mojalli, IRIN
As the war has intensified and fuel shortages have increased, a growing number of Yemenis are turning to solar power to see them through. Two weeks into the airstrike campaign, which began on 25 March, Sana’a lost power. Most houses were plunged into darkness. Read More

Lebanon: Lebanese Seethe as Stinking Garbage Piles Grow in Beirut and Beyond
27 July 2015 | Ben Hubbard, New York Times
Lebanon is suffering from a spreading garbage crisis that has left huge mounds of trash piling up across Beirut and elsewhere. Many Lebanese see it as a new, more pungent manifestation of the country’s often impotent politics. Read More

Zimbabwe: Mberengwa's Water Wars
23 July 2015 | Sydney Kawadza, The Herald
Access to water degenerated into a long-drawn-out conflict pitting Mberengwa Rural District Council and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). The conflict, easily equated to what was expounded by political scientist and communication theorist Harold D. Lasswell of who gets what, when and how. Read More

Namibia: Land Grabs Threaten Stability – NUNW
22 July 2015 | New Era
The country’s largest trade union federation, the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), has urged the nation not to illegally occupy land on July 31, as planned by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement. The NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro said the planned unsanctioned mass occupation of land holds the potential to... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 4 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

Turning the Climate-Security Problem on Its Head: Geoff Dabelko Talks G7 ‘Climate for Peace’ Report
29 July 2015 | Linnea Bennett
Conversations around climate change often take place at the “30,000-foot level,” said Ohio University Professor and ECSP Senior Advisor Geoff Dabelko in a recent radio interview with WOUB Public Media, based out of Athens, Ohio. Emission reductions, carbon concentrations, global temperatures. Read More

Whatever Happened to the 5th Geneva Convention?
29 July 2015 | Doug Weir
The acceptance that legal protection for the environment from the ravages of armed conflict needs improvement has a long history. During the last three decades, initiatives have repeatedly flowered, only to wither and die in seminars and conference rooms, while wartime environmental damage continues largely unchecked. Read More

With China’s Oil Rig Back in the South China Sea, What’s Vietnam’s Play?
24 July 2015 | Chau Bao Nguyen
The redeployment of a Chinese oil rig in the South China Sea (SCS) shows an inconsistency in the rhetoric and practice of China’s policy in the disputed waters. Together with its mass land reclamation activities, these actions are part and parcel of coercive diplomacy. Read More

The Helmand River and the Afghan-Iranian Treaty of 1973
23 July 2015 | Dr. Glen Hearns
The Helmand River and its major tributary, the Arghandab, drain 43% of Afghanistan including most of the southern part of the country. It has an average discharge of approximately 140m3/s, but is highly variable both annually and seasonally as the waters are primarily snow melt from the ridge of mountains... 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
July, 2015 2511 6137 1701
June, 2015 2481 7032 1641
May, 2015 2415 6368 1561
April, 2015 2387 6936 1499
March, 2015 2331 6014 1449
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Samantha Bresler, Aleksandra Egorova, Marisa Garcia, Elizabeth Hessami, Laura Mitchell, Matthew Phillips, and Ben Zukowski
Edited by Joel Young
Coordinated by Michael Lerner
Design by Graham Campbell
Managed and edited by Carl Bruch and David Jensen

Copyright ELI and UNEP 2017