Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 42: 18 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.

Webinar on Peace, Conflict, and the Scale of the Climate Risk Landscape

25 August 2015 | Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University, Online

Hosted by the Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University, this webinar will examine the security implications of climate risk, addressing climate risk and security on all fronts, from the risk assessment perspective (impacts on governance, economic vitality, national, regional and international security) to potential solutions (risk management, policy, and technical). Read More

UNE Peace Studies Conference 2015

26 August 2015 – 28 August 2015 | University of New England, Parramatta NSW, Australia

The conference invites supporting and opposing papers on defining peacebuilding, with a focus on environmental peace. Yet, the conference also questions whether peacebuilding, or 'peace infrastructure', as a concept, term and plan for implementation, is any different to previous, much-maligned concepts of 'tick-box peacebuilding' that prefers bureaucratic and economic 'solutions'... Read More

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

Course: Competing Claims on Natural Resources

29 February 2016 – 11 March 2016 | Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation, Netherlands

Competition over land and natural resources is increasingly overstretching the multi-functionality of landscapes, whether it is at local or at global level. With the ambition as enshrined in numerous international conventions and national polices alike to reconcile agricultural development and the wise use of our natural resources, this places enormous... Read More


In the last two weeks, 20 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Afghanistan’s Mineral, Oil, and Gas Industries: Unless U.S. Agencies Act Soon to Sustain Investments Made, $488 Million in Funding Is at Risk
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, 2015
Since 2009, the Department of Defense (DOD) Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) and the U.S. Agency for InternationalDevelopment (USAID) have been the two U.S. government entities that provided assistance in direct support of Afghanistan’s extractiveindustries. Read More

Conflict Minerals Reporting, Year Two: Disclosure Remains Steady amid Uncertainty
EY Center for Board Matters , 2015
In this second year of mandatory reporting pursuant to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) conflict minerals rule, boards and executives continue to navigate the challenge of complying with reporting requirements in an uncetain regulatory and legislative environment. Read More

International Law and Governance of Natural Resources in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations
Daniëlla Dam-de Jong (Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law, 2015)
Natural resource wealth is conducive to a country's development. Nevertheless, the last few decades have shown a harsher reality, where natural resources have also triggered, financed or fuelled a number of internal armed conflicts. Examples include the armed conflicts in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the... Read More

'With Only Our Voices What Can We Do?': Land Confiscation and Local Response in Southeast Myanmar
Karen Human Rights Group, 2015
Villagers in Karen areas of southeast Myanmar continue to face widespread land confiscation at the hands of a multiplicity of actors. Much of this can be attributed to the rapid expansion of domestic and international commercial interest and investment in southeast Myanmar since the January 2012 preliminary ceasefire between the... Read More

Mining and Reconciliation: Negotiating the Future of the Panguna Mine in Bougainville
Kylie McKenna (State, Society & Governance in Melanesia, 2015)
In 1989, the massive Panguna copper mine, which was at the centre of a decade-long conflict in Bougainville, was forced to close. Twenty-five years on, Bougainville is readying for a deferred referendum on independence — one of the central pillars of the Bougainville Peace Agreement — to be held sometime... Read More

Paani [Video]
Shekhar Kapur (Yash Raj Films, 2015)
Thirty-five years into the future in a city with a population of 20 million people, a war has begun in the quest for water known as the Water Wars between those that have water and those that do not. Read More

Act on It! 4 Key Steps to Prevent Land Grabs
Alex Wijeratna (ActionAid, 2015)
Over the past 15 years, tens of millions of hectares of land have been acquired by large investors in developing countries. The Land Matrix documented 1,037 transnational land deals covering 37,842,371 hectares during this period, while many more deals remain undocumented.1 This global land rush is causing widespread forced evictions... Read More

Water Wars from the Pharaohs to the West Bank in 2 mins. via LEGO Animation [Video]
AJ+, 2015
"They call it blue gold." This short video uses LEGO animation to illustrate how water has fueled conflict throughout history. The video provides examples of water wars, ranging from a war in ancient Mesopotamia over a key irrigation canal to the construction of dams in Ethiopia and China to water... Read More

Climate Change and Conflict
USAID, 2015
There is growing recognition of the interrelationship between climate change and conflict. Research and field experience are demonstrating that these dynamics are often particularly acute in countries that are fragile orconflict-affected – regions that represent the majority of the countries in which USAID works. Read More

ASP Senior Officers Statement on Climate Change
American Security Project, 2015
Today, the United States faces a looming threat to national security: climate change. As our service in all four branches of the military taught us, we must prepare for all threats, even those that are over the horizon. Read More


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

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

Foreign Agriculture Service- Program Analyst (Deadline: 2015-08-24)
12 August 2015 | U.S. Department of Agriculture
The incumbent of this position serves as an Advisor for Agriculture and Food Security in the Disaster Response and Mitigation Division (DRM) of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) within the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA).  The incumbent will advise OFDA and DCHA Senior Management... Read More

International News

Iraq/Kuwait: Burning Kuwaiti Oil Wells Still Drain Iraqi Budget
13 August 2015 | Ismaeel Naar, Al Arabiya News
Under a cash-strapped budget, Iraq today has to allocate its funds to a number of other obligations, including the fight against ISIS, contractual payments to oil companies, public salaries and transfers to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Read More

India: Special Court Set Up to Try Land-Grabbing Cases
11 August 2015 | The Hindu
The State government, on Monday, issued a notification to establish a special court in Bengaluru for speedy inquiry and trial of land-grabbing cases. The court will have jurisdiction over the entire State with its headquarters in Bengaluru, and will start functioning in a month. Read More

Liberia: Nimba Citizens Laud LEITI’s Extractive Education
11 August 2015 | Cholo Brooks, Global News Network
Citizens of Nimba County have lauded the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI),for its nationwide dissemination exercise of its 5th report on the extractive sector of Liberia. Speaking at the LEITI outreach event in Nimba County, the citizens thanked LEITI for initiating the process of educating them on the resource... Read More

South China Sea: South China Sea Tensions Deter Oil Exploration
11 August 2015 | Sue Lannin, ABC News
An energy analyst said exploring for oil and gas near disputed islands in the South China Sea is too much of a gamble for international energy companies because of the tensions in the region and unconfirmed estimates of the size of the oil and gas deposits. Read More

Guinea: Using UAVs to Map Diamond Mines and Reduce Conflict in Africa
11 August 2015 | Patrick Meier, iRevolutions
In June 2014, a joint USAID and USGS team used a small UAV to map artisanal diamond mining sites in Western Guinea. The purpose of this UAV mission was to support the “Kimberley Process (KP), an international initiative aimed at preventing the flow of conflict diamonds.” Adhering to the Process’s regulations is proving... Read More

China/United States/South China Sea: John Kerry Says US Will Not Accept Restrictions on Movements in the Sea
6 August 2015 | ABC News
US secretary of state John Kerry has accused China of not allowing freedom of navigation and overflight in the disputed South China Sea, despite giving assurances that such freedoms would not be impeded. Addressing a regional meeting in Kuala Lumpur that has been dominated by the South China Sea issue,... Read More

Iraq: The Electricity Uprising in Iraq
6 August 2015 | Abdul Latif Al-Saadoun, Middle East Monitor
"If we cannot provide enough electric power for the Iraqis, why don't the families buy private generators?" asked an Iraqi official during a recent press interview. It was similar to the quotation misattributed to French Queen Marie Antoinette two hundred years ago; if the people don't have bread, "Then let... Read More

Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan/ Uzbekistan/Fergana Valley: Border Problems – A Threat to Central Asia’s Future
6 August 2015 | Elena Kosolapova, Trend
Two days ago, there was a shootout along the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which resulted in the injury of six Tajiks. As of now, the border agencies of the two sides are negotiating to settle this difficult situation. Read More

United States: Pentagon Prepares for Century of Climate Emergencies and Oil Wars
6 August 2015 | Nafeez Ahmed, Middle East Eye
The US Army is preparing for a new era of war for oil. While energy has always played a role in military conflicts, US military experts believe the geopolitics of energy, land and water is increasingly central to who rules, or ruins, the world. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 5 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

US 'Not Neutral' in South China Sea? A Rebuttal
14 August 2015 | James Kraska
The recent article by Mark J. Valencia ("The issue of US 'neutrality' in South China Sea disputes"; Aug 11) complains that the United States is subtly taking sides in the South China Sea disputes. Senior US officials - most recently Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel... Read More

Water and Conflict
14 August 2015 | Barry S. Levy and Victor W. Sidel
The four-year drought in California, which is causing severe water shortages and related problems, is receiving increasingly more attention. It is affecting everyone, causing people to adjust their lifestyles and causing small business owners and entire industries to rethink their use–and misuse–of water. Read More

Liberia: President Obama's Emissions Cuts - Quest for Renewable Energy in Liberia
10 August 2015 | Stephen B. Lavalah
It is an obvious fact that no one can live without clean air, clean water and clean environment; however, on a daily basis, we are making our air polluted, our water contaminated and our environment desecrated not only for ourselves, but for generation yet unborn. Read More

In Conflict Minerals, Ethical Investors Gain Ability to Rank Companies
5 August 2015 | Kristin Lin and Eily Chasan
Coming up with a “conflict-free” determination to comply with the SEC’s rule can be costly for companies—and the value of the information is up for interpretation. Read More

Pentagon Issues Scary Climate Security Report, as Russia Lays Claim to Vast Arctic Territory
5 August 2015 | Eric Holthaus
Global warming could turn the Arctic into a 21st-century battlefield, and the United States isn’t prepared. That’s the key takeaway from a new Pentagon report on the national security risks of climate change that, for the first time, looks region by region around the world from the standpoint of military commanders. 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.

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