Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 44: 15 Sep 2015


New Graduate and Professional Education Program: Certificate in Environment, Peace and Security at Columbia University
14 September 2015 | Columbia University
Evidence is accumulating that linkages between environment and security dynamics are more important than previously thought. Governments, the public, corporations, and other organizations around the world need a clearer understanding of the related new risks and more effective responses. Read More

Grant Opportunity: Dialogue and Dispute Resolution for Conflict Prevention in Guinea's Forest Region
10 September 2015 | Department of State, Bureau of Conflict Stabilization Operations
CSO seeks to support facilitated dialogue and community level alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to prevent and mitigate inter-communal violence in Guinea's Forest Region. The dialogue efforts will seek to build trust and tolerance, necessary components for long-term reconciliation, between Forest Region leadership, including both peacemakers and spoilers. Read More


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

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

Conference Planetary Security: Peace and Cooperation in Times of Climate Change and Global Environmental Challenges

2 November 2015 – 3 November 2015 | Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague, Netherlands

The conference provides an international platform for high level policy makers and experts working on the threats posed to security, stability and development by climate change, environmental degradation and resource scarcity. The aim of the conference is to enhance knowledge sharing and international cooperation amongst leading decision makers, academics, think... Read More

Global Supply Chain Summit USA

7 December 2015 – 8 September 2015 | Chemical Watch, Washington, DC

This annual two-day Summit focuses on the management of safe and sustainable chemicals in the Supply Chain. The program includes the latest thinking on Alternatives Assessment from both sides of the Atlantic. Attendees will discuss conflict minerals in Europe and the United States, and learn about Dodd-Frank and the emerging... Read More


In the last two weeks, 22 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

"Dry Season," Episode 101 of Years of Living Dangerously [Video]
The Years Project (Showtime, 2014)
These stories explore how drought, caused by climate change, threatens jobs, food and water, and political stability. In this episode, Thomas Friedman researches the Syrian drought, meets Syrian refugee Farah, and goes to the White House. Read More

The Sahel, Beyond the Headlines: Population, Environment, and Security Dynamics [Video]
The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, 2015
Violent extremism in the Sahel region has dominated the news since Boko Haram kidnapped 276 Nigerian schoolgirls one year ago. But the complex dynamics that are compounding the region’s security emergencies are often left out of the headlines. Read More

Climate, Conflict, and African Development [Video]
Edward Miguel (TEDxBerkeley, 2015)
Edward Miguel's main research focus is African economic development, including work on the economic causes and consequences of violence; the impact of ethnic divisions on local collective action; and interactions between health, education, environment, and productivity for the poor. Read More

How Conflict Disrupts Sustainable Living [Video]
Rui Pinto (TEDxDili, 2015)
Rui Pinto discusses how past conflicts, in displacing people, have disrupted their historical connection to the land and sustainable way of living. He is a zoologist who works as the Natural Resources Manager at Conservation International. Read More

Broken Landscape: Confronting India’s Water-Energy Choke Point [Video]
Environmental Change and Security Program (The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2015)
In resource-rich Meghalaya, India, the demand for coal is transforming the environment and the people who depend on it. Coal mine owners are prospering from booming production, but few laws regulate the dangerous and polluting practice of rat hole coal mining. Until now. Read More

Land Access and Livelihoods in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste: No Magic Bullets
Simon P.J. Batterbury, Lisa R. Palmer, Thomas R. Reuter, Demetrio do Amaral de Carvalho, Balthasar Kehi, and Alex Cullen (International Journal of the Commons, 2015)
In Timor-Leste, customary institutions contribute to sustainable and equitable rural development and the establishment of improved access to and management of land, water and other natural resources. Drawing on multi-sited empirical research, we argue that the recognition and valorization of custom and common property management is a prerequisite for sustainable... Read More

“Playing the Game”, Identity and Perception-of-the-Other in Water Cooperation in the Jordan River Basin
Josepha Ivanka Wessels (Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2015)
The concept of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) has enjoyed immense popularity and thus has been the preferred approach for river basin management. IWRM generally has a strong focus on rational choice, based on a technocratic conceptual interpretation of the conventional hydrological cycle. Read More

Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
Ashok Swain (Hydrological Sciences Journal, 2015)
Water-management issues cut across all sectors of governance and have a critical bearing on many post-conflict challenges. The imperative of adequate water supply, and the weakness of the state in post-conflict period provide a nexus, which demands comprehensive and well-thought-out policy planning, for the short- as well as for the long-term. Read More

Desecuritisation of Water and the Technocratic Turn in Peacebuilding
Karin Aggestam (International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 2015)
This article addresses the research gap of water desecuritisation and advances an interdisciplinary approach within the issue area of peacebuilding. It draws upon three strands of research: security, peacebuilding and transboundary water management. The article examines three core questions: (1) how is desecuritisation conceptualised and understood in theory as well... Read More

A Systems Perspective of Conflict Resolution in Water Resources and Environmental Management
Keith W. Hipel, Liping Fang, Johannes Cullmann, and Michele Bristow (Springer International Publishing, 2015)
The many contributions contained in this book regarding the theory and practice of effectively addressing conflict in water resources and environmental management are put into perspective in this chapter. More specifically, the contents of each of the subsequent fifteen chapters are categorized within four main parts according to the systems... Read More


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

Democratic Republic of the Congo: REDD Capacity Building Program (Deadline: 2015-09-16)
12 September 2015 | REDD Capacity Building Program
The Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) is engaged in a process of preparation of the future international arrangement Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD +). This process is facilitated by the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism (MECNT) in partnership with the UN REDD Programme (UN-REDD) and the World Bank... Read More

Liberia: Project Manager (Deadline: 2015-09-16)
13 September 2015 | Fauna & Flora International
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science and take account of human needs. Operating in more than 40 countries worldwide, mainly in the developing world, FFI saves species from extinction and habitats from destruction, whilst improving the... Read More

Timor Leste: Disaster Prevention Financing Consultancy (Deadline: 2015-09-17)
12 September 2015 | UNDP
The Dili-Ainaro Road Development Corridor project, is aimed at strengthening the resilience of communities living in the Dili-Ainaro Road Development Corridor to climate-induced disasters such as floods and landslides and to reduce the risk of damage to road infrastructure. Read More

South Sudan: Food Security and Livelihoods Coordinator (Deadline: 2015-09-21)
13 September 2015 | United Methodist Committee on Relief
The Food Security & Livelihoods Coordinator plays an important role in the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Sudan's field management structure. UMCOR-International Program’s program areas in the Sudan focuses primarily in the field of Emergency Relief and transitional development, which include but not limited to the following sectors; water... Read More

Afghanistan: Emergency Shelter Coordinator (Deadline: 2015-09-24)
13 September 2015 | UNHCR
With more than 2.7 million Afghan refugees in the region, and an estimated 3 million globally, Afghanistan has one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Since the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001, the country has witnessed massive return, with 4.6 million refugees returnees assisted... Read More

South Sudan: Institutional Analysis and Capacity Adaption (Deadline: 2015-09-29)
12 September 2015 | UNDP
The GEF has approved funding for the Preparation of South Sudan’s National Adaptation Programme of Action in accordance with the Operational Guidelines for Expedited Funding. The project aims to finalise the preparation of the NAPA for South Sudan. Read More

Cluster Hire in Security, Resilience, and Sustainability (Deadline: 2015-10-17)
15 September 2015 | Northeastern University
The College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) at Northeastern University invites applications and nominations for open rank positions in all relevant areas of security, resilience and sustainability, with a particular interest in their overlap. Read More

Director, Early Engagement in Extractives (EEE) (Deadline: 2015-11-30)
9 September 2015 | One Earth Future Foundation
OEF is a private, self-funded operating foundation based just outside Boulder, Colorado. OEF develops and then supports programs aimed at improving social systems in the interest of peace. We believe that sustainable social change requires a long-term vision and care most about that kind of change that our programs help... Read More

Director of Strategic Partnerships (Deadline: 2015-12-31)
12 September 2015 | Global Witness
The Global Witness team draws on a wide range of skills, from undercover investigations and painstaking financial research, to information gathering on the ground and close cooperation with partners and activists all over the world. We are seeking an exceptional and experienced advocate and manager who has a demonstrated ability... Read More

International News

Africa: African Nations Work Together to Rid Supply Chains of Conflict Materials
14 September 2015 | Alison Moodie, Guardian
A group of African nations have developed a framework that will make it easier for companies to keep conflict minerals out of their supply chains. The new certification framework, known as the Regional Certification Mechanism, was developed by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), an intergovernmental organization... Read More

China/Vietnam/South China Sea: Watch Out China: Vietnam's Coast Guard Will Fight Back
11 September 2015 | Ankit Panda, The Diplomat
Starting October 20, 2015, Vietnamese coast guard vessels will be permitted to use on-board weapons to deter and repel foreign boats. According to a report by Vietnam’s Thanh Nien news agency, the country’s government has introduced a new regulation which allows the coast guard to play a more active role in defense. Read More

Myanmar: Myanmar Third-Worst for Deforestation Rate, Says UN
11 September 2015 | Aye Sapay Phyu, Myanmar Times
Since 2010, Myanmar has lost more than 546,000 hectares (over 1.3 million acres) of forest on average each year, according to a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. The chunk of forest lost annually is about the size of fellow ASEAN country Brunei, and over the past five... Read More

Liberia: Women Petition Senate to Pass Land Rights Bill
9 September 2015 | Liberia News Agency, Richard Stephens
A group of women under the banner of the Women NGO Network Tuesday converged on the Capitol Building to petition the Liberian Senate to speedily pass the Land Rights Bill. The group's spokesperson Betty Sharpe said the bill submitted to the National Legislature in September 2014, seeks land ownership rights,... Read More

DRC: New Scheme Seeks to Improve Tracking of DRC Minerals
9 September 2015 | Nick Long, Voice of America
The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is renowned for its mineral wealth, but much of that wealth is untapped, partly because of fears that mineral exports have been funding conflict and that miners are exploited. But a new initiative supported by the U.S. Read More

Myanmar: A Closer Look at Chin State’s Vulnerable Flood-Displaced
7 September 2015 | Lawi Weng, The Irrawaddy
Hundreds of newly displaced families in this small village in Chin State wait hopefully for relief in temporary shelters after a landslide wiped away their homes and belongings. Situated in the remote state’s Tonzang Township, just under three hours by car from Kale, the town has suffered greatly since severe... Read More

Syria: How Climate Change is Behind the Surge of Migrants to Europe
7 September 2015 | Aryn Baker, Time
More than 10,000 migrants and refugees traveled to Western Europe via Hungary over the weekend, fleeing conflict-ravaged and impoverished homelands in the hope of finding a more secure life abroad. Even as Europe wrestles over how to absorb the new arrivals, human rights activists and migration experts warn that the... Read More

Angola: Foreign Oil Drillers Sour on Regulation-Happy Angola, Total Says
5 September 2015 | Candido Mendes, Bloomberg
Angola risks losing investment from foreign oil companies as costly government regulations and low world prices make the country, vying to be Africa’s largest producer, less attractive to operate in, an industry executive said. A series of measures introduced by Angola’s government in recent years has pushed production costs up... Read More

Israel/Palenstine: Gaza Could Soon Become Uninhabitable, UN Report Predicts
2 September 2015 | Peter Beaumont, Guardian
A hard-hitting new United Nations report says Gaza could become uninhabitable in less than five years if current economic and population trends continue. It cites what it describes as the “de-development” of the blockaded coastal strip, which is at present home to some 1.8 million Palestinians but is expected to... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 6 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

The Next Genocide
12 September 2015 | Timothy Snyder
New Haven — Before he fired the shot, the Einsatzgruppe commander lifted the Jewish child in the air and said, “You must die so that we can live.” As the killing proceeded, other Germans rationalized the murder of Jewish children in the same way: them or us. Read More

Don't Be Fooled by Dialogue -- Argentina Only Wants One Answer to 'the Falklands Question'
8 September 2015 | Jan Cheek
On Friday 4th, Ms Cecilia Nahón, Argentina Ambassador to the United States, wrote an article for the Huffington Post, titled 'Malvinas: All Argentina Is Saying Is Give Dialogue A Chance.' In the article, Ambassador Nahón described how old political disputes in the United States were being solved as a result... Read More

The Improbability of a Water War in South Asia
6 September 2015 | Manu Moudgil
Water wars in South Asia are unlikely due to well-etched treaties and economic compulsions. If there is ever to be a Third World War, many believe it will be fought over water, with South Asia serving as the flashpoint. Read More

How History Shaped China's Water Crisis
3 September 2015 | David Pietz
During the hot, dry month of August 1992 the farmers of Baishan village in Hebei province and Panyang village in Henan came to blows. Residents from each village hurled insults and rudimentary explosives at the other across the Zhang River – the river that feeds the Red Flag Canal Irrigation System and... Read More

Gold Fever Grips Uganda
3 September 2015 | Rodney Muhumuza
The hunt for gold takes the men 100 metres underground, past contraptions of wood and rope rigged to function like pulleys, past hard rock that they attack day and night with demolition hammers. When they emerge at the end of a shift, the miners carry stone samples that will be... Read More

Red Cross: Water Continues to Be Used as Weapon of War in Syria
3 September 2015 | Schuyler Null
Water is being used as a weapon of war on one of Syria’s deadliest battlegrounds, says the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and its local affiliate, the Syrian Arab Crescent, in a new video. Aleppo, a city of more than 2 million before the conflict, has two pumping stations... 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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