Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 46: 13 Oct 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

Global Environmental Change, Conflict, and Fragility - Discover the ECC Factbook
13 October 2015 | adelphi
The ECC Factbook, published by adelphi, is an interactive platform that analyses more than 100 conflicts related to climate and environmental change and security. Part of a broader platform on environment, conflict, and cooperation (ECC), the ECC Factbook aims to provide an easy entry point for gaining a deeper understanding... Read More

Call for Papers for the 3rd European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) in Tübingen, Germany
1 October 2015 | European International Studies Association
Profits resulting from the production and trade of valuable natural resources have long been identified as a driving force of violent conflict. The prospect of profits enables and exacerbates armed violence and facilitate the occurrence of (illicit) war-economies. Read More


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

Reaching New Audiences on Climate Change, Energy, and National Security

21 October 2015 | The Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program, Washington, D.C.

Climate change is a complex, multi-decade challenge with implications for U.S. national security as well as transatlantic and global security. Yet comprehensive climate and energy security policy remains a political “third rail” in the United States. Read More

Webinar on Climate Risk Reduction at the National and Sub-National Scale

26 October 2015 | Security and Sustainability Forum, Online

The second webinar in the "Global Security Initiative" series, this webinar will focus on localities or "hot spots" where there exists a convergence of climate vulnerability, state fragility and/or strategic significance, and where advanced preparation based on decision support would lead to more resilient decision making. Read More

Security Days: Climate Change and Security - Unprecedented Impacts, Unpredictable Risks

28 October 2015 | Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Vienna, Austria

This OSCE Security Days will provide a forum  to discuss the security risks associated with climate change as well as the security benefits of climate change mitigation and adaptation. It will also  identify successful approaches to integrating security considerations into climate change policies.  Read More

Seminar on Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict

29 October 2015 | Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway; Rutgers University; Environmental Law Institute; International Union for Conservation of Nature - World Commission on Environmental Law, United Nations Headquarters, New York City, USA

The United Nations International Law Commission took up the topic of the Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict in 2013 and appointed Dr. Marie Jacobsson as Special Rapporteur. Dr. Jacobsson has presented her first two reports, and will present her final report in 2016. Read More

iPoint Conference: Conflict Minerals & Sustainable Supply Chains

5 November 2015 | iPoint, Filderstadt, Germany

On Thursday, November 5, 2015, iPoint will hold its third conference "Conflict Minerals & Sustainable Supply Chains" at the Culture and Congress Centre FILharmonie in Filderstadt.  Speakers from business, science, law and market surveillance talk about the business challenges of sustainable sourcing of raw materials, especially minerals from conflict zones. Read More

Climate Change, Security & Defence Conference

24 November 2015 | The Conference Board of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Climate change is projected to have significant impacts on global stability, potentially increasing the risk of conflict in a number of regions—from the Arctic to sub-Saharan Africa and from the Middle East to South-East Asia. Read More


In the last two weeks, 18 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Communities & the State: Getting the Property Relationship Right for a Safer 21st Century (Third Al-Moumin Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Peacebuilding) [Video]
Liz Alden Wily (Environmental Law Institute, 2015)
Several billion rural poor still lack secure land tenure. Their communal assets are most affected. But this is beginning to change. These changes can play a crucial role in limiting conflict in troubled agrarian regions. They can also help remove impediments to transition to fairer and more accountable forms of... Read More

2015 Global Hunger Index: Armed Conflict and the Challenge of Hunger
Klaus von Grebmer, Jill Bernstein, Nilam Prasai, Sandra Yin, Yisehac Yohannes, Olive Towey, Andrea Sonntag, Larissa Neubauer, and Alex de Waal (Welthungerhilfe, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Concern Worldwide, 2015)
The developing world has made progress in reducing hunger since 2000. The 2015 Global Hunger Index (GHI) shows that the level of hunger in developing countries as a group has fallen by 27 percent. Yet the state of hunger in the world remains serious. Read More

Chains of Abuse: The Case of Diamonds from the Central African Republic and the Global Diamond Supply Chain
Amnesty International, 2015
Amnesty International has examined three specific points in the global diamond supply chain, starting with diamonds in the Central African Republic (CAR), moving to two of CAR’s neighbours into which some of its diamonds are smuggled, and ending at diamond exchanges in the major global trading centres of Antwerp and Dubai. Read More

Experts’ Background Report on Illegal Exploitation and Trade in Natural Resources Benefitting Organized Criminal Groups and Recommendations on MONUSCO’s Role in Fostering Stability and Peace in Eastern DR Congo
The 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

Assessing the Performance of Water User Associations in the Gash Irrigation Project, Sudan
Lee A. Ngirazie, Ageel I. Bushara, and Jerry W. Knox (Water International, 2015)
In many countries, water user associations (WUAs) have assumed responsibility for managing irrigation systems, but their performance is known to vary markedly. This study assessed WUAs in the Gash spate irrigation project in Sudan, a decade after their initiation. Read More

Using Water Insecurity to Predict Domestic Water Demand in the Palestinian West Bank
S. E. Galaitsi, Annette Huber-Lee, Richard M. Vogel, and Elena M. Naumova (Water International, 2015)
Household interviews were conducted in the Palestinian West Bank to examine the relationship between price elasticity, water insecurity and domestic water demand. Water insecurity weights were defined and quantified for each household for use in a multivariate regression model. Read More

Hydropolitics in the Harirud/Tejen River Basin: Afghanistan as Hydro-hegemon?
Vincent Thomas and Jeroen Warner (Water International, 2015)
This paper analyses how control over transboundary water is being achieved in the Harirud/Tejen River Basin, located in Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. It illustrates how a weaker country like Afghanistan compensates its structural power deficit by relying on international support and taking advantage of its neighbours’ foreign policy constraints. Read More

A Water Energy Nexus across the Jordan for Stability and Climate Change Mitigation
Gideon Bromberg (Tel Aviv University, 2015)
Gideon Bromberg, CEO of EcoPeace, dicusses the Jordan River Basin's water-energy nexus and its role in stability and climate change mitigation at the 2nd German-Israeli Climate Talks: Climate Change in the Lowest Place on Earth, the Dead Sea, Great Rift Valley. Read More

GPS Trackers In Fake Elephant Tusks Reveal Ivory Smuggling Route
NPR, 2015
Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching, and many of their ivory tusks wind up hundreds or thousands of miles away. Investigative journalist Bryan Christy wanted to track the route of the poached tusks, so he commissioned a taxidermist to create two fake ivory tusks,... Read More

A Diamantine Struggle: Redefining Conflict Diamonds in the Kimberley Process
Lauren Bruffaerts (Chatham House, 2015)
Diamonds are forever. But what of the definition of conflict diamonds used by the Kimberley Process (KP)? Despite the fact that civil society has raised attention to the cloudy issue of state-perpetrated diamond-related human rights abuses throughout the past decade, the continued longevity of the central definition around which the... Read More

Conflict over a Hydropower Plant Project between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Sonoko Ito, Sameh El Kahtib, and Mikiyasu Nakayama (International Journal of Water Resources Development, 2015)
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Central Asian countries struggled to reach an agreement on the use of their shared fresh water resources. The conflict between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan regarding construction of the Rogun Hydropower Plant in the Amu Darya Basin seems deadlocked at present, despite copious efforts made... Read More

Map of ISIS' Footprint across Iraq and Syria Featuring Oil Infrastructure [Infographic]
Elena Holodny (Business Insider, 2015)
The map, produced by RBC Capital Markets' Helina Croft and her team, shows where ISIS' footprint across Iraq and Syria overlaps with oil infrastructure. The lighter gray areas show ISIS operational spheres, the darker areas are zones with oil fields, and yellow are oil refineries.  Read More


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

Burundi/DRC/Kenya/Rwanda: International Evaluator for the Trans-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region Programme (Deadline: 2015-10-15)
13 October 2015 | Interpeace
Interpeace’s Trans-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region programme seeks a consultant to conduct a mid-term evaluation. The evaluation is expected to measure progress of the programme and to assess the effectiveness of the programme strategies for achieving programme outcomes. Read More

Pakistan: Officer Corporate Partnership and Fundraising (Deadline: 2015-10-16)
13 October 2015 | WWF-Pakistan
Pakistan contains a diverse topography of geographical features and is home to incredibly diverse flora and fauna. Over the last century, lack of understanding and awareness has led to human practices that have exploited the country’s natural resources without replenishing them. Read More

Sierra Leone: Head of Renewable Energy Project (Deadline: 2015-10-18)
4 October 2015 | Welthungerlife
This project focuses on the use of renewable energies (in particular solar photovoltaic, mini hydro power) with productive benefits for agriculture, health and education. Sustainability is achieved through rural energy firms that must be established. The project places great emphasis on education and cooperation with occupational training institutions and local partners. Read More

International News

Climate Security: NATO Body Calls on Member States to Tackle Climate Security Threat
12 October 2015 | Jocelyn Timperley, Business Green
Up to 250 senior members of parliament from NATO states are today expected to call for leaders of members states to deliver an ambitious, legally-binding climate agreement in Paris this December. The resolution, which is set to be approved by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) today, also urges governments... Read More

China/South China Sea: China Completes Construction of Lighthouses in Disputed South China Sea
10 October 2015 | Reuters
China has completed the construction of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as tensions in the region mount over Beijing's maritime ambitions. A completion ceremony was held for the lighthouses on Cuateron Reef and Johnson South Reef in the Spratly islands, Xinhua... Read More

Liberia: CRC Wants Land Rights Act Legislated
9 October 2015 | Ethel A. Tweh, The New Dawn
Speaking during a recent program at the Monrovia City Hall, Cllr. Scott said the Land Rights Act is part of recommendations gathered from citizens across the country for amendments in the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, stressing that if passed into law, it would help to foster peace and reconciliation. Read More

Mozambique: Mozambique Destroyed Its Last Landmine. That’s a Victory for Food Security
7 October 2015 | Karen Coates, UN Dispatch
Last week, deminers in Mozambique detonated the country’s last-known landmine. It took 22 years to rid them all, more than 200,000 total. Decades of conflict had ruptured the country, with a 10-year fight for independence from Portugal, followed by 15 years of civil war. Read More

South Sudan: Nespresso, Clooney Promote Coffee in War-Torn South Sudan
7 October 2015 | Corinne Gretler, Bloomberg
Nespresso, the world’s biggest single-serve coffee brand, will start selling coffee from South Sudan, in an effort proposed by George Clooney to help rebuild an industry that nearly disappeared during decades of civil war. This marks the first time the four-year-old country starts exporting coffee, according to Nespresso Chief Executive... Read More

Sudan: Sudanese Gold Output to Reach Record 80 Tonnes This Year
6 October 2015 | Dania Saadi, The National
Gold production in Sudan is forecast to rise 9.6 per cent to a record 80 tonnes this year as the African country seeks to boost its output of metals and minerals, says its minister of minerals. Read More

Cambodia: Anti-Logging Vigilantes Get International Recognition
6 October 2015 | Aun Chhengpor, Voice of America
In late September, the Prey Lang Community Network was selected as one of the world’s top 21 local community groups working for environmental conservation in the United Nations Development Program-supervised Equator Prize 2015. On its official website, the Equator Prize states that it “recognizes outstanding local achievement in advancing sustainable development... Read More

Côte d’Ivoire: Ivory Coast Seeks to Save Forests from Illegal Cocoa Boom
5 October 2015 | Ange Aboa, Reuters
In Mont Peko National Park, thousands of leafless Iroko and Samba trees tower over a sea of lush plantations like headstones, a testament to the heavy environmental cost Ivory Coast has paid for a dramatic rise in its cocoa production. Read More

Iraq: Cholera Infections in Iraq Climb to More than 800: Health Ministry
3 October 2015 | Press TV
Iraqi medical authorities say the number of recorded cases of cholera in the conflict-ridden Arab country has climbed to more than 800, though no new deaths have been reported in days. Director General of Planning and Development in Iraq’s Health Ministry Hassan Hadi Baqer, told Arabic-language al-Sumaria satellite television network... Read More

Liberia: Sinoe County - Liberian Community Pushing to Manage Forest
30 September 2015 | Al-Varney Rogers Alvarney, FrontPageAfrica
The Norwegian government has pledged $150m up to the year 2020 if Liberia protects its forests standing - putting communities in charge of conserving their forests, and keeping industry out. In Sinoe, most of the villagers near the forest seem to be a bit aware of the importance of the... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

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

Climate Data Can Be Critical in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States – Here’s How to Get It
5 October 2015 | Schuyler Null
When war breaks out, what happens to the weather forecast? Violent conflict disrupts many essential services in developing countries and one of the most overlooked is meteorology, which has surprisingly big consequences for farmers, policymakers, and the aid workers who are there to help. Read More

Asean Environmental Security Concerns
3 October 2015 | Amado S. Tolentino, Jr.
The effects of extreme weather events caused by climate change are now felt all over the world – warmer temperature causing desertification and inadequate food supply; low lying areas inundated by rising seas; drought sparked conflicts over water supply as downriver inhabitants safeguard their share. Read More

OP-ED: Mass Firing at National Oil Company of Liberia is Overdue
1 October 2015 | Francis Cordor
In August, the National Oil Company of Liberia fired its entire staff of 200 people in a move aimed at reducing costs and saving the company from financial ruin due to declining oil prices. While it’s unusual to sack an entire staff, am I shocked? Perhaps, as it’s always shocking... Read More

New Amnesty Report Provides Insights into the Diamond Trade in Central African Republic
1 October 2015 | Kasper Agger
The Central African Republic (CAR) has been rocked by renewed violence this week with 36 people killed and 42,575 displaced persons over the last few days. A new report from Amnesty International, "Chains of Abuse," provides unique insights a key fuel for the violence in CAR, the blood diamond trade. Read More

Guest Post: Setting the Boundaries in the South China Sea
30 September 2015 | Micah Zenko
Tensions between China and Vietnam over the South China Sea are rising and a miscalculation or miscommunication risks an outbreak of hostilities. Earlier this month, imagery revealed that China is constructing its third airstrip in the disputed Spratly Islands, an archipelago of 750 reefs, cays, and islands claimed—in whole or in... Read More

Friday Deadline for SEC to Appeal Latest Conflict Minerals Court Ruling
30 September 2015 | Enough Team
This Friday, October 2, is the deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other parties to petition for a review of the most recent court decision on the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule. The Enough Project eagerly awaits word about the status of this court decision and the potential petition... 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
September, 2015 2519 5298 1834
August, 2015 2515 4744 1786
July, 2015 2511 6137 1701
June, 2015 2481 7032 1641
May, 2015 2415 6368 1561
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Samantha Bresler, Amy Harlowe, Elizabeth Hessami, Alex Laplaza, Laura Mitchell, Bardia Rahmani, 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