Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 48: 10 Nov 2015


Available for Download: Livelihoods, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
6 November 2015 | ELI & UNEP
Livelihoods, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding is now available for download free of charge. This is the fifth book to be published in a series of six edited volumes on post-conflict peacebuilding and natural resource management. To find out more about the book and download individual chapters, please click here. Read More


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

Israel Conference on Peace

12 November 2015 | Haaretz, Tel Aviv, Israel

Haaretz's Israel Conference on Peace will take place on November 12th at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv. Between 10:15 and 11:45, the conference will host a panel entitlted "On our doorstep - The Gaza water and energy crisis, scenarios and alternatives." The panel will bring together leading experts... Read More

Lecture: Can Ecological Intervention Enhance Diplomatic Success? Developing an Empirical Comparison of Peace Processes

12 November 2015 | Uppsala University - Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala, Sweden

Although there has been considerable research on environmental factors contributing to conflict, the reverse prospect of peace-building linked to ecological harmony has only been presented conceptually and through descriptive narrative of cases. So far there is no in-depth study, which would trace diplomatic decision-makers to address the question: How does... Read More

Launch of Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace

16 November 2015 | Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace, Geneva, Switzerland

Sustainable water resources management is one of the global challenges of the 21st century. Water issues are a growing cause of social, economic and political instability, with significant impact on security and peace in the world. Read More

High-Level Panel Discussion on Natural Resources and Conflict: A Mediated Solution?

17 November 2015 | UNEP, Geneva, Switzerland

Join us for a high-level panel discussion with leading international experts as they debate the findings of UNEP & UN DPA’s report “Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners” and reflect on their personal experiences in mediating and resolving natural resource conflicts. Read More

Practicum on Experiential Peacebuilding

8 January 2016 – 17 January 2016 | Outward Bound Peacebuilding, Piedras Blancas, Costa Rica

One of the most critical findings of the 2010 Report of The United States Institute of Peace on the topic of graduate education in peace and conflict was the need for field experience and applied skills in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Read More

Fragility, Conflict and Violence Forum 2016

1 March 2016 – 3 March 2016 | World Bank Group, Washington, DC

The challenge of fragility, conflict and violence has become increasingly complex, spread across a wide range of countries, regions and urban centers. The recent spike in conflicts has led to an increase in casualties, with 60 million people displaced globally – the highest level since the end of World War II. Read More


In the last two weeks, 17 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Amidst the Debris: A Desktop Study on the Environmental and Public Health Impact of Syria’s Conflict
Wim Zwijnenburg and Kristine te Pas (PAX, 2015)
Four years of war in Syria has caused one of the biggest refugee crises in history. About six million Syrians are displaced within Syria, three million have left the country. The intense fighting has damaged many residential and industrial areas in the towns and cities of Syria and civilians living... Read More

War, by Conservation
Rosaleen Duffy (Geoforum, 2015)
In this paper I argue that there has been a critical shift towards war by conservation in which conservation, security and counter insurgency (COIN) are becoming more closely integrated. In this new phase concerns about global security constitute important underlying drivers, while biodiversity conservation is of secondary importance. Read More

Conflicts about Water in Lake Chad: Are Environmental, Vulnerability and Security Issues Linked?
Uche T. Okpara, Lindsay C. Stinger, Andrew J. Dougill, and Mohammed D. Bila (Progress in Development Studies, 2015)
This article builds on the growing literature that explores the relationships between environmental change and non-traditional security, defined as non-military threats that challenge the survival and well-being of peoples and states. The Lake Chad basin in Africa is used as a case study for analysis. Read More

Women in Environmental Decision Making: Case Studies in Ecuador, Liberia, and the Philippines
Melissa Luna, Lorena Aguilar, Molly Gilligan, Cate Owren, María Prebble, and Kame Westerman (International Union for Conservation of Nature's Global Gender Office, Conservation International, 2015)
Encouraging women’s fair and equitable direct access to, benefits from, and governance of natural resources, is a globally agreed priority and the subject of many national and international mandates. Not only does women’s equitable participation and representation empower women and uphold commitments to gender equality and women empowerment, but it... Read More

National Agricultural Development Framework (NADF)
Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, 2015
A farmer in Helmand can refuse to grow poppy if agricultural processing provides even one job for one family member.  Families from Samangan can afford to stay at home rather than migrate to crowded cities, if their agricultural productivity is increased and their earnings grow.  Women and children in Bamyan... Read More

National Wheat Production is Expected to be Greater Than the Last Two Years
Famine Early Warning Systems Network, 2015
Since 2008, the pre-harvest assessment - which has also been referred to as the food security appraisal in some years, has become a tool for filling the information needs for timely programming and decision-making regarding food insecurity response in Afghanistan. Read More

Addressing the Role of Natural Resources in Conflict and Peacebuilding: A Summary of Progress
UNEP, 2015
Preventing, managing and resolving natural resource conflicts is undoubtedly among the key peace and security challenges of the 21st century. Increasing demand for natural resources combined with environmental degradation and climate change will serve to intensify competitive pressures between countries and communities over resource access, ownership and use. Read More

Addressing the Intentional Destruction of the Environment during Warfare under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Steven Freeland (Intersentia, 2015)
Acts perpetrated during the course of warfare have, through the ages, led to significant environmental destruction. These have included situations where the natural environment has intentionally been targeted as a ‘victim’, or has somehow been manipulated to serve as a ‘weapon’ of warfare. Read More

The Impact on Regional “Resource Curse” by Coal Resource Tax Reform in China—A Dynamic CGE Appraisal
Xiaoliang Xua, Xuefen Xu, Qian Chena, and Ying Chea (Resources Policy, 2015)
The phenomenon of regional “resource curse” appeared gradually with the rapid development of Chinese economy. China with heavy energy consumption reliance on coal tried to get balance between economic stability and regional development by resource tax reform. Read More

A Case For Arbitration: The Philippines' Solution for the South China Sea Dispute
Emma Kingdon (Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, 2015)
In January 2013, the Philippines submitted for arbitration a claim against the People's Republic of China for violations of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) after more than a decade of unsuccessful bilateral and multilateral negotiations over territorial claims in the South China Sea... Read More


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

Uganda & Rwanda: Great Lakes Regional Manager (Deadline: 2015-11-15)
3 November 2015 | International Alert
International Alert is looking for an exceptional candidate to join our Africa programme. You will be responsible for leading the consolidation and growth of Alert’s presence in the Great Lakes region of Africa, and providing day-to-day management support to Great Lakes country programmes within the Africa programme. Read More

Horn of Africa: Associate Director (Deadline: 2015-11-15)
3 November 2015 | Center for American Progress
The Associate Director position requires deep policy knowledge of the region and experience in team leadership. The Associate Director will carry out and lead research and impact strategy on the conflict dynamics in the region and related U.S. government and international policy for Enough’s policy papers, briefings, and advocacy efforts. Read More

Sudan: Development Director (Deadline: 2015-11-15)
3 November 2015 | Enough Project
The Enough Project seeks an experienced and highly motivated candidate for the position of Development Associate. This individual will assist the Development Director and Founding Director in fundraising for Enough’s annual budget. In particular, the Development Associate will support development operations, help prospect new donor leads, manage development-related record keeping,... Read More

Sudan: Senior Policy Analyst (Deadline: 2015-11-15)
3 November 2015 | Enough Project
The Senior Policy Analyst requires deep policy knowledge of the region and some background in natural resources governance, anticorruption work, or sanctions enforcement. The Senior Policy Analyst will carry out research and develop a strategy to affect the economic factors at play and the broader conflict dynamics in the region... Read More

DRC: Policy Analyst (Deadline: 2015-11-15)
3 November 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

China: Research Associate (Deadline: 2015-11-15)
4 November 2015 | Center for American Progress
American Progress has an immediate opening for a Research Associate to support the China Policy Director. This person will work on a wide range of Chinese and Asian policy issues with a special focus on Chinese energy, climate, and environment policy, as well as strategic issues. Read More

Africa: Conservation Pilot (Deadline: 2015-11-20)
3 November 2015 | Wildlife Conservation Society
This is a full-time field based position responsible for undertaking aerial surveys and aerial support to wildlife law enforcement in Gabon in partnership with Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux (ANPN). The position is based out of Libreville, Gabon and various field sites in the country.  Duties include ensuring sound operations, piloting and maintenance... Read More

International News

Iraq/Turkey/Islamic State: Water Shortages Unite Iraq, Islamic State against Turkey
9 November 2015 | California Turkish Times
There’s a single factor Islamic State militants and the Iraqi government they’re besieging agree on: Turkey is utilizing extra than its fair share of water. Water levels on the Euphrates River that flows 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles) from eastern Turkey via Syria and Iraq previous ancient Mesopotamian lands have fallen... Read More

UNEP Marks International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
6 November 2015 | UNEP
On the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) underlined the continuing vulnerability of the environment to conflict and the importance of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and climate change negotiations in tackling the links between environment... Read More

Statement by UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner on the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment during War and Armed Conflict
6 November 2015 | UNEP
Every year, for the last 14 years, the world has designated 6 November to acknowledge the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment during War and Armed Conflict. While we have not been able to resolve conflict or environmental exploitation, today we better understand the complex interactions between... Read More

Myanmar: Distribution of Natural Resources a Key Election Issue in Myanmar Polls
6 November 2015 | Panu Wongcha-um, Channel NewsAsia
Myanmar's historic elections are just days away and one of the biggest issues concerning voters is economic development and the distribution of natural resources, particularly among the ethnic communities. Many are also concerned about the government's plan to build hydroelectric power dams along the Salween River. Read More

Sierra Leone: With Ebola Waning, Sierra Leone Seeks to Rebuild its Economy
6 November 2015 | Alex Lawson, Independent
The people of Sierra Leone will breathe an uneasy sign of relief today. The west African nation is expected to be officially be declared free from Ebola – which has killed 11,313 people in the region – by the World Health Organisation. Read More

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict: Meet War’s Other Casualty…the Environment
6 November 2015 | Joanna Parkman, care2
If you needed another reason to object to military conflict, thank the environment. At least 40 percent of internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources throughout the past 60 years. November 6 marks the United Nations’ International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in... Read More

Iraq: Cholera Spreads from Iraq to Syria, Kuwait, Bahrain - UNICEF
6 November 2015 | Isabel Coles, Reuters
A cholera outbreak in Iraq has spread to Kuwait and Bahrain, and risks turning into a region-wide epidemic as millions of pilgrims prepare to visit the country, UNICEF's Iraq director said. The disease, which can lead to death by dehydration and kidney failure within hours if left untreated, was detected... Read More

China/Vietnam/South China Sea: Chinese President Visits Vietnam to Discuss Stronger Ties, Dispute over South China Sea
5 November 2015 | Associated Press
Chinese President Xi Jinping's meetings in Vietnam beginning Thursday follow the communist countries' efforts to repair ties strained over disputes in the South China Sea. Bilateral relations plunged last year following China's parking of a giant oil rig near the disputed Paracel islands, which sparked deadly anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam. Read More

Nigeria: Amnesty Report Accuses Shell of Failing to Clean up Niger Delta Oil Spills
2 November 2015 | John Vidal, Guardian
Four oil spill sites in Nigeria identified by the UN, which Shell has claimed to have had cleaned up by contractors since 2011, are still polluted, says a report by Amnesty. One of these sites, the Bomu manifold close to the village of Kegbara Dere in Ogoniland, is Nigeria’s oil... Read More

Myanmar: Burma Goes for Coal - But at What Cost in Pollution, Disease and Land Grabs?
29 October 2015 | Carole Oudot and Matthieu Baudey, The Ecologist
The president of Burma has decided that coal is the way to future wealth and prosperity, write Carole Oudot & Matthieu Baudey. But if the experiences of farmers and village people near Tigyit, site of the country's biggest coal mine and coal-fired power plant is anything to go by, it... Read More

China/Philippines/South China Sea: Hague Arbitration Court to Hear Philippines Territorial Complaints Against Beijing
29 October 2015 | ABC News
An arbitration court in the Netherlands has ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear some territorial claims the Philippines has filed against China over disputed areas in the South China Sea. In a legal defeat for China, the Hague-based tribunal rejected Beijing's claim that the disputes were about its territorial... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 11 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

How to Keep the Peace in an Age of Water Wars
9 November 2015 | ​John Converse Townsend
Water is life, but it’s increasingly scarce on planet Earth. The issue isn’t so much one of availability, but of poor management. One billion people today have no access to safe drinking water. In all, 40 per cent of the world’s population experiences water shortages. Read More

Crimes Against the Environment: The Silent Victim of Warfare
8 November 2015 | Steven Freeland
Acts perpetrated during the course of warfare have, through the ages, led to significant environmental destruction. These have included situations in which the natural environment has intentionally been targeted as a “victim”, or has been manipulated to serve as a “weapon”. Read More

Growing the Conflict-Free Movement at Illinois College
6 November 2015 | Allie McNamara
If someone had asked me exactly a year ago what I thought of conflict minerals, I would have had no idea what to say. Today, I can strongly voice my opinion about conflict minerals and also tell that person why they should demand conflict-free minerals for their electronics. Read More

Why the Paris Climate Summit Will Be a Peace Conference
3 November 2015 | Michael T. Klare
At the end of November, delegations from nearly 200 countries will convene in Paris for what is billed as the most important climate meeting ever held.  Officially knownas the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the 1992 treaty that designated that phenomenon a threat... Read More

Water Wars: The PRC's Double Trouble in the South China Sea
31 October 2015 | Zack Bluestone
The past few days have witnessed two huge developments in the South China Sea. On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy conducted a long-anticipated freedom of navigation (FON) patrol in the Spratly Islands. Two days later, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the Philippines v. PRCmaritime case. Read More

Climate Change, Food Security and the Refugee Crisis: Connecting the Dots to Avoid Future Tragedy
28 October 2015 | Bruce Campbell and Lisa Goddard
It is widely held that climate change will have negative impacts on agricultural communities. Now, research is supporting the theory that climate impacts will catalyze tragedy among vulnerable populations. In a new paper, 'Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought', Kelley et al. 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
October, 2015 2526 4955 1877
September, 2015 2519 5298 1834
August, 2015 2515 4744 1786
July, 2015 2511 6137 1701
June, 2015 2481 7032 1641
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Samantha Bresler, Natalia Jiménez Galindo, Amy Harlowe, Liz Hessami, Alex Laplaza, Laura Mitchell, and Ben Zukowski
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