Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 49: 24 Nov 2015


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

The Secure and the Dispossessed: Challenging the Militarisation of Climate Change

1 December 2015 | Transnational Institute (TNI)

The panel of Dutch and international experts on climate change and security issues will expose the dangers of a new climate security agenda in which the powerful respond to the climate crisis with military and corporate solutions. Read More

Climate Change and the Geopolitics of Water and Energy Challenges and Opportunties in the Levant

3 December 2015 | EcoPeace Middle East, Tel Aviv, Israel

EcoPeace Middle East, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), cordially invite you to a conference on “Climate Change and the Geopolitics of Water and Energy Challenges and Opportunities in the Levant.”  Read More

"Water and Peace in the Middle East": A Discussion with EcoPeace Middle East

9 December 2015 | Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group, Washington, DC

The Environmental Peacebuilding Working Group cordially invites you to a discussion with EcoPeace Middle East Co-Directors, Nader Khateeb (Palestine), Munqeth Mehyar (Jordan) and Gidon Bromberg (Israel) to be held from 11:00 – 13:00 on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at the offices of the Environment Law Institute (1730 M Street NW,... Read More


In the last two weeks, 24 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

UN Sanctions: Natural Resources
UN Security Council, 2015
UN Sanctions: Natural Resources, is a follow-up to Security Council Report’s last research report on sanctions published in November 2013, UN Sanctions. This report provides a historical and institutional context for understanding UN natural resource sanctions, analyses ten current sanctions regimes that have or have had natural resource-related measures (or... Read More

Black and White: Kenya's Criminal Racket in Somalia
Journalists for Justice, 2015
Since Kenya invaded Somalia in October 2011, there has been little accounting of its activities, achievements and challenges both to the National Assembly and to the public at large. There has been little independent reporting on the invasion, with coverage mostly from journalists taken on “guided” tours by the Kenya... Read More

The Effects of Temperature on Political Violence: Global Evidence at the Subnational Level
Alexander Bollfrass and Andrew Shaver (Public Library of Science, 2015)
A number of studies have demonstrated an empirical relationship between higher ambient temperatures and substate violence, which have been extrapolated to make predictions about the security implications of climate change. This literature rests on the untested assumption that the mechanism behind the temperature-conflict link is that disruption of agricultural production... Read More

Environmental Mechanics: Re-imagining Post-conflict Environmental Assistance
Doug Weir (Toxic Remnants of War, 2015)
The overarching purpose of the report is to encourage more focused debate on what we consider to be key considerations for any future attempt to not only address the legacy of wartime environmental damage but also to establish and develop new behavioural norms to minimise harm. Read More

Pathways from Peace to Resilience: Evidence from the Greater Horn of Africa on the Links between Conflict Management and Resilience to Food Security Shocks
USAID, 2015
Building resilience has become a primary development aim in the Horn of Africa and other areas facing recurrent humanitarian crises. To date, the resilience agenda has focused largely on predicting and preparing for climatic shocks – such as droughts and floods – and market shocks, with little examination of conflict... Read More

Food Security Policies for Building Resilience to Conflict
Clemens Breisinger, Olivier Ecker, Jean-Francois Maystadt, Jean-Francois Trinh Tan, Perrihan Al-Riffai, Khalida Bouzar, Abdelkarim Sma, and Mohamed Abdelgadir (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2015)
Given that resilience-enhancing food-security policies and programs are highly context specific, we have chosen four conflict-affected countries as case studies. One country is a lower-income country (Somalia) and three are lower-middle-income countries (Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen). Read More

Armed Conflict and the Challenge of Hunger: Is an End in Sight?
Alex de Waal (International Food Policy Research Institute, 2015)
War and famine, two fearsome horsemen, have long ridden side by side. Armed conflict disrupts food systems, destroys livelihoods, displaces people, and leaves those who do not flee both terrified and unsure when they will eat their next meal. Read More

The Secure and the Dispossessed: How the Military and the Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World
Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes (Transnational Institute, 2015)
While the world’s scientists and many of its inhabitants despair at the unfolding impacts of climate change, corporate and military leaders see nothing but challenges and opportunities. Read More

Farming or Fighting? Agricultural Price Shocks and Civil War in Africa
Hanne Fjelde (Uppsala University and Peace Research Institute Oslo, 2015)
This article links lower economic returns in the labor-intensive agricultural sector to a higher risk of armed conflict at the local level. It argues that income shocks, followed by rising unemployment and lower wages in the rural economy, facilitate rebel recruitment and strengthen civilian support for rebel movements. Read More

Women and Climate Change: Impact and Agency in Human Rights, Security, and Economic Development
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, 2015
This report comes at an important time of international observance when new commitments to action will be made, coinciding not only with the fifteenth anniversaries of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000, but also in anticipation of the... Read More

Water: Think Again [Video]
Kaveh Madani (TEDx, 2015)
WATER. It's the most essential and pervasive element of life. Yet, nearly half of humanity will face water scarcity by 2030 due to climate change and population growth. What can be done about the looming crisis of a global drought? Could water scarcity spark war as world leaders have already... Read More

Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific
Robert D. Kaplan (Random House, 2015)
Over the last decade, the center of world power has been quietly shifting from Europe to Asia. With oil reserves of several billion barrels, an estimated nine hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and several centuries’ worth of competing territorial claims, the South China Sea in particular is a... Read More

Managing Natural Resources for Livelihoods: Helping Post-Conflict Communities Survive and Thrive
Lisa Goldman and Helen Young (Environmental Law Institute, 2015)
Given the strong connections between economies, natural resources, and war, a focus on sustainable livelihoods during the post-conflict period offers opportunities to promote peacebuilding. The solution: Helping communities survive and thrive. Read More

Oil, Natural Gas, and Intrastate Conflict: Does Ownership Matter?
Tim Wegenast (International Interactions: Empirical and Theoretical Research in International Relations, 2015)
The impact of natural resources on intrastate violence has been increasingly analyzed in the peace and conflict literature. Surprisingly, little quantitative evidence has been gathered on the effects of the resource-ownership structure on internal violence. This paper uses a novel dataset on oil and natural gas property rights covering 40... Read More


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

Cambodia: Horticultural Value-Chain Promotion (Deadline: 2015-11-30)
21 November 2015 | Winrock International
Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity, and responsible resource management... Read More

Republic of Congo: Field Conservation Evaluator (Deadline: 2015-11-30)
21 November 2015 | World Wildlife Fund
WWF seeks the services of a consultant to undertake an evaluation of a WWF funded field conservation program in the northern Republic of Congo (TRIDOM landscape). Read More

Sierra Leone: Manager/Engineer (Deadline: 2015-12-02)
21 November 2015 | King's Sierra Leone Partnership
The King’s Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP) is a global health project that aims to help strengthen Sierra Leone’s health system by improving clinical services and facility infrastructure. Since January 2013, King’s has had a small in-country team of Engineers working to improve the infrastructure of hospitals in Freetown. Read More

Afghanistan: Technical Deputy Chief of Party (Deadline: 2015-12-04)
21 November 2015 | Chemonics
Chemonics seeks a long-term technical deputy chief of party for the $70 million USAID Regional Agricultural Development Program - West (RADP-W) located in Herat, Afghanistan. The objective of RADP-West is to improve food and economic security for rural Afghans in Badghis, Farah, and Herat provinces by improving the productivity and... Read More

Sierra Leone: Technical Advisor of Operations (Deadline: 2015-12-04)
21 November 2015 | The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The Gola Rainforest Programme is an exciting long-term initiative supporting the management of a critical landscape in Sierra Leone which is a global priority for biodiversity conservation. Read More

Greece: Environmental Health Manager (Deadline: 2015-12-10)
21 November 2015 | International Rescue Committee
The Emergency Environmental Health Manager (EHM) is responsible for leading IRC’s emergency WASH response for the refugee influx in Mytilini. The EH Manager will have responsibility for program design, implementation, quality assurance, monitoring, staff supervision, coordination with other partners and reporting for WASH activities carried out during the emergency. Read More

Mali: Project Manager (Deadline: 2015-12-13)
21 November 2015 | AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center
The Center is seeking to fill the position of Project Manager for a USAID funded project entitled “Deploying Improved Vegetable Technologies to Overcome Malnutrition and Poverty” in Mali.  The project aims to contribute to reduced malnutrition, especially of children, in Mali, through diet diversification, by promoting the production and consumption of... Read More

Central Africa: Plant Health Specialist (Deadline: 2015-12-17)
21 November 2015 | AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center
AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center is an international non-profit research and development center committed to alleviating poverty and malnutrition in developing countries through the increased production and consumption of nutritious and health-promoting vegetables.  Founded in 1971 with headquarters in Taiwan, the Center’s global network today covers East and Southeast... Read More

Ethiopia: Enabling Environment and Policy Specialist (Deadline: 2015-12-31)
21 November 2015 | International Executive Service Corps
IESC is seeking an enabling environment and policy for an anticipated USAID funded agricultural value chain development program in Ethiopia. It is anticipated that the program will strengthen the competitiveness of select value chains, increase access to finance, improve the enabling environment in coordination with the Government of Ethiopia, and... Read More

Peacebuilding Affairs Officer (Deadline: 2016-01-15)
21 November 2015 | Peace & Collaborative Development Network
The Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) was established to assist and support the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and administer the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). Based on the founding resolutions (A/RES/60/180 and S/RES/1645(2005)) establishing the Peacebuilding Commission, the Secretary-General created PBSO which comprises of the Peacebuilding Commission Support Branch, the Policy, Planning and Application... Read More

Afghanistan: Regulatory Framework and Capacity Building Specialist (Deadline: 2016-01-31)
21 November 2015 | International Executive Service Corps
IESC is seeking a regulatory framework and capacity building specialist for an anticipated USAID-funded program in Afghanistan in strengthening watershed and irrigation management. This position will be full-time and based in Afghanistan. Read More

International News

Iraq/Syria/Islamic State: Obama and Putin Agree on Bombing Islamic State's Oil Pipeline
19 November 2015 | Grant Smith, Ilya Arkhipov, and Henry Meyer, Bloomberg
When Vladimir Putin met with Barack Obama in Turkey on Sunday to discuss the terrorist attacks in Paris, he brought along some photos. The satellite images showed rows of trucks laden with Islamic State oil stretching into the Syrian horizon, a person familiar with matter said. Putin’s point was that U.S. Read More

China/United States/South China Sea: Obama Calls on China to Stop Land Reclamation in South China Sea
18 November 2015 | Coco Alcuaz, International Business Times
U.S. President Barack Obama said China should stop expansionist activities in the South China Sea a day after he announced the U.S. was giving the Southeast Asian country two more ships to help defend its borders. Read More

Water Wars: 'Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace' to Propose Solutions to Conflicts
18 November 2015 | Dinesh Narayanan, Economic Times
Fifteen countries, the United Nations and an Indian think-tank have come together to create a Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace that aims to prevent water wars and conflicts that could generate peace dividends of $100-200 billion annually. Read More

Timor-Leste: East Timor Appealing for Australian Public's Support in Border Dispute, Minister Says
17 November 2015 | ABC News
East Timor is seeking Australian public support to try to persuade Canberra to settle a longstanding maritime border dispute over lucrative oil and gas reserves, development minister Xanana Gusmao says. Mr Gusmao, a former president of East Timor, said his country would appeal to Australians' sense of fair play to... Read More

In Shadow of Beirut and Paris Terror Attacks, UN Security Council Discusses Root Causes of Conflict
17 November 2015 | United Nations
The United Nations Security Council held an already scheduled debate on conflict prevention today amid added urgency fuelled by last week’s terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressing that counter-terrorism must also tackle such root causes as bad governance, injustice and exclusion. Read More

DRC: Ridding the Supply Chain of Conflict Minerals
16 November 2015 | Jonathan Webb, Forbes
Companies and consumers alike are more aware of the goods they buy. Increasingly, they are looking to the supply chain to understand whether some of those purchasing decisions are supporting conflicts in warzones. The issue has risen up the corporate agenda since anti-conflict mineral stipulations were entered into the Dodd-Frank Act. Read More

South Sudan: Coffee, the First Fruit of South Sudan
16 November 2015 | Marcos Carrieri, Brazil-Arab News Agency
In its fourth year in existence, South Sudan is bearing one of its first fruit: a typical coffee, of the Robusta variety, grown since the first days following its independence. The project is a partnership between local farmers, the Swiss coffee company Nespresso and the non-governmental organization TecnhoServe. Read More

Iraq: Iraq Replaces Nine Grain Board Officials in Reform Push
16 November 2015 | Reuters
Iraq's acting trade minister replaced nine officials at the country's powerful grain board in an bid to push through anti-corruption reforms ordered by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a statement said on Monday. The ministry did not name the department and silo managers or accuse them of graft, but said the... Read More

Liberia: US Lifts Sanctions on Liberia after More Than a Decade
13 November 2015 | Deutsche Presse-Agentur
US President Barack Obama signed an executive order lifting the sanctions, pointing to progress made in the West African nation and Taylor's sentencing to 50 years in prison in 2012. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price pointed to "Liberia's tremendous progress since emerging from civil war in 2003, in particular... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 9 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Water Wars: Maritime Disputes Feature Prominently during International Summit Circuit
20 November 2015 | Zack Bluestone
By week’s end, the major players in the South and East China Sea will have participated in three separate international conferences touching on tensions in the Asian-Pacific. The meetings include the G-20 summit in Turkey, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in the Philippines, and the ASEAN Summit in Malaysia. Read More

The Right Way to Think about Climate Change and National Security
19 November 2015 | David Roberts
Thanks to some comments by Bernie Sanders in the last Democratic debate, the question of whether climate change is a national security threat has once again bubbled to the surface. One day, perhaps, US politics will host an informed and intelligent discussion of this issue. But it hasn't happened yet. Read More

Rwanda a Conflict-Free Mineral Country - Govt
19 November 2015 | James Karuhanga
Rwanda must be considered as a conflict-free mineral country, the Minister of State in charge of Mining, Evode Imena, told the US House of Representatives. Imena made the appeal on Tuesday during an over two-hour hearing entitled, 'Dodd-Frank Five Years Later: What Have We Learned from Conflict Minerals Reporting?' that... Read More

Climate Change, Paris, the Rise of ISIS, and What “Causes” Terrorism
17 November 2015 | Andrew Holland
Over the past few days, there have been a number of discussion in the press around the country and around the world on the links between climate change and terrorism. Let us be clear – no act of terror is due to climate change, but climate change has helped to create... Read More

Bernie Is Absolutely Right: Climate Change Makes Terrorism Worse
14 November 2015 | Eric Holthaus
At Saturday night’s second Democratic presidential debate, just a day after ISIS launched horrific coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, moderator and Slatepolitical columnist John Dickerson asked Bernie Sanders a straightforward question: “Sen. Sanders, you said you want to rid the planet of ISIS. Read More

Water Wars: Is a Drying World Stoking the Migration Crisis?
12 November 2015 | Hannah Lawrence
In a heated debate on Wednesday 11 November at the Frontline Club, a panel of writers and scientists discussed the extent to which a drying world is a contributing factor in the ongoing migration crisis. Chairing the debate, the Guardian’s environment editor John Vidal began by saying: “The Middle East and North Africa... 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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