Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 50: 8 Dec 2015


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

"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

Climate Security and Migration

11 December 2015 | Center for New American Security, Washington, DC

This event will explore questions of how the United States, in collaboration with foreign partners, multilateral institutions, and civil society, should tackle future climate migration. What are the key initiatives, institutions and challenges involved in successfully addressing climate migration? Does the issue of climate migration fit our current framework and... Read More

Department of Defense Action on Climate Change: Insights from the Pentagon and a Two Year National Tour

11 December 2015 | American Security Project, Washington, DC

One year ago, the Department of Defense released its landmark Climate Adaptation Roadmap, which outlined the steps that all areas of the DoD must take to prepare for a changing climate. On Friday, December 11, ASP will host Maureen Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment, Safety & Occupational... Read More


In the last two weeks, 32 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Research Further Links Syria’s Political Upheaval and Climate Change
Colin P. Kelley, Mark A. Cane, Richard Seager, Shahrzad Mohtadi, and Yochanan Kushnir (International Peace Institute, 2015)
The former Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East—where agriculture and animal herding are believed to have originated some 12,000 years ago—is home to several of the so-called “Arab Spring” countries including Syria, which devolved into a civil war shortly after the most severe multiyear drought (2007-2010) in the observed record,... Read More

Conflict Minerals: Building Responsible Manufacturing Supply Chains: A Review of the OECD Cycle 3 Final Report on Downstream Conflict Minerals Due Diligence Guidance
MetalMiner, 2015
MetalMiner presents the most comprehensive guide to conflict minerals compliance for US manufacturing companies to-date, featuring in-depth analysis, an overview of supporting technologies and an A-Z guide of exact metal forms affected by the SEC rules. Read More

Emerging Security Threats in the Middle East: The Impact of Climate Change and Globalization
Ashok Swain and Anders S. Jägerskog (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)
The Middle East, particularly its Mashriq region (the region bounded by Iran in the east, Turkey in the north, the Mediterranean in the West, Saudi Arabia in the south, and Egypt; Israel is also included) is a highly securitized part of the world. Read More

El Carbón de Colombia ¿Quién Gana, Quién Pierde?
(Coal in Colombia: Who Wins? Who Loses?)
Diego Melo Ascencio, Rosa Peña Lizarazo, Johana Mejìa Rocha, and Andrea Torres Bobadilla (Centro de Estudios para la Justicia Social Tierra Digna, 2015)
El informe más reciente de ‘Tierra Digna’ sobre minería devela las desproporcionadas repercusiones sociales, ambientales y económicas de la economía colombiana orientada a la exportación de carbón térmico, y aborda una interesante discusión sobre la posible deuda ecológica y social que los actores globales han contraído con Colombia. Read More

Mapiripán: Between Water and Oil Palm [Video]
Environmental Investigation Agency, Comisión Interesclesial de Justicia y Paz, 2015
In collaboration with the Colombian human rights non-profit La Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz, EIA invites you to learn about the devastating impact that the growing palm oil sector in Colombia has had on the local communities of Mapiripan, Colombia. Read More

The China-Japan Border Dispute: Islands of Contention in Multidisciplinary Perspective
Edited by Kimie Hara, Tim F Liao, and Krista Wiegand (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2015)
Crossing disciplinary boundaries, this volume offers a rare forum for a serious analysis of the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands between China and Japan. To understand the complexity of the dispute and to find peaceful solutions, we must reach beyond the confines of a single discipline and perspective. Read More

How to Destroy a War Economy
John Prendergast (Foreign Policy, 2015)
Throughout history, war may have been hell, but for small groups of conflict profiteers it has also been very lucrative. Today’s deadliest conflicts in Africa — such as those in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, northern Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — are sustained by extraordinary opportunities for... Read More

Socio-environmental Cooperation and Conflict? A Discursive Understanding and its Application to the Case of Israel and Palestine
Tobias Ide and Christiane Fröhlich (Earth System Dynamics, 2015)
The existing literature faces difficulties when accounting for the simultaneity of socio-environmental conflict and cooperation. We suggest that this puzzle can be solved by more recent constructivist works, which argue that conflictive or cooperative behavior is driven by discursively constructed interests, identities and situation assessments. Read More

Why Do Conflicts over Scarce Renewable Resources Turn Violent? A Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Tobias Ide (Global Environmental Change, 2015)
This study addresses the question why intergroup conflicts over scarce, renewable resources in peripheral areas of the global South escalate into violence. In order to do so, twenty cases of such conflicts, seven of which turned violent, are analyzed. Read More


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

Environmental Peacebuilding Research Volunteers Needed
1 December 2015 | ELI & UNEP
The Environmental Law Institute (ELI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the University of Tokyo, and McGill University seek Visiting Attorneys, Visiting Researchers, and Research Interns to assist the Environmental Peacebuilding partnership’s research program on a volunteer basis. 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

Mozambique: Disaster Risk Resilient Livelihoods Recovery in Gaza Province - Conduct Final Evaluation (Deadline: 2015-12-11)
6 December 2015 | UNDP
In response to the devastating floods that hit Mozambique from January to February 2013, UNDP Mozambique launched a two year project in support of disaster risk resilient livelihoods recovery of flood-affected communities in Gaza province. In close partnership with INGC at national, provincial and district levels, local government institutions, affected... Read More

DRC: Expert in Gender and Socio-economic Development (Deadline: 2015-12-11)
8 December 2015 | UNDP
Dans sa mission d’appui au Gouvernement Congolais, le PNUD-RDC a, avec le concours de ses partenaires,  mis au point un programme multi-sectoriel de lutte contre les violences sexuelles et liées au genre à l’Est de la RDC. Read More

DRC: Program Analyst (Deadline: 2015-12-13)
8 December 2015 | UNDP
La République démocratique du Congo (RDC) est aujourd’hui sollicitée par l’impératif de renforcer sa résilience dans le but d’agir comme un acteur actif de développement. Dans cette optique, la consolidation de la paix et le renforcement de la démocratie se déclinent comme une nécessité nationale et une condition pour faire... Read More

DRC: US Forest Service National Coordinator (Deadline: 2015-12-15)
6 December 2015 | USAID
Management and Engineering Technologies International, Inc. (METI), in collaboration with the US Forest Service, as a part of the US Agency for International Development’s Central African Regional Program for the Environment (USAID/CARPE), seeks a full-time National Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read More

Consultant - Study on Women's Economic Empowerment in (Post) Crisis Settings (Deadline: 2015-12-16)
6 December 2015 | UNDP
Women’s Economic Empowerment is a key dimension of women’s empowerment, and is the focus of attention of both the gender cluster and the sustainable development cluster (livelihoods and economic recovery team) within UNDP’s central Bureau for Policy and Programme support (BPPS). Read More

Myanmar: Country Programme Officer (Deadline: 2016-01-19)
6 December 2015 | International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNDP
Based in Naypyidaw and under the overall supervision of the Country Programme Manager (CPM), the Country Programme Officer (CPO) for Myanmar will represent IFAD on a full-time basis to establish contacts and a regular flow of information between IFAD and the Government and Development Partners. Read More

International News

Mexico: Brutal Cartels Fight over Mexico's 'Conflict-Free' Gold Revenues
6 December 2015 | Frank Jack Daniel, Anahi Rama, and Lizbeth Diaz, Reuters
Heroin traffickers linked to the abduction and disappearance of 43 students a year ago are battling over millions of dollars paid by Canadian mining giant Goldcorp to a village in Mexico's southern gold belt, leading to a wave of murders. Read More

Iraq/Syria/Islamic State: Maps Reveal Chain of ISIS Oil Smuggling Routes from Syria and Iraq into Turkey. Russian Defense Ministry
2 December 2015 | Global Research
Russia’s Defense Ministry published images and a map it says reveal a chain of oil smuggling to Turkey from Islamic State – from extraction to refining facilities. At least three ISIS oil supply routes were located, all leading to Turkey. Read More

South Sudan: Bishops Call on South Sudan Government, Oil Companies to Clean up Pariang Spills
1 December 2015 | Radio Tamazuj
The Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan has appealed to the government of South Sudan and oil companies to deal with the oil spills in Pariang county. The oil fields in Pariang, Unity state have been leaking ever since the pumping facilities there were shut down due to fighting. Read More

Algeria/Iraq/Libya/Nigeria/Venezuela: Oil Plunge Raises Fears of Societal Unrest
30 November 2015 | Elizabeth MacDonald, FOXBusiness
With Wall Street shops like Goldman Sachs and government officials in Venezuela signaling oil could go to the mid-$20 per barrel range next year, analysts at places like RBC Capital Markets have been warning that chronically low oil prices plunging towards seven-year lows means increasing social chaos in countries on... Read More

Climate Change: Meet the Woman Whose Two-Word Catchphrase Made the Military Care about Climate
29 November 2015 | Dan Vergano, BuzzFeed
In 2006, as war mounted in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military began to see the human costs of climate extremes. As drought hit Afghanistan, one soldier was killed for every 24 convoys to resupply fuel or water. Read More

South Sudan: What Steps are Needed to Create 28 States in South Sudan?
28 November 2015 | Radio Tamazuj
The proposal by South Sudan's President Salva Kiir to create 28 new states in place of the 10 existing states requires practical as well as legal changes before it can become a reality. The government has already discussed internally some of these necessary steps, but there has been little public... Read More

China/Vietnam/Taiwan/Brunei/South China Sea: A New Confidence-Building Process for the South China Sea?
26 November 2015 | Bill Hayton, Diplomat
A half-day meeting in Vietnam on Wednesday could mark the beginning of a new confidence-building process in the South China Sea. The meeting, held in Vietnam’s oil city Vung Tau, involved delegates and observers from all the claimants including China, Taiwan, and little-heard Brunei. 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:

Afghanistan’s Elusive Mineral Wealth
7 December 2015 | Elizabeth B. Hessami
Afghanistan is blessed with a veritable horde of mineral wealth. In copper alone, Afghanistan may possess up to 60 million tons buried in its arid plains. From the days of the British Empire to the current day, these riches have remained, for the most part, firmly entrenched in the Afghan soil. Read More

Environmental Protection and Non-State Armed Groups: Setting a Place at the Table for the Elephant in the Room
4 December 2015 | Jonathan Somer
In this blog, consultant Jonathan Somer begins to explore the terra incognita of current efforts to strengthen legal protection for the environment in relation to armed conflicts – the role of non-state armed groups, their policies and doctrine and why they must be part of any solution – in spite of... Read More

Water, Wars and an Uncertain Future
2 December 2015 | Sundeep Waslekar
In its Blue Peace report, published in February 2011, Strategic Foresight Group proposed several solutions to use water as an instrument of peace and prosperity in the Middle East. One of them was adapted from Mouallem’s framework. A month after the release of the report, Syria was engulfed in civil strife. Read More

Climate Change Is a National Security Problem
1 December 2015 | Chuck Hagel
It is remarkable that French security forces are taking on the international climate change conference in Paris in the shadow of the recent attacks. Then, the city reminded the world of the threat of terrorism. Now, it offers a promise for world leaders to address another national security challenge: climate change. Read More

House Hearing on Conflict Minerals Rule: A Mixed Bag
27 November 2015 | Cydney Posner
At a hearing last week before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, the members heard testimony regarding the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals provision. The Chair expressed concern that  the provision was causing more harm than good, while the ranking member saw more hopeful signs. Read More

Why It’s Time for a Free Kurdistan
27 November 2015 | Aliza Marcus and Andrew Apostolou
It’s time to stop debating whether or not the Kurds deserve an independent state. There are around 40 million Kurds across Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria—the largest ethnic group without self-determination. Kurds have long sought independence, but the states in which they live have always opposed it. The U.S. 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
November, 2015 2531 6059 1928
October, 2015 2526 4955 1877
September, 2015 2519 5298 1834
August, 2015 2515 4744 1786
July, 2015 2511 6137 1701
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Samantha Bresler, Natalia Jiménez Galindo, Amy Harlowe, Liz Hessami, Jeremy Walker, and Ben Zukowski
Edited by Joel Young
Coordinated by Michael Lerner
Design by Graham Campbell
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