Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 53: 19 Jan 2016


Call for Papers: The Peace-Environment-Conflict Nexus
18 January 2016 | Political Geography and Geographies of Justice Research Groups
Political Geography and Geographies of Justice Research Groups will be participating in the 2016 Annual International Conference (30 August – 2 September 2016) of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in a number of ways – including co-sponsoring a session exploring environmental peacebuilding themes. Read More

Call for Papers: The Water-Gender Violence Nexus
12 January 2016 | King's Water (King's College)
King's Water will be participating in the 2016 Annual International Conference (30 August – 2 September 2016) of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in a number of ways – including co-sponsoring a session exploring themes of water, gender, and violence. Read More


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

Special Institute on Human Rights Law and the Extractive Industries

18 February 2016 – 19 February 2016 | Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Panama City, Panama

Join the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in Panama for the Special Institute on Human Rights Law and the Extractive Industries. Human rights, and the requirements to address them, are critical issues for the extractive industries worldwide. Advocates alleging violations are focusing on the oil, gas, mining, and timber industries. Read More

[Rescheduled] Tech Tools for Environmental Peacebuilding

8 March 2016 | Conservation International, Arlington, VA

Please join Conservation International’s Policy Center for Environment and Peace for a half-day panel event, the third in a series focused on tools that foster environmental peacebuilding. With the use of technology in the field of peacebuilding on the rise, this panel focuses on how innovators are employing technology to... 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:

Spoils of Oil? Assessing and Mitigating the Risks of Corruption in Lebanon’s Emerging Offshore Petroleum Sector
Reinoud Leenders (The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, 2015)
To be fully prepared for Lebanon’s possible transformation into a major oil and gas producer, the risks of corruption in connection to its nascent petroleum sector need to be better understood and addressed. Given Lebanon’s dismal track record in countering corruption and its chronically gridlocked political process, the risks of... Read More

How Do Peace Agreements Treat Natural Resources?
Arthur G. Blundell and Emily E. Harwell (Forest Trade and Finance, 2016)
Although there has been rich debate on causality and definition, there is growing consensus about the role natural resources play in fueling violent conflict in parts of the world where governance is weak and valuable resources are plentiful. Read More

Protected Rather Than Protracted: Strengthening Displaced Persons in Peace Processes
Heidrun Bohnet, Katja Mielke, Markus Rudolf, Conrad Schetter, and Ruth Vollmer (Bonn International Center for Conversion, 2015)
This paper reviews the current state of the art on the return of displaced persons as a durable solution for long-term displacement situations. It outlines the impact, challenges and actors involved in the return process. The paper shows that present understandings of return, protracted situations and conflict are often too... Read More

Climate Variability, Food Production Shocks, and Violent Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa
Halvard Buhaug, Tor A. Benjaminsen, Espen Sjaastad, and Ole Magnus Theisen (IOPscience, 2015)
Earlier research that reports a correlational pattern between climate anomalies and violent conflict routinely refers to drought-induced agricultural shocks and adverse economic spillover effects as a key causal mechanism linking the two phenomena. Comparing half a century of statistics on climate variability, food production, and political violence across Sub-Saharan Africa,... Read More

Climate Insecurity in (Post)Conflict Areas: The Biopolitics of United Nations Vulnerability Assessments
Michael Manson (Geopolitics, 2014)
Within the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have all highlighted climate risks as relevant to their work in areas affected by conflict, endorsing human security approaches as valid for mapping the relationships between climate stresses and... Read More

Guns, Cronies and Crops: How Myanmar’s Business, Political and Military Cronies Conspired to Grab Farmers’ Land, Leaving Communities Struggling to Survive
Global Witness, 2015
As Myanmar’s junta prepared to step down from government, the military set about seizing public assets and natural resources to ensure its economic control in a new era of democratic rule. Read More

Oil Tank Fires in Libya [Photos]
NASA: Earth Observatory, 2016
Images can be seen of oil tank fires in Libya from January 5-7, 2016. Read More

Borders as Zones of Experiential Learning: The Story of the Balkans Peace Park Initiative
Todd Walters and Saleem H. Ali (Between the Lines: The Social Ecology of Borders, 2015)
National borders are synthetic constructs that may be defined by some geographic features such as rivers or mountain ranges, but essentially remain figments of political expediency. However, social systems evolve around them to provide a unique context for learning the interface between society and ecology. Read More

The Experiential Peacebuilding Cycle: Grassroots Diplomacy, Environmental Education, and Ecological Norms
Saleem H. Ali and Todd Walters (Behaviorial Processes and Systems of Peace, 2015)
Environmental issues can provide a higher purpose for cooperation despite their frequent framing as drivers of conflict. Linking environmental problems to integrative peace rather than to distributive conflict has much to do with instilling environmental norms through experiential education. In this chapter we consider the connections between experiential education and peacebuilding. Read More

Online Identification of Conflict Related Environmental Damage
Wim Zwijnenburg (Bellingcat, 2015)
With the conflict in Syria soon to enter its fifth year, large parts of the country have been laid to waste by intense fighting, bombardment and shelling. Understandably, most of the focus has been on the fighting and the direct victims of armed violence, with rather less on other impacts... Read More


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

Colombia: Programme Specialist (Deadline: 2016-01-20)
16 January 2016 | UNDP
According to UNDP´s Strategic Plan 2014-2017, UNDP is expected to address development issues as they actually exist - complex, multi-dimensional and often unique to each society to effectively contribute to eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion. Read More

Sudan: Associate Director (Deadline: 2016-01-23)
16 January 2016 | Enough Project
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

DRC: Policy Analyst (Deadline: 2016-01-23)
16 January 2016 | 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

Program Analyst (Deadline: 2016-01-26)
16 January 2016 | USAID
Be a senior member of a multi-disciplinary team focused on increasing the effectiveness of international development activities in fragile and conflict-affected parts of the world. As the Team Leader of the Training and Cadre Development Team, you will be a recognized expert in adult learning theories and practices, particularly as... Read More

Udall Scholarship in Excellence in National Environmental Foundation (Deadline: 2016-01-29)
10 January 2016 | Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation
The Udall Foundation fosters leaders who embrace—and practices that exemplify—its core values of integrity, civility, consensus, public service, and non-partisanship.  The U.S. Congress established the Udall Foundation in 1992 as an independent executive branch agency to honor Morris K. Read More

Deputy Campaign Director - Forests, Land and Climate (Deadline: 2016-01-31)
16 January 2016 | 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. Read More

Cambodia: Conservation Programme Manager (Deadline: 2016-02-07)
16 January 2016 | World Wide Fund for Nature
WWF-Cambodia is looking for a highly committed, energetic and qualified Conservation Programme Manager to join the world’s largest and most respected international conservation organization. He/she will 1) lead one of the most innovative and transformational conservation programmes in Southeast Asia - the reintroduction of tigers in Cambodia’s Eastern Plains Landscape (EPL); 2)... Read More

South Sudan: Consultant (Deadline: 2016-02-08)
16 January 2016 | UNDP
UNDP through its Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project provides institutional support to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) through a capacity development strategy, and support to infrastructure to achieve MoJ’s short-term objectives while facilitating strategic planning for the achievement of its medium and long-term objectives. Read More

International News

Philippines/China/South China Sea: Philippines Plans Tracking System for Civilian Flights over Disputed Sea
19 January 2016 | Saudi Gazette
The Philippines plans to install a $1-million satellite-based system to track commercial flights over the disputed South China Sea, after China landed its first test flights this month on a reef it built in the Spratly islands. Read More

Cyprus/Turkey: Water Wars Escalate
17 January 2016 | Esra Aygin, inCyprus
The latest standoff between the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish authorities over the management of water reaching the island’s northern part from Turkey, through a trans-Mediterranean pipeline, could soon leave the north without water, money or ‘government’. Read More

Afghanistan: The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan with ‘Limited Progress’
14 January 2016 | Megan McCloskey, Pro Publica
The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries — and has little to show for it, a government watchdog reported today. The project’s failings are the result of poorly planned programs, inadequate infrastructure and a challenging partnership with... Read More

Conflict Minerals: How Intel Eliminated War from Its Supply Chain
12 January 2016 | Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post
Seven years ago, Carolyn Duran realized the company she worked for had blood on its hands. Intel -- the world's largest semiconductor maker, where Duran led sustainability efforts -- was building many of its products with minerals and metals extracted from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read More

Myanmar: CSOs Ask to Be Heard in Timber Trade Talks with China
12 January 2016 | Nyein Nyein, The Irrawaddy
A network of some 150 civil society organizations (CSOs) have called for their voices to be heard in bilateral timber trade talks between Burma and China supported by Western aid agencies. The groups expressed concern about a lack of attention being paid to those who would be most affected by... Read More

Libya/Islamic State: Islamic State Targeting Libyan Oil to Make Trouble, Not a Profit
11 January 2016 | Dominique Soguel, Christian Science Monitor
When the Islamic State first set its eyes on Libya, it no doubt saw fertile soil for conquest in a lawless land being fought over by myriad political and military factions. The security vacuum left by the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime in 2011 made Libya a jihadist destination of choice after Syria and Iraq. Read More

DRC: The True Cost of Mineral Smuggling in the DRC
11 January 2016 | Institute for Security Studies
Africa loses far more money through illicit financial flows every year than it receives in aid and foreign direct investment. Global Financial Integrity (GFI) estimated that Africa loses a total of US$38.4 billion annually through trade mispricing, and US$25 billion through other illicit flows. Read More

Afghanistan: Apiculture, Honey Production Significantly Grow in Kandahar
11 January 2016 | Bashir Ahmad Naadem, Pajhwok Afghan News
Beekeeping has significantly increased in southern Kandahar provinceduring the current solar year,when farmers collected 8,000 kilograms of honey. In the past, beekeeping in Kandahar had been a relatively new type of farming. But 14 bee farms are currently functioning across the province. Read More

Côte d’Ivoire: U.S. Top Court Rejects Nestle Bid to Throw out Child Slavery Suit
11 January 2016 | Lawrence Hurley, Reuters
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by Nestle SA, the world's largest food maker, and two other companies to throw out a lawsuit seeking to hold them liable for the use of child slaves to harvest cocoa in Ivory Coast. Read More

Liberia: Liberia Vulnerable to Climate Change’ - Says Dr. Slawon
8 January 2016 | Willie N. Tokpah, FrontPageAfrica
Climate change remains an environmental cancer which has been covertly eating up the green of every nation including Liberia and the world at large. It poses a visible threat to the existence of the planet as well as humanity as a whole. Read More

Afghanistan: Afghanistan's Minefields: Citizens Urged Not to Flee as Shifts in Territorial Control Leave Earth 'Paved with Landmines'
6 January 2016 | Catherine James, ABC News
Afghanistan tops the list for civilian casualties by victim-activated landmines out of the 58 states recorded as having anti-personnel mines in their territory, according to the Geneva-based Landmine and Cluster Munitions Monitor (LCMM). LCMM's latest report, tallying global mine statistics for 2014, shows that a worldwide year-on-year trend of shrinking... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 7 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

Missing the Peace for the Trees
15 January 2016 | Arthur Blundell and Emily Harwell
Natural resources play a role in nearly half of the world's conflicts, but when it comes to ending wars, they're almost always forgotten. Read More

Water Wars: Beijing Faces Further Pushback over Moves in the Asian Pacific
15 January 2016 | Lawfare Staff
Diplomatic protests continued this week over China’s landing of multiple civilian aircraft on Fiery Cross Reef—a PRC-held artificial island in the Spratly chain. In addition to the alleged violation of territorial rights, Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority complained that such flights “threaten the safety of all flights in the region.” In... Read More

From Banned Crayons to Concrete, Gaza Struggles to Rebuild After a Decade of Israeli Blockade
14 January 2016 | Robert Fantina
In addition to essential building supplies like boards and concrete, Israel’s blocked crayons, soccer balls, musical instruments and even potato chips from entering Gaza. Gaza residents are starving and struggling to rebuild crucial infrastructure under the effects of Israel’s decade-long blockade on the import of supplies. Read More

Fire and Oil: The Collateral Environmental Damage of Airstrikes on ISIS Oil Facilities
13 January 2016 | Wim Zwijnenburg and Annica Waleij
As the United States, Russia, and others step up attacks on the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), there is concern over their direct and long-term environmental and public health impacts. Many air strikes have targeted lucrative oil installations under the control of ISIS, and these could have... Read More

Iraq and the Kurds Are Going Broke
13 January 2016 | New York Times
Iraqi and American officials leading the military campaign against the Islamic State now have to wrestle with a challenge that has the potential to change battlefield fortunes: the slumping price of oil. Read More

Gold Mining, Conflict Threaten Myanmar’s Indawgyi Lake
10 January 2016 | Htet Khaung Linn
Khaung Tong Creek was a 1.5 meter deep, pristine creek some 10 years ago, but these days this important tributary of Kachin State’s famed Indawgyi Lake is just a little stream some 10cm deep, filled with red-brownish mud. Read More

Watching the World Burn: Islamic State Attacks against Libya's Oil Industry
8 January 2016 | Wim Zwijnenburg
Contrary to other armed groups in Libya, the strategy behind the Islamic State’s attacks on oil facilities this week is not purely military. It is also part of a wider strategy calling for the disruption of the oil industry, not only to affect opposing regimes but also western society and... 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.

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