Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 54: 2 Feb 2016


Call for Applications: United Nations Mandated University for Peace Is Now Accepting Applications for the 2016-2017 Academic Year
1 February 2016 | United Nations mandated University for Peace
The United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) embraces an innovative and inter-disciplinary approach to both pedagogy and content of post-secondary learning. UPEACE's ten master programmes offer specialized, multi-disciplinary courses and an international faculty use engaging and participating teaching models for face-to-face classroom instructin which address various areas related to... Read More


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

Columbia University Environment, Peace, and Security Certification- Information Session

8 February 2016 | Columbia University, New York City

Please join EPS faculty Marc Levy, Beth Fisher-Yoshida and Josh Fisher to discuss the certificate curriculum and how you can be part of this innovative program designed to address complex conflicts and intertwined environmental challenges. This in-person event is a chance to ask faculty about overarching global trends in environmental uncertainty, natural resource... 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, 30 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

John Mpaliza: We Are All Connected to Abuses in DRC Fuelled by Economic War [Video]
Ludovica Iaccino and James Lillywhite (International Business Times, 2016)
As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) might witness political instability due to a possible delay to the presidential elections, scheduled for this November, IBTimes UK speaks with a prominent Congolese activist who is calling on the whole world to pay closer attention to human right abuses occurring in his homeland. Read More

Pursuing Transparency in Sudan’s Oil Industry
Sudan Democracy First Group, 2016
The exploration and production of Sudan's oil resources has assumed a high priority for consecutive regimes that have ruled the county since independence. Despite discovery and exploration by Numeri's Regime (1969-1984), the Ingraz regime (1989-present) has succeeded, against formidable internal and external challenged, in producing oil for local consumption and export. Read More

Oro Limpio - Oro Sucio: La Estigmatización de la Minería
(Clean Gold - Dirty Gold: Stigmatization of Mining)
Semana Sostenible, 2015
El conflicto aumenta con el papel de las comunidades y sus instituciones, que en su mayoría, han decidido entrar en el negocio como administradores de los recursos generados por la minería informal. Aquí, los contratos establecidos con las unidades mecanizadas, el manejo del dinero y las disputas con actores sociales... Read More

Climate Change, Conflict, and Cooperation: Global Analysis of the Effectiveness of International River Treaties in Addressing Water Variability
Shlomi Dinar, David Katz, Lucia De Stefano, and Brian Blankespoor (Political Geography, 2015)
Climate-driven water variability is a natural phenomenon that is observed across river basins, but one that is predicted to increase due to climate change. Environmental change of this kind may aggravate political tensions, especially in regions which are not equipped with an appropriate institutional apparatus. Read More

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Conflict Minerals and Professional Integrity
Kate Jelinek (Business Horizons, 2015)
Against the backdrop of integrity as put forth in the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Code of Conduct, this article takes a close look at a section of the 2010 Wall Street Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as Dodd-Frank. Read More

Disaster as a Catalyst for Military Expansionism: Case of the Nicobar Islands 
Pankaj Sekhsaria (Economic and Political Weekly, 2015)
The earthquake that triggered the south and south-east Asian tsunami of 26 December 2004 also caused a significant and permanent shift in the lay of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The northern Andaman Islands saw a lift of up to five feet while the Nicobars in the south subsided in... Read More

Climate Geopolitics: Securing the Global Economy 
Simon Dalby (International Politics, 2015)
Climate has become a matter of security deliberation in the last few years due to the gradually dawning realization that change is happening already and has the potential to severely disrupt states and economies in coming decades. Read More

Toward a Sustainable Peace in the South China Sea: Confidence, Dependence, and Meteorology 
Wei-Teh Li (Atlantic Council of the United States, 2015)
The South China Sea (SCS) has been, and remains, an area rife with tension. Disputes among SCS states stem from unresolved issues relating to sovereignty, exclusive economic zones, natural resources, and acceptable uses of the military. Read More

Water Blues 
Lizabeth Zack (Middle East Report, 2015)
Two quiet but revealing developments related to Middle East water were announced in the spring and summer of 2015. On February 26, Israeli and Jordanian officials signed an agreement to begin implementation of the long-awaited and controversial Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project. Read More

Understanding Millenial Attitudes Towards Conflict Free Minerals
Penn Schoen Berland (Intel, 2015)
To understand US Millennials’ awareness of and attitudes toward conflict minerals, their use in technology, and the actions Intel is taking on this issue. Read More

"This is What We Die For": Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Power in the Global Trade in Cobalt
Amnesty International, 2016
This report documents the hazardous conditions in which artisanal miners, including thousands of children, mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It goes on to trace how this cobalt is used to power mobile phones, laptop computers, and other portable electronic devices. Read More

Structure of Global Buyer-Supplier Networks and Its Implications for Conflict Minerals Regulations
Takayuki Mizuno, Takaaki Ohnishi, and Tsutomu Watanabe (EPJ Data Science, 2016)
We investigate the structure of global inter-firm linkages using a dataset that contains information on business partners for about 400,000 firms worldwide, including all the firms listed on the major stock exchanges. Among the firms, we examine three networks, which are based on customer-supplier, licensee-licensor, and strategic alliance relationships. Read More


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

Tenure Analyst, Strategic Analysis and Global Engagement (Deadline: 2016-02-06)
31 January 2016 | Rights and Resources Initiative
The Tenure Analyst is responsible for conducting and managing original, high-quality research on forest and land tenure, women’s land rights, climate, and conservation in the world’s developing and forested countries, maintaining and advancing RRI’s global tenure methodologies and databases, coordinating collaborative work on RRI priority themes, and contributing to other... 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

DRC: Country Director (Deadline: 2016-02-12)
16 January 2016 | World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the largest independent conservation organizations in the world, active in almost 100 countries. It has been working in the Congo Basin and in Central Africa for more than 20 years. Read More

Haiti: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Coordinator (Deadline: 2016-02-15)
1 February 2016 | United Methodist Committee on Relief
The purpose of UMCOR’s Haiti mission is to provide emergency response, early recovery and transitional development assistance in the affected regions of Haiti. The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Coordinator oversees the program and technical aspects of all water, sanitation and hygiene programming in Haiti, builds capacity of national staff... Read More

Cyprus: Consultant - Identification Coordinator (Deadline: 2016-02-15)
1 February 2016 | UNDP
The principal mandate of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus is to establish the fate of the people that went missing as a consequence of the tragic events of 1963-1964 and 1974 and to provide answers to anguished families. Read More

International News

Iraq: Salt Industry Evaporating in Iraq
1 February 2016 | Wassim Bassem, Al-Monitor
Iraq annually imports salt worth $250 million, though it has one of the largest salt ponds in the world. It seems a viable idea to invest in the country's salt industry to further the economy. Read More

Angola: Land-Grabbing as a Path to Riches and Status in Angola
29 January 2016 | Maka Angola
Angolan investigative journalist and human rights defender Rafael Marques de Morais has submitted a complaint to the Office of the Attorney General about the behaviour of notorious Kwanza-Sul Governor, General Eusébio de Brito Teixeira, for illegal land-grabbing. Read More

Middle East: Hunger Grips Millions across Middle East as Conflict Fighters use Food as Weapon of War
29 January 2016 | Associated Press
In a Middle East torn apart by war and conflict fighters are increasingly using food as a weapon of war. Millions of people across countries like Syria, Yemen and Iraq are gripped by hunger, struggling to survive with little help from the outside world. Read More

Yemen: FAO Warns of Rapidly Deteriorating Food Security in Yemen
28 January 2016 | Gulf Today
More than half of the total population of Yemen, some 14.4 million people, are food insecure, as ongoing conflict and import restrictions have reduced the availability of essential foods and sent prices soaring, the FAO said on Thursday. Read More

Iraq: Amid Falling Oil Prices and ISIS Threat, Iraq Cuts Free Healthcare
26 January 2016 | Elizabeth Whitman, International Business Times
The robust healthcare system that Iraqis were once accustomed to has changed substantially in the past decade, but one of its most drastic upheavals has seen citizens this week being asked to pay for services that had been provided free of charge since 1970, the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported. Read More

Afghanistan: World Bank Provides Grant for Afghanistan's 100-MW Naghlu Hydropower Plant Rehab
25 January 2016 | Michael Harris, Hydro World
The World Bank has signed an agreement with Afghanistan's Ministry of Finance, allocating funds to help the country rehabilitate its 100-MW Naghlu hydroelectric project. The World Bank's US$128 million grant includes $83 earmarked specifically for the ongoing Naghlu modernization project, with the remainder to be used for Afghanistan's Farm Water... Read More

Colombia: Agriculture Severely Threatened by HLB
25 January 2016 | RCN Radio
The HLB disease could cause the end of Colombia's citrus industry at any time, according to Roberto Jaramillo, president of the national federation of growers, who also said that they have been waiting two years for the Government to provide the necessary devices to monitor and prevent the spread of... Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: Iraqi Kurdistan President: Time has Come to Redraw Middle East Boundaries
22 January 2016 | Martin Chulov, Guardian
The president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north has called on global leaders to acknowledge that the Sykes-Picot pact that led to the boundaries of the modern Middle East has failed, and urged them to broker a new deal paving the way for a Kurdish state. Read More

Myanmar: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Shines Light on Resource Sector
22 January 2016 | Steve Gilmore, Myanmar Times
Myanmar's first report under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has provided levels of disclosure on companies’ activities “unthinkable” just a few years ago, NGOs and civil society organisations said. But they also see it as only a first step in pulling back the curtain on how Myanmar’s natural resources... Read More

Water Security: Ban Ki-Moon Gathers Heads of State for Political Response to Water Scarcity
21 January 2016 | Karl Mathiesen, Guardian
The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has convened an emergency panel of heads of state to prompt a political response to the world’s increasing scarcity of water. The high level panel on water will find ways to coordinate the often piecemeal political decisions made by the plethora of regulators, governments,... Read More

Suan/Darfur: Painted Marker Posts Help Quell Land Conflicts in Sudan's Darfur
20 January 2016 | Katy Migro, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Before war broke out in Sudan's Darfur region, trust between communities was such that Arab herders stowed their excess luggage with farmers when they migrated southward in the dry season - and a charity is working to rebuild the shattered ties. Read More

Iraq/Syria/Islamic State: ISIS Halves Fighters' Salaries Following Losses of Territory, Oil and Cash
20 January 2016 | Emily Canal, Forbes
ISIS cut the salaries of their fighters by 50%, resulting in the loss of several hundreds of dollars per month, according to documents from the terrorist organization. The group cited growing economic and military pressures in Syria and Iraq as the reasoning for halving wages. Read More

Conflict Minerals: Testing Their Metal: The New Tech Sector Focus on Conflict Minerals
20 January 2016 | Heather Clancy, GreenBiz
Intel made tremendous strides over the past seven years in eliminating so-called conflict — aka "blood" — minerals from much of its product line. But even though it has pretty much met its own commitment, don’t expect the microprocessor giant to back off its awareness campaign. Read More

China/South China Sea: By 2030, South China Sea Will Be ‘Virtually a Chinese Lake,’ Study Warns
20 January 2016 | Simon Denyer, Washington Post
China will have so many aircraft carriers by 2030 that the South China Sea will be “virtually a Chinese lake,” a new U.S. study warns, arguing that the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region was shifting away from the United States. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 10 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Striking a Peace Deal with Colombia’s Forests and Fields
26 January 2016 | Maria Alejandra Jaramillo
Last year, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that, before or on March 23, the government would sign a peace deal with the rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This deal is a historic step towards ending 50 years of guerrilla violence in this country. Read More

Effects of Low Oil Prices on South Sudan’s Economy
25 January 2016 | Mabor Maker Dhelbeny
The month of January, 2016 emerges with new crisis of low oil prices, not only in the Republic of South Sudan but worldwide. I called it – “new crises”, because we have just closed the old crises known as – ‘the senseless war’ which strangulated or throttled our economy. Read More

Using Citizen Science to Assess Environmental Damage in the Syrian Conflict
22 January 2016 | Wim Zwijnenburg and Andy Garrity
For new and ongoing conflicts across the world, the need to document their impact on civilians and the environment upon which they depend is encouraging the development of new research tools and methodologies. Traditional approaches for monitoring environmental risks are notoriously reliant on field access for experts. Read More

Forget Star Wars; Get Ready for Water Wars
20 January 2016 | Marc Ross and Stephen J. McConnell
A great war looms, one that will rise from the most desperate circumstance: our battle over water. Today, we war because of a chasm of values and ideologies, national and religious differences. But quietly, a new conflict is budding in the shadows, one that many of us have not taken... 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

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January, 2016 2583 5749 2026
December, 2015 2555 4579 1961
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September, 2015 2519 5298 1834
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Gretchen Ellison, Natalia Jiménez Galindo, Amy Harlowe, Kajsa Hendrickson, Liz Hessami, Janina Laurent, Jeremy Walker, Sahra Yusuf, and Ben Zukowski
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