Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 55: 16 Feb 2016


Deadline Extended: Environmental Peacebuilding Study Abroad Opportunities
15 February 2016 | International Peace Park Expeditions
International Peace Park Expeditions and Ohio University will offer the following accredited academic expeditions focused on Environmental Peacebuilding this summer with a deadline to apply of March 1, 2016. These academic expedition will provide students with a unique, adventure based, experiential learning opportunity in some of the most beautiful places on Earth. Read More

Call for Papers: Avoiding Catastrophe: Linking Armed Conflict, Harm to Ecosystems, and Public Health
9 February 2016 | Concordia University (Loyola Sustainability Research Centre)
The conference explores links between conflict, environmental degradation, and problems associated with public health provision in times of crisis. Emerging zoonotic and other infectious diseases have been linked to deforestation and other land use changes as well as water quality and other environmental factors. Read More


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

Data Diplomacy in South Asia: Water, Natural Hazards, and Regionalism

24 February 2016 | Atlantic Council, Washington, DC

The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center invites you to a conversation with Saleem Ali, University of Queensland’s Chair in Sustainable Resource Development, entitled “Data Diplomacy in South Asia: Water, Natural Hazards, and Regionalism. Read More

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

3 March 2016 – 4 March 2016 | Columbia University , Online

Speak with EPS faculty one final time before the first application deadline on 15 March 2016.  These two online information sessions will discuss the course content and fellowship application criteria and application process (first hosted in the afternoon, second evening).  The CU EPS program is fortunate to be able to offer... Read More

Roundtable on “Defining Environmental Peacebuilding”

16 March 2016 | International Studies Association, Atlanta, GA

For many years, researchers, practitioners, and decision makers have been working at the intersection of peacebuilding, natural resources and the environment.  Over this time, our understanding of “environmental peacebuilding” has evolved.  This roundtable discusses environmental peacebuilding from different disciplines – namely environmental studies, peace studies and political geography – and... Read More

Global Water Security Summit

22 March 2016 | United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C

The following outlines objectives, outcomes and participants for a Global Water Security Summit on World Water Day, March 22, 2016, to be held at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. Approximately 200 senior-level leaders and decision makers from key U.S. Read More


In the last two weeks, 27 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Thinking Ahead on Security: What’s Different This Time?
SÄKER (FOI - Swedish Defense Research Agency, 2016)
Can prolonged drought explain the origin of war against the Syrian regime of Assad? Can agrarian reforms and the local security dynamics between different ethnic groups help us understand the conflict in Mali? How can the construction of one of Africa’s largest dams explain the complex security developments in the... Read More

Case Study: Migration and Conservation in the Lake Albert Ecosystem
Floris D’Udine, Beatrice Kyasiimire, Anne Hammill, and Alec Crawford (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2016)
Migration is playing a significant role in the deterioration of the Lake Albert ecosystem in Buliisa District. Migrants, mainly coming from neighbouring provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are pulled to the region by the economic opportunities presented by the fishery, and are willing to work for wages lower... Read More

Synthesis Report: Human Migration and Ecosystems: Insights from the Great Lakes Region of East and Central Africa
Angie Dazé and Alec Crawford (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2016)
For centuries, people in east and central Africa have used migration as a strategy to respond to shocks, sustain livelihoods and adapt to changes in their environment. Read More

Closing the Gap: Strategies and Scale Needed to Secure Rights and Save Forests
Rights and Resources Initiative, 2016
Ten years ago, it was a struggle to make indigenous and community rights part of global discussions on forest conservation and climate change. By the close of 2015 it was clear that the case had been made. There is still much further to go, with millions of Indigenous Peoples and local communities lacking... Read More

Opium Meets Development: Exploring the Opium Question in Contemporary Afghanistan
Mariam Morid (International Institute of Social Studies, 2016)
In light of the forthcoming April 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS), it has been repeatedly emphasized that a change of the global order on drug policy should be made. Any outcome of UNGASS, whether reform or business as usual, will have essential developmental impacts on Afghanistan’s economy... Read More

Climate Change, Disasters, and Security: Unconventional Approaches to Building Stability [Video]
Wilson Center, 2016
Natural disasters, driven in part by climate change, are affecting more people via higher frequency and intensity events, and a great number of people living in vulnerable areas. The EM-DAT natural disaster database recorded an average of 449 events per year between 2002 and 2010 as compared to 58 during the 1960s. Read More

El Medio Ambiente: La Víctima Olvidada
(Environment: The Forgotten Victim)
Semana Sostenible, 2015
Entre 1958 y 2013 el conflicto armado les arrancó la vida a 220.000 colombianos, 176.000 de ellos eran civiles. En las últimas tres décadas los paramilitares perpetraron 1.169 masacres; a las Farc se les atribuyen 337 y 158 a  los agentes del Estado. Read More

Environmental Work and Peace Work: The Palestinian-Israeli Case
Julia Chaitin, Fida Obeidi, Sami Adwan, and Dan Bar-On (Peace and Conflict Studies , 2015)
This paper, based on a larger study that was carried out by a joint Palestinian – Israeli research team before and during the Al Aqsa Intifada, examines Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have worked on joint environmental projects. Read More

A Chinese Resource Curse? The Human Rights Effects of Oil Export Dependence on China versus the United States
Julia Bader and Ursula Daxecker (Journal of Peace Research, 2015)
Critiques of China’s ‘oil diplomacy’ center on its alleged disregard for transparency and human rights, yet such claims ignore that the problematic relationship between resource extraction and human rights precedes Chinese market entry. This article explores whether human rights implications are more serious for states exporting oil to China compared... Read More

Thousands of Afghan Rice and Potato Farmers to Benefit from Improved Irrigation and Disease Prevention Systems
FAO, 2015
Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is a leguminous forage crop. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is a forage legume, which can be grown in relatively infertile sandy soils with a minimum annual rainfall of 200mm. It is a fast growing, drought resistant crop, which also improves soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Read More


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

Liberia: Natural Resources Justice Advisor (Deadline: 2016-02-20)
4 February 2016 | PAE
A Natural Resources Justice Advisor will advise, mentor, train, and support key actors in the GOL and assist the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Justice, and other ministries involved in natural resources management in the GOL to enforce existing natural resource regulations by whatever means determined... Read More

Myanmar: Coordinator, Public Sector Partnerships (Deadline: 2016-02-21)
12 February 2016 | World Wildlife Fund for Nature
WWF is seeking an experienced Public Sector Partnership (PSP) Coordinator who ensures that WWF-GM develops and maintains effective Public Sector Partnerships and ensures the effective coordination, monitoring and implementation of Public Sector fund raising proposals relevant to the WWF-GM Strategic Plan FY16-20. Read More

Postdoctoral Researcher in Water Security and Society (Social Scientist) (Deadline: 2016-02-24)
14 February 2016 | Oxford University
The REACH Programme is a 7-year, £15m programme funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). This project, led by the University of Oxford, involves a research consortium of global leaders in water science, policy and practice. Read More

Postdoctoral Researcher in African Climate Science (Deadline: 2016-02-24)
14 February 2016 | Oxford University
The REACH Programme is a 7-year, £15m programme funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). This project, led by the University of Oxford, involves a research consortium of global leaders in water science, policy and practice. Read More

Postdoctoral Researcher in Water Resources (Deadline: 2016-03-11)
14 February 2016 | Oxford University
The REACH Programme is a 7-year, £15m programme funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). This project, led by the University of Oxford, involves a research consortium of global leaders in water science, policy and practice. Read More

International News

Timor-Leste: How Far is Fair Enough? New Moves in Timor Gap's 40-Plus Years of Boundary Battles
15 February 2016 | Michael Leach, Lowy Interpreter
Many Australians remain unaware that Australia and Timor-Leste have no settled maritime boundary. Instead, a complex series of revenue-sharing agreements has allowed some oil and gas developments to proceed in the Timor Gap. Tanya Plibersek’s announcement committing a future Labor government to good faith negotiations over a maritime boundary with... Read More

Myanmar: Central Myanmar Already Short on Water
12 February 2016 | Eleven Myanmar
Residents from Myaing Township in Pakokku District, Magway Region, are already facing water scarcity as artesian wells are running dry. Myaye Yint village has faced scarcity of water as artesian wells were destroyed and lakes dried up in December. Civil society organisations (CSOs) from Pakokku are providing bowsers. Read More

Conflict Minerals: University of Glasgow Commits to Clearing Supply Chains of Conflict Minerals
11 February 2016 | Blue and Green Tomorrow
Student campaigners have celebrated action taken by the University of Glasgow to address human rights abuses in its ethical procurement policy. They say that the new Supply Chain Code of Conduct will help to stamp out serious rights violations and so-called ‘conflict minerals’ from the University’s electronics suppliers. Read More

Colombia: Drought in Colombia Causes Food Prices to Skyrocket
10 February 2016 | teleSUR
Colombia has been suffering the effects of El Niño for months, causing intense drought in certain regions of the country. But the drying up of agricultural land and loss of crops is starting to show its effects in supermarkets, causing food price hikes of up to 80 percent in some... Read More

South Sudan: South Sudan Says 500 Elephants May Have Died During Two-Year War
9 February 2016 | Okech Francis, Bloomberg
At least 500 elephants may have been killed during South Sudan’s two-year civil war, including 15 slaughtered in one day last month, the African nation’s wildlife service said. The oil-producing country’s elephants, which numbered 5,000 in a 2012 nationwide survey, are still at heavy risk from poaching, said Major-General Philip... Read More

South Sudan: Unprecedented Food Crisis Looms over Strife-Torn South Sudan, UN Agencies Warn
8 February 2016 | United Nations
South Sudan faces unprecedented levels of food insecurity, with 2.8 million people, nearly 25 per cent of the population, in urgent need of aid, at least 40,000 of them on the brink of catastrophe, at a time when the war-torn country is traditionally most food secure, United Nations agencies warned today. Read More

Myanmar: With Mining Law Changes, Are Foreign Firms Set to Dig In?
8 February 2016 | Seamus Martov, The Irrawaddy
Long-anticipated revisions to Burma’s Mining Law, which were passed by the outgoing Parliament at the end of last year, could spur foreign investment in a sector that is still vulnerable to frontier market perils. The new law, which was finalized after being stalled in Parliament for more than two years,... Read More

Climate Security: New Climate & Security Film: The Age of Consequences
4 February 2016 | Sophie Robinson, Huffington Post
A documentary is taking a new twist on climate change: THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES, to be released in late 2016, investigates the impacts of climate change, resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability. Read More

China/Vietnam/United States/South China Sea: Vietnam Backs Latest US Challenge to Beijing’s Sovereignty in South China Sea, Say Analysts
3 February 2016 | Kristine Kwok, South China Morning Post
Washington may claim its latest operation in the South China Sea was aimed at challenging Vietnamese territorial claims in the region as much as China’s, but analysts say Hanoi is likely to have viewed the development positively. Read More

Iraq: Iraq Awards Contract for Repairing 'Most Dangerous Dam in the World'
3 February 2016 | Qassim Abdul-Zahra, The Associated Press
Iraq on Tuesday awarded an Italian company a contract to overhaul and maintain the Mosul dam in the country's north, days after a U.S. general warned of its possible collapse. Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told The Associated Press the Cabinet awarded the contract to Italy's Trevi group Tuesday. Read More

Land Rights: Investor Push Urged to Help Secure Indigenous Land Rights
3 February 2016 | Megan Rowling, Reuters
Conditions are ripe for a global leap forward in recognizing the land rights of indigenous people and forest communities, but investors and the public need to pressure governments to make it happen, an international network of forest policy groups said. Read More

Iraq: Iraq's Illegal Hunting Problem
3 February 2016 | Wassim Bassem, Al-Monitor
The abduction of 26 Qatari hunters, including members of the ruling family, by a Shiite armed group — which demanded a $1 million ransom for their release, according to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat daily — in the desert of Iraq's southern Muthanna province on Dec. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 4 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

On the Road to Peace in Colombia, It’s Important to Remember the Underlying Causes of Conflict
9 February 2016 | Stephanie Burgos
The longest lasting and only remaining internal armed conflict in this hemisphere may be coming to a close soon. After more than 50 years, Colombians are hopeful that peace is finally within reach. But as Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos explained to a packed audience in Washington last week, making... Read More

Climate Change, Disasters, and Security: Unconventional Approaches to Building Stability
8 February 2016 | Gracie Cook
It is “not sufficient to look at history for lessons on how we should prepare for and prevent future security risks in a climate change world,” said Swathi Veeravalli, research scientist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Geospatial Research Laboratory, at the Wilson Center on January 14. Read More

Myitsone Dam is as Much Aung San Suu Kyi's Problem as Beijing's
8 February 2016 | David I. Steinberg
In September 2011, Myanmar President Thein Sein dropped a bombshell on his country's previously close relations with China. Citing the public interest, he announced that construction of China's largest hydroelectric project in Southeast Asia -- the $3.6 billion-plus Myitsone dam project in northern Myanmar -- would be suspended for the... Read More

Armed Conflict, Environmental Protection and the Sustainable Development Goals
3 February 2016 | Doug Weir
Unless the international community does more to protect and restore the environment from the impact of armed conflict, many countries will fail to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, writes Doug Weir. 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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