Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 56: 1 Mar 2016


The Inventory of Conflict and Environment (ICE) Expert System
27 February 2016 | American University
How do we understand conflict and environment case studies?  Often, there is an informal process of searching similar cases for points of comparison and contrast.  What if this process was automated?  Read More

From Fragility to Resilience: Managing Natural Resources in Fragile Situations in Africa
17 February 2016 | African Development Bank and ELI
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) have produced a new report on natural resources management in fragile and conflict-affected countries. This flagship report examines how African countries in fragile situations can work towards addressing the causes and drivers of fragility by better managing natural... Read More


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

[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

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

Avoiding Catastrophe: Linking Armed Conflict, Harm to Ecosystems, and Public Health Conference

4 May 2016 – 6 May 2016 | Concordia University (Loyola Sustainability Research Centre), Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Gathering experts from the medical, epidemiological, veterinary, conflict management, biodiversity conservation, climate change and political science communities, this conference will pursue an integrated understanding of the catastrophic combination of prolonged armed conflict, environmental alterations such as biodiversity loss, and challenges to the provision of public health, including emergent infectious diseases,... Read More

2016 Conflict Mineral Compliance Webinar Series

7 July 2016 | Assent Compliance, Online

Assent is hosting a 2016 conflict mineral compliance webinar series entitled "Your Conflict Mineral Program For 2016 – Manage Internally or Use a Compliance Partner" and will continue over the course of this summer. Seminar begins at 1pm. Read More

2016 Conflict Mineral Compliance Webinar Series

14 July 2016 | Assent Compliance, Online

Assent is hosting a 2016 conflict mineral compliance webinar series entitled "Your Conflict Mineral Program For 2016 – Changing Service Providers and Using a Compliance Partner" and will continue over the course of this summer. This webinar begins at 1pm.  Read More


In the last two weeks, 12 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Water and Security: Pressure Points to Watch in 2016 [Infographic]
Kaye LaFond and Codi Kozacek (Circle of Blue, 2016)
After five years of civil war, the humanitarian crisis in Syria has reached massive proportions: More than 4.6 million people have fled the country as refugees, and at least 7.6 million more are internally displaced within Syria, according to aid agencies. Read More

Point of Origin - Status Report on the Impact of Dodd-Frank 1502 in Congo
Holly Dranginis (Enough Project, 2016)
Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank 1502) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Conflict Minerals Rule have improved global minerals supply chain transparency and begun to help break links between the minerals trade and violent conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic... Read More

From Fragility to Resilience Managing Natural Resources in Fragile Situations in Africa
Ilona Coyle and Carl Bruch (African Development Bank Group and ELI, 2016)
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) have produced a new report on natural resources management in fragile and conflict-affected countries. This flagship report examines how African countries in fragile situations can work towards addressing the causes and drivers of fragility by better managing natural... Read More

The Facebook-Loving Farmers of Myanmar: A Dispatch from an Internet Revolution in Progress
Craig Mod (The Atlantic, 2016)
For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones. A design ethnographer is someone who studies how culture and technology interact. Read More

Myanmar EITI Report for the Period Apr 2013-Mar 2014: Oil, Gas, and Mining Sectors
Myanmar Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, 2015
This report summarises information about the reconciliation of fiscal and non-fiscal revenues from the extractive sector in Myanmar as part of the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In addition this report includes the reconciliation of revenues collected by the State Owned Enterprises (SOE) from extractive companies and... Read More

Stirring up the South China Sea (IV): Oil in Troubled Waters
International Crisis Group, 2016
The South China Sea’s hydrocarbon resources are hotly contested though its reserves are unproven. While their potential economic benefit may be considerable, their foremost significance is political, as their division has implications for sovereignty and fundamental law of the sea principles. Exploration frictions have deepened geopolitical fault lines. Read More

Motivations for Local Resistance in International Peacebuilding
Sung Yong Lee (Third World Quarterly, 2015)
This article discusses the complex motivations underlying local resistance to externally led post-war peacebuilding programmes. In examining the land distribution process in post-war Cambodia it proposes a five-part typology of motivations for the resistance that frequently appears in the context of international post-conflict peacebuilding processes. Read More

Peace Resources? Governing Liberia's Forests in the Aftermath of Conflict
Michael D. Beevers (International Peacekeeping, 2015)
Natural resources represent both peril and promise for peacebuilding. Natural resources can support economic recovery and sustainable livelihoods, and contribute to trust and cooperation frequently lacking in war-torn societies. Natural resources can also catalyse social disputes and provide revenue for would-be insurgents. Read More

Resources and Resourcefulness – Gender, Conflict, and Artisanal Mining Communities in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2015
There are few things that evoke such passionate and divergent reactions as the issues surrounding gender, conflict and mining in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). At once reviled by international advocacy organizations and celebrated by local communities, mining is viewed as both the scourge and savior of a... Read More


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

Sri Lanka: Project Coordinator (Deadline: 2016-03-02)
27 February 2016 | UNDP
The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority under the Ministry of Power and Energy in collaboration with UNDP will implement the ‘Appropriate Mitigation Actions in the Energy Generation and End-Use Sectors in Sri Lanka’ Project. The project is funded by the Global Environmental Fund and operational from 2015 June to 2018 May. Read More

Sierra Leone: National Consultant to Contribute to the Development of a GEF LDCF Project on Climate Change Adaptation and Coastal Zone Management in Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone Nationalities Only) (Deadline: 2016-03-11)
27 February 2016 | UNDP
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) recently approved the Project Identification Form (PIF) that was presented by UNDP on behalf of the Environment Protection Agency on “adapting to climate change induced coastal risks in Sierra Leone”. This project will be one of the key instruments for implementing the adaptation priorities identified... Read More

Worldwide: Rotary Peace Fellowships (Deadline: 2016-05-31)
25 February 2016 | Rotary Peace Fellows
Each year, Rotary selects up to 100 individuals from around the world to receive fully funded academic fellowships at one of our peace centers. These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.  Read More

International News

Afgahnistan: Saffron Production in Afghanistan to Exceed over 4,000 kg This Year
29 February 2016 | Khaama Press
The production of saffron in Afghanistan is expected to surpass 4,000 kg this year with the officials expressing optimisms that the production boost could help the Afghan farmers replace the illicit opium cultivation. According to Government Media and Information Center (GMIC) the latest prediction comes in line with President Mohammad... Read More

Australia: View from Canberra: Defence and Climate Change
26 February 2016 | Australian Defence Magazine
As the rising waves lap seaside homes around the nation, global warming induced storms wreak devastation and soaring temperatures bring the national power grid to a halt, defence leaders stare blankly into space and mutter to themselves: “Why the heck didn't do something about climate change when we had the... Read More

Afghanistan: More Problems for the Dahla Dam – One of Canada’s Afghan Signature Projects
26 February 2016 | David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
When Canada’s diplomats, development specialists and soldiers left Kandahar in 2011, our involvement with the dam ended and the government declared the $50-million project a success. It wasn’t. When I visited the dam in 2013 the water from the dam wasn’t reaching 30 per cent of the 500 kilometres of... Read More

India/Vietnam/South China Sea: Vietnam Invites India to Explore Resources in Disputed South China Sea Region
24 February 2016 | Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, Economic Times
Vietnam on Wednesday invited strategic partner India to explore and explot natural resources within the Southeast Asian countries 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea region where China has deployed fighter jets besides surface-to-air missiles ratcheting up tensions. Read More

China/South China Sea: Contest Over South China Sea Spurred in Part by Resources
23 February 2016 | Shannon Van Sant, Voice of America
With tensions mounting over maritime disputes in the South China Sea, the cause of the problem, at least in part, is believed to lie at the bottom of the water. But it is still unclear exactly how much oil and natural gas lurk beneath the surface.  Along with fishing and lucrative... Read More

Myanmar: MP Submits Urgent Proposal for El Niño Preparedness
23 February 2016 | Eleven Myanmar
A parliamentary representative from the Union Solidarity and Development Party submitted an important proposal to Lower House of Parliament yesterday urging the Union government to take precautionary measures against global climate change and the potential impact of El Niño in collaboration with relevant ministries. Read More

Colombia: Colombian Court Bans Oil, Gas and Mining Operations in Paramos
21 February 2016 | David Hill, Guardian
Colombia’s Constitutional Court has ruled against a controversial legal loophole permitting oil, gas and mining operations in the country’s paramos - high altitude eco-systems. Colombia’s paramos are the most extensive on earth and supply more than 70% of the country’s population with water, according to the Bogota-based Alexander von Humboldt Institute. Read More

Cyprus: Water Wars Jeopardises Coalition in North
20 February 2016 | Cyprus Mail
The National Unity Party (UBP), which is part of the ‘government coalition’ in the north along with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), gave an ultimatum on Friday to the regime’s prime minister Omer Kalyoncu to resolve the water crisis by Wednesday or resign. Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: Abadi Promises 17% of Budget to KRG in Exchange for Ceasing Oil Sales
20 February 2016 | NRT
Iraqi Member of Parliament Bakhtyar Shaways announced on Saturday (Feb. 20) that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has reaffirmed his offer to provide the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) its 17% share of the federal budget if it ceases independent oil sales. Read More

Myanmar: Chinese Company to Begin Controversial Copper Mining Operation in Myanmar
19 February 2016 | Radio Free Asia
A Chinese mining company will begin copper production at a controversial site in central Myanmar in May, a month after the new government led by the opposition party comes to power, a corporate spokesman said Friday. The large mine project operated by China’s Wanbao Mining Copper Ltd. Read More

Abyei/Sudan: Dinka Council of Elders Accused of Trying to Annex Parts of Abyei to Twic State
17 February 2016 | Radio Tamazuj
'Elites of Twic Mayardit community' including at least one member of Salva Kiir Mayardit's advisory group, the Dinka Council of Elders, have been accused of seeking to annex some parts of the Abyei Area to the newly created Twic State. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 7 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Conflicting Views Surface on UNEP’s Work on Armed Conflicts Ahead of UNEA-2
22 February 2016 | Doug Weir
Some States would rather UNEP’s only role in relation to armed conflicts is that of a voluntary post-conflict environmental helpline, but this view fails to consider the environmental drivers of conflict, presents few opportunities to challenge harmful behaviours during conflicts and ignores the role that environmental management can play in... Read More

How a Pink Flower Defeated the World’s Sole Superpower
21 February 2016 | Alfred W. McCoy
After fighting the longest war in its history, the United States stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How can this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for 15 years, deploying 100,000 of its finest troops, sacrificing the lives of 2,200 of those soldiers,... Read More

Afghanistan’s Opium Solution
19 February 2016 | Ryan Mernin
For fourteen years, beginning in 2001, the U.S. fought a war on two fronts in Afghanistan: one to destroy the Taliban, the other to destroy the world’s largest supply of opium. In the first case, it was initially successful in helping Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance to beat the Taliban into temporary... Read More

Fair Share: Toward an Equitable Resource Revenue System
17 February 2016 | Andrew Bauer
Myanmar’s government currently collects much of the trillions of kyat generated by oil, gas, gemstones and other minerals each year, primarily through its state-owned economic enterprises (SEEs). In the face of such centralized control over revenue, many ethnic groups have long asserted their right to make decisions over resource management... Read More

We Need to Define “the Environment” to Protect it from Armed Conflict
11 February 2016 | Laurence Menhinick
If we want to strengthen the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts, we need to define what we mean by “the environment” – is it a natural thing, a human thing, a cultural thing or is it all these things and more? Laurence Menhinick considers how different... 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
February, 2016 2599 5235 2069
January, 2016 2583 5749 2026
December, 2015 2555 4579 1961
November, 2015 2531 6059 1928
October, 2015 2526 4955 1877
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Gretchen Ellison, Natalia Jiménez Galindo, Amy Harlowe, Liz Hessami, Janina Laurent, Jeremy Walker, Sahra Yusuf, and Ben Zukowski
Edited by Joel Young
Coordinated by Michael Lerner
Design by Graham Campbell
Managed and edited by Carl Bruch and David Jensen

Copyright ELI and UNEP 2017