Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 61: 10 May 2016


New Study: Good Governance of Natural Resources Essential for Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and Economic Recovery
3 May 2016 | ELI, UNEP, University of Tokyo, and McGill University
WASHINGTON, DC and GENEVA—After armed conflict, those who survive need food, water, shelter, the means to earn a living, and the promise of a return to safety and civil order. A new study released today finds meeting these needs while sustaining peace requires more than government structures; it requires good governance. Read More


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

Addressing the Environmental Dimensions of Armed Conflict to Achieve the SDGs

24 May 2016 | Zoï Environment Network, ELI, Toxic Remnants of War Project, and Norwegian People's Aid, Nairobi, Kenya

This event will provide an introduction to the environmental dimensions of contemporary armed conflicts and their relationship to the SDGs. It will also consider the gaps in legal protection and international assistance that should be addressed, and the role that States and civil society can play in promoting efforts to... Read More

Building Peace in a Changing Climate

24 May 2016 | ELI and Conservation International, Washington, DC

There is growing recognition of the interrelationship between climate change and conflict. Climate change is already having—and will continue to have—significant impacts in fragile, natural-resource dependent states, and the risk of those impacts exacerbating conflict is greatest in societies that rely heavily on natural resources and have limited adaptive capacity. Read More

Water Security for Policy Makers and Practitioners Short Course

20 June 2016 – 24 June 2016 | International Development University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Bringing together key strengths in water politics, climate change, agricultural water management and water allocation, this course will provide participants with an exceptional chance to acquire an understanding of this key global issue. Read More

7th Annual International Law and Transboundary Freshwater Training Workshop

27 June 2016 – 30 June 2016 | Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO), Dundee, Scotland, UK

Through a series of lectures from experienced water law experts, case studies and group exercises the workshop provides participants with the opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of key legal rules and principles that apply to transboundary waters, including the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention, the 1992 UNECE Water... Read More


In the last two weeks, 21 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Sharon Burke on How the U.S. Military is Planning for Climate Change [Audio]
Sean Peoples (New Security Beat, 2016)
Climate change is impacting the U.S. military in two major ways, explains Sharon Burke in this week’s podcast. Burke, who served as the First Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy from 2010 to 2014 and is now with the New America Foundation, says the Department of Defense has done a lot... Read More

Jon Unruh on Darfur and the Importance of Flexible Institutions for Managing Migration Conflict [Audio]
Sean Peoples (New Security Beat, 2016)
When it comes to environmental change, “policies and laws can have a very productive contribution toward positive adaptation, or they can subvert that and constrain options,” says Jon Unruh, Associate Professor of Human Geography and International Development at McGill University, in this week’s podcast. Read More

Water Rights and Conflict Resolution Processes in Afghanistan: The Case of the Sar-i-Pul Sub-Basin
Vincent Thomas, Mujib Ahmad Azizi, and Ihsanullah Ghafoori (European Commission and Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, 2012)
Over the past decade, research in Afghanistan has paid a great deal of attention to justice and dispute resolution processes related to civil and criminal issues. However, studies dealing with water-related conflicts have been extremely limited. Read More

Nostalgia for War and the Paradox of Peace in the Colombian Emerald Trade
Brian Brazeal (The Extractive Industries and Society, 2016)
In 1991 the most prominent leaders of Colombia's emerald mining sector signed a peace agreement that brought a decades-long conflict to an end. Peace brought consolidation to the business. It gave mine owners the ability to control the supply of emeralds that would be let out onto the market. Read More

Legacies of Conflict and Natural Resource Resistance in Guatemala
Joshua Wayland and Matthew Kuniholm (The Extractive Industries and Society, 2016)
In Guatemala, as elsewhere, protests in opposition to natural resource extraction and land use change often invoke narratives of historical oppression. The paper examines the legacy of the Guatemalan Civil War as manifest in recent protests against metals mining and hydroelectric dam projects. Read More

Oil in Niger: A Foundation for Promise or a New Resource Curse?
Halima Goumandakoye (The Extractive Industries and Society, 2016)
It is no secret that many poor, oil-rich countries struggle to develop. This paper offers initial reflections on the case of Niger, long one of the largest uranium producers in the world but which has recently begun to extract oil. Read More

Indigenous Peoples and Industry Water Users: Mapping the Conflicts Worldwide
A. Jiménez, M.F. Molina and H. Le Deunff (Aquatic Procedia, 2014)
This article presents the findings of a mapping study undertaken in 2014 to determine the characteristics of conflicts between governments, private industrial users and indigenous peoples over the use of water resources. Gathering information about 384 situations of water-related conflicts reported around the world during 1960–2014, the study found that... Read More

The New Kid on the Old Block: Coltan, Conflict-Prone Minerals, and Post-War Reconstruction in Sierra Leone
Fenda A. Akiwumi and Arthur O. Hollist (The Extractive Industries and Society, 2016)
Mining is the core revenue source of Sierra Leone’s post-war reconstruction and development Agenda for Prosperity (2013–2018). This initiative includes large-scale extraction of minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, and titanium and artisanal mining of gold and diamonds. Read More


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

Sierra Leone: Capacity Development Senior Officer
26 April 2016 | Pact
The goal of the Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability (FIFES) project is to develop key rural forest-based enterprises which provide inclusive, sustainable economic opportunities for rural farmers and forest- dependent communities that combat drivers of deforestation and biodiversity loss. Read More

Liberia: Land and Water Specialist (Deadline: 2016-05-12)
9 May 2016 | Africa Rice Center
The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) is seeking a highly qualified Land and water management specialist to be based at AfricaRice, Liberia. AfricaRice is one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium. It is also an autonomous intergovernmental association of African member countries. Read More

Cambodia: Biodiversity Conservation Specialist (Deadline: 2016-05-13)
9 May 2016 | Winrock International
Winrock International is recruiting a Biodiversity Conservation Specialist for an anticipated USAID-funded project. This position will be based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The anticipated project will build on previous experiences and work from other USAID and donor investments with a focus on improving the overall management of the Prey Lang... Read More

Cambodia: Forestry and Community NRM Specialist (Deadline: 2016-05-13)
9 May 2016 | Winrock International
Winrock International is recruiting a Forestry and Community Natural Resource Management Specialist for an anticipated USAID-funded project. This position will be based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The anticipated project will build on previous experiences and work from other USAID and donor investments with a focus on improving the overall management... Read More

Yemen: Food Security & Livelihoods Head of Department (Deadline: 2016-05-13)
9 May 2016 | Action Contre La Faim
Action against Hunger is now recognised as one of the leading organisations in the fight against hunger worldwide. Under the supervision of the Country Director, you will have to guarantee the quality, relevance and scaling of FSL strategy and interventions at the mission, in conformity with ACF and international standards... Read More

Liberia: Chief of Party (Deadline: 2016-05-15)
9 May 2016 | ACDI/VOCA
ACDI/VOCA is currently seeking a Chief of Party for a potential Title II Development Food Aid Program (DFAP). This multi-year, non-emergency program is integrated with USAID strategies to address the underlying causes of chronic food insecurity. The program’s ultimate goal is to reduce food insecurity among vulnerable households. Read More

Kenya: Programme Manager (Deadline: 2016-05-16)
25 April 2016 | Peace Direct
Peace Direct is looking for a dynamic and experienced Programme Manager to oversee some of Peace Direct’s projects in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular the postholder will be responsible for managing a large EU-funded livelihoods and peacebuilding project in Kismayo, Somalia, which is being implemented in partnership with the Somali based... Read More

DRC: Environment and Climate Change Technical Advisor (Deadline: 2016-05-19)
9 May 2016 | ACDI/VOCA
ACDI/VOCA is currently seeking an experienced Environment and Climate Change Advisor for the upcoming USAID-funded Kivu Value Chain (Kivu VC) Project. The purpose of the project is to accelerate inclusive economic growth and production in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read More

DRC: Provincial Program Coordinator (Deadline: 2016-05-22)
9 May 2016 | Belgian Development Agency
The coordinator position includes coordinating several projects in the province of Bandundu, focused on the development of agriculture, the opening up and strengthening of technical education and vocational training: the opening-up program and agricultural development (PRODADEKK) and the support Program for technical education and vocational training (EDUKK) (place of Kikwit... Read More

Conservation Officer - Tropical Forest Landscapes (Deadline: 2016-05-23)
9 May 2016 | The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Do you have a passion for tropical forests and their global conservation? Do you have knowledge of the drivers of deforestation and the complexity of managing forest landscapes for conservation and local livelihoods in a variety of different contexts? The RSPB Tropical Forest Landscapes Unit (TFLU) is looking for a... Read More

Central Africa: Regional Technical Advisor (Deadline: 2016-05-27)
9 May 2016 | Catholic Relief Services
The CRS Agricultural Livelihoods signature program area (SPA) has a 5-year strategic goal to provide a pathway to prosperity for 5 million rural households worldwide. Working through our partner network, we aim to provide poor rural farming families with the assets, skills and links to markets and services that they... Read More

South Sudan: Food Security and Livelihood Program Manager (Deadline: 2016-05-29)
9 May 2016 | Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
ACTED endeavors to respond to humanitarian crises and build resilience; promote inclusive and sustainable growth; co-construct effective governance and support the building of civil society worldwide by investing in people and their potential. Since 1993, as an international non-governmental organization, ACTED has been committed to immediate humanitarian relief to support... 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

Myanmar: In Shan State, New Water Sources Combat an Old Scourge
9 May 2016 | Kyaw Phyo Tha, The Irrawaddy
Shan State, much like the rest of Burma, has been suffering from an unusually powerful El Niño weather pattern this year. In the southern parts of the state, many springs and wells have already dried up, and the lakes on which local communities rely for domestic and farming purposes have... Read More

Cambodia: Serial ‘Land Grabber’ Put on New Blacklist
9 May 2016 | Niem Chheng, Phnom Penh Post
Businesses and individuals with a history of improper land dealings are to be added to a “blacklist” barring them from registering or transferring land, according to a Facebook post published by Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara on Friday. Read More

Afghanistan: The Calm before the Storm
7 May 2016 | Naqeebullah Miakhel and Najibullah Noorzai, Diplomat
The Afghan Government’s position on direct peace negotiations with the Taliban through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), involving senior officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China, changed after the group staged a deadly bomb attack and assault on April 19, which killed 64 people and wounded 347 others in Kabul. Read More

South Sudan: Juba Economy: Reviving Tourism
6 May 2016 | Wolfgang H. Thome, eTurboNews
Information coming out of Juba suggests that the newly-formed South Sudan unity government will now turn its attention to reviving the national economy, all but destroyed in over two years of a senseless civil when ethnic cleansing by the regime was triggered off a sharp defensive counter reaction in December 2013. Read More

Could a Lack of Water Cause Wars?
4 May 2016 | Pola Lem, ClimateWire
Water scarcity is expected to increase globally as populations boom and climate change sharpens uncertainty around the resource's availability, according to a report by the World Bank. The conclusion adds to a growing body of research, and it comes days before this year's Climate Action 2016 summit in Washington, D.C. Read More

Israel/Palestine/Gaza: Gaza Sewage Crisis, Festering in Conflict, Poisons Coast
3 May 2016 | Fares Akram and Daniella Cheslow, Associated Press
Each day, millions of gallons of raw sewage pour into the Gaza Strip’s Mediterranean beachfront, spewing out of a metal pipe and turning miles of once-scenic coastline into a stagnant dead zone. The sewage has damaged Gaza’s limited fresh water supplies, decimated fishing zones, and after years of neglect, is... Read More

Conflict Minerals: Fairphone: One Smartphone Company's Search for Conflict-Free Gold
29 April 2016 | Claudia Cahalane, Guardian
Fairphone was among the first to use certified conflict-free tin and tantalum from DRC when it launched its first phone in 2013. It is close to sourcing conflict free tungsten from Rwanda. But conflict-free gold from the DRC has been elusive. Read More

Myanmar: Myanmar Bans Lucrative Logging in Bid to Preserve Forests
28 April 2016 | Timothy Mclaughlin and Aung Hla Tun, Reuters
Myanmar has banned lucrative logging operations as the newly-elected government of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi steps up a battle on deforestation, an environment official said on Thursday. Myanmar's rich forests are among its most valuable natural resources, but they have been plundered by logging that helped fund the... Read More

Islamic State: Islamic State Turns to Selling Fish, Cars to Offset Oil Losses: Report
28 April 2016 | Stephen Kalin, Reuters
Islamic State earns millions of dollars a month running car dealerships and fish farms in Iraq, making up for lower oil income after its battlefield losses, Iraqi judicial authorities said on Thursday. Security experts once estimated the ultra-radical Islamist group's annual income at $2.9 billion, much of it coming from... Read More

Sudan/South Sudan: Oil Plunge Casts Doubt on South Sudan Plan to End Civil War
27 April 2016 | William Davison, Bloomberg
South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar returned to the capital of the world’s newest nation to rejoin the government and end a two-year civil war. An economic crisis caused by the conflict and a plunge in oil prices could derail everything. Read More

Liberia: World Bank/GoL Sign US36.7 Million Forestry Deal
27 April 2016 | Joe Abban, New Dawn
The World Bank and the Government of Liberia Wednesday signed a US$36.7 million grant from the Government of Norway to support the country’s efforts to improve the integrated management of targeted forest landscapes and increase the sharing of benefits. Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 6 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website.

War, Peace and Water: The Increasing Threat of Drought-Fuelled Conflicts
6 May 2016 | Laura Tuck
In the past, droughts of this severity have led to conflict and even wars between neighbouring communities and states. One of the first in recorded history erupted around 4500 years ago, when the city-state of Lagash – nestled between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern-day Iraq – diverted water... Read More

OECD Issues New Edition of OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Conflict Minerals and Declassifies Report on Implementation of Guidance
4 May 2016 | Cydney Posner
Just in time for those Forms SD and conflict minerals reports, due May 31, the OECD has posted a new edition of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, Third Edition. Read More

South Sudan’s Broken Oil Industry Increasingly Becoming a Hazard
2 May 2016 | Wim Zwijnenburg
The environment has long been a factor in violent conflict in South Sudan, especially with respect to control over oil. The first oil was discovered in 1999, and by 2007, hydrocarbons accounted for over 95 percent of Sudan’s income. Read More

Water Wars: Looming Arbitration Decision Tests Regional Partnerships
29 April 2016 | Chris Mirasola
China embarked on a sustained charm offensive this week to rally countries around its interests in the South China Sea. On Sunday, PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced a “four point consensus” with Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos on disputes in the South China Sea. Read More

Water as a Strategy of War
27 April 2016 | Mara Tignino
In times of war, lack of access to safe water can kill as many people as bombing.Inequality in the distribution of water resources and risks of shortage are contributing causes of tension and conflict between states. Read More

Pathways to Resilience: Evidence on Links Between Conflict Management, Natural Resources, and Food Security
26 April 2016 | Gracie Cook
In 2015, the NGO Mercy Corps released some surprising findings from conflict management programs in the Horn of Africa. Interventions from 2013 to 2015 focused on building community-level cooperation, strengthening institutions, and enhancing resilience. The results indicate that natural resource management can be a key governance pillar to build around... 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. 

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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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