Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 65: 5 Jul 2016


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

Implications of Climate Change and Disasters on Military Activities: Building Resilience and Mitigating Risks and Vulnerability in the Balkans

6 July 2016 – 7 July 2016 | Crisis Management and Disaster Response - Center of Excellence, Sofia, Bulgaria

CMDR COE's workshop will bring together lecturers from the US EUCOM, ERDC, Hawaiian Center of Excellence on Disaster Response and Humanitarian Assistance, EADRCC and other leading emergency management experts. Participants will be invited from countries from the Balkans - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, FYROM, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey,... 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

9th ICP International Summer Academy and Forum: Mediating Company-Community Conflicts

12 July 2016 – 16 July 2016 | The Institute for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, Caux (Montreux), Switzerland

The 9th International Summer Academy and Forum 2016 offers its participants an overview of the problems that arise due to the impact of companies setting up in complex environments and how to address them through mediation and dialogue. 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, 30 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

Climate Variability, Food Production Shocks, and Violent Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa
Halvard Buhaug, Tor A. Benjaminsen, Espen Sjaastad, and Ole Magnus Theisen (Environmental Research Letters, 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

Environmental Governance, Climate Change and Peacebuilding
Christian Altpeter (Folke Bernadotte Academy, 2016)
This brief summarizes the presentations and discussions from the eighth International Expert Forum (IEF) on environmental governance, climate change and peacebuilding. The purpose of the IEF was to unpack and revisit the links between environmental factors and issues pertaining to peace and conflict and to discuss how environmental governance and... Read More

Securing Forest Peoples’ Rights and Tackling Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Patrick Kipalu, Lassana Koné, Sarah Bouchra, Stephanie Vig, and Willy Loyombo (Forest Peoples Programme, 2016)
Deforestation and forest degradation have increased in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite the government’s commitment to safeguard its forests. Commercial and industrial-scale activities represent major direct long-term threats to the forests. By contrast, the traditional livelihood strategies of indigenous and local communities show a capacity to coexist with... Read More

Governing Resources -- Governing Peace. Environmental Peacebuilding. Case Studies from Lake Victoria.
Christina Koch (Roskilde University, 2016)
The worsening environmental degradation is a growing concern for politicians and practitioners around the globe. Some academics argue that there is a causal link between environmental degradation and violence, others claim that cooperation and not violence is a much more likely outcome. Read More

Forced Displacements and Destroyed Lives around Upper Paunglaung Dam in Shan State, Myanmar
Widney Brown (Physicians for Human Rights, 2015)
For nearly four decades, Myanmar (also known as Burma) was ruled by military-led governments that committed grave human rights violations, resulting in international economic sanctions against the country for many years. Beginning in 2012, however, after the liberalization of some governmental policies, Western nations lifted these sanctions. Read More

Oil Growth Story in Iraq Loses Steam
Ali Al-Killidar (GlobalData, 2016)
One of the most significant global oil production growth drivers has been derailed. Upstream development in Iraq has lost pace bluntly evidenced by the resignation of the Iraqi Oil Minister, Abdul-Mahdi, in March 2016.  Previously the vice president of the country for 6 years, Abdul-Mahdi had been the oil minister... Read More

Paris Was a Success, but the Climate-Security Response is Lagging, Says Nick Mabey [Audio]
Sean Peoples (New Security Beat, 2016)
In the months leading up to the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris last fall, expectations were high. And the result actually exceeded those expectations in many respects, says Nick Mabey, director and chief executive at the environment consultancy E3G, in this week’s podcast. Read More

Natural Resource-Based Global Conflicts and Post Conflict Peace Building
Siakilo Emmanuel, Mulongo S. Leonard, Chebon Richard, and Biwott Gladys (IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology, 2015)
Extensive literature has explored the link between natural resources and conflicts. Nevertheless, scholars have rarely reached a univocal agreement and a common theoretical understanding on this interrelation. In this thematic paper, I reconsider the connections between natural resources and global conflict. Read More

Building Peace through Principle: 10 Access Rights and the Prevention of Environmental Conflict
Ellie Roberts and Alexandra Pluss Encarnacion (Quaker United Nations Office, 2015)
In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as elsewhere in the world, factors such as resource degradation, competing claims on resources and different understandings of resource use pose challenges to effective environmental management. The development of a LAC regional framework for the application of Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration... Read More

Conflict and Cooperation in the Water-Security Nexus: A Global Comparative Analysis of River Basins under Climate Change
P. Michael Link, Jürgen Scheffran, and Tobias Ide (Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 2016)
The review assesses the scientific literature on conflict and cooperation in transboundary river systems with a special focus on climate change. Afterwards, an analytical framework of the water-security nexus is developed that integrates the physical and socioeconomic pathways connecting water availability with conflict or cooperation. Read More


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

DRC: Consultant for Law Enforcement Activities in Salonga National Park (Deadline: 2016-07-08)
28 June 2016 | World Wildlife Fund for Nature
WWF-DRC has entered into a partnership agreement with ICCN (Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) for the co-management of Salonga National Park in central west DRC. Salonga is Africa’s largest forest protected area and second largest in the world after the Amazon. Read More

Myanmar: Junior Expert in Natural Resources Management (Deadline: 2016-07-11)
15 June 2016 | Instituto Oikos
Istituto Oikos is a non-profit organisation that operates in Europe and developing countries to safeguard biodiversity. It promotes a responsible management of natural resources and the widespread adoption of more-sustainable lifestyles as tools for social and economic development and for fighting poverty. Read More

Central African Republic: Bush Pilot (Deadline: 2016-07-11)
28 June 2016 | Chinko Project
The Chinko Project sustainably manages a nature reserve in the heart of Africa – one of the last pristine mosaics of wooded savannah and tropical lowland rainforest deep within the Central African Republic. This project goes beyond conservation, it represents hope for stability and governance in one of the poorest... Read More

International News

Myanmar: Myanmar Turns to Timber Exports to Save Forests
4 July 2016 | Chan Mya Htwe, Myanmar Times
Long a timber-producing and exporting country, Myanmar will start importing wood to protect its forests while allowing local timber companies to continue operating, the government has decided. U Kyaw Zaw, director of the office of the minister for natural resources and environmental conservation, said, “A plan to permit the importation... Read More

Liberia: Justice, FDA Sign MOU to Strengthen Forestry Compliance
3 July 2016 | Alaskai Moore Johnson, Daily Observer
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure cooperation in their partnership to enhance forestry compliance and enforcement has been signed by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Forestry Development Authority (FDA). During the signing ceremony at the MOJ offices in Sinkor recently, Justice Minister Frederick Cherue emphasized that the... Read More

Thailand: Mosha, Thai Elephant Wounded by Land Mine, Gets New Prosthetic Limb
1 July 2016 | RIchard C. Paddock, New York Times
Mosha was 7 months old when she stepped on a land mine near Thailand’s border with Myanmar and lost a front leg. That was a decade ago. This week, she received her ninth artificial leg, thanks to the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital in northern Thailand. Read More

Myanmar: Hydropower and the Cost of Life
30 June 2016 | Connor Macdonald, Al Jazeera
More than 8,000 people from 23 villages were forcibly displaced by the Thein Sein government during the construction of the Upper Paunglaung Dam, which began in 2006. Relocation has led to poverty, hunger and suicides among the thousands who live in the government-built relocation sites. Read More

India: Murders, Violence on Rise as Parched Central India Battles for Water
29 June 2016 | Shuriah Niazi, Thomson Reuters Foundation
As northern and central India continue to suffer thorough severe drought and oppressive heat, police in Bundelkhand and several other regions are reporting a rise in violent – and often deadly – clashes over water. After almost 10 years of below-average rainfall and several consecutive years of drought, the region’s... Read More

Conflict Minerals: Agreement in Principle Announced for EU Regime on Conflict Minerals
27 June 2016 | National Law Review
In a so-called “trilogue” meeting on June 16, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, and the European Commission reached a “political” agreement on the key elements of a regulation that would implement a due diligence and reporting regime for conflict minerals imported in the EU. Read More

Pakistan: Land Grabbing One of the Reasons Behind Terrorism: CM Sindh
26 June 2016 | Geo TV
Chief Minister Sindh Shah was addressing a Sindh Assembly session in which he said that land grabbing is also a reason behind target killing incidents. The minister claimed that 6,500 acres of land were freed from land grabbers’ grasp in Karachi. Read More

Colombia: As FARC Signs Cease-Fire, Will Colombia's Cocaine Trade Decrease?
25 June 2016 | David Iaconangelo, Christian Science Monitor
FARC's leader, Timoleón Jiménez, finally signed a cease-fire pact with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, seen as a final step before sealing a permanent peace and disarmament deal in coming months. The agreement includes a commitment from the FARC to combat the production and trafficking of illegal drugs, substitute other crops for... Read More

Sri Lanka: Illegal Fishing, Land Grabbing by Outsiders Add to Tamil Fishermen's Woes
24 June 2016 | P.K.Balachandran, The New Indian Express
Seven years after the end of the war the fishermen of Kokkilai in the Tamil-majority Mullaitivu district of North-East Sri Lanka are yet to enjoy the fruits of peace. If fighting on land and sea disrupted their livelihood during the 30 year war, illegal fishing by Sinhalese and Muslims from... Read More

The Top-Secret Cold War Plan to Keep Soviet Hands off Middle Eastern Oil
23 June 2016 | Steve Everly, Politico
On a cool summer day in London in 1951, an American CIA officer told three British oil executives about a top-secret U.S. government plan. The goal was to ravage the Middle East oil industry if the region were ever invaded by the Soviet Union. Read More

Afghanistan: Afghan Women Take on Farming
23 June 2016 | Arzo Mohammadai, Institute for War & Peace Reporting
Agriculture, a central pillar of Afghanistan’s economy, has traditionally been dominated by men. Women are sometimes recruited to work the fields or tend livestock, but have no say in any of the profits. A number of schemes, however, have had considerable success supporting women who want to start small-scale agricultural enterprises. Read More

Myanmar: The Opium Bulbs of Myanmar: Drug Crop or Lifeline for Poor Farmers?
22 June 2016 | Paul Vrieze, Guardian
The trade in opium and its derivative heroin is controlled by many rebel groups and pro-government militias who use it to fund a long-running civil war. The opiates, along with huge amounts of methamphetamine, end up in China and across south-east Asia. Read More

Iraq/Kurdistan: Kurds and Iran Eye an Oil Deal
22 June 2016 | Mohammed A. Salih and Mustafa Naser, Al Jazeera
Iran and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have hammered out the technical details of a plan to build a pipeline that could transfer as much as 250,000 barrels a day of Kurdish oil to Iran, but signing off the deal has yet to happen, according to Kurdish officials. Read More

Timor-Leste: Timor-Leste’s Non-Oil Economy Must Look to Tourism
22 June 2016 | Susan Marx, Asia Foundation
Despite Timor-Leste’s obvious allure and ongoing economic improvements, it remains a heavily oil-dependent country – the second highest in the world behind South Sudan – with oil revenues providing 90 percent of the government’s revenue. Experts warn that unless Timor diversifies its economy, the country’s fiscal stability is in danger... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 8 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

Can the Liberian Government Protect Citizen Rights in the Dark?
4 July 2016 | Ali Kaba
Recently, the Liberian government arrested senior officials caught in a scandal: the Speaker of the House of Representatives Alex Tyler; Senator Varney Sherman; and a former minister at the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy. According to the indictments, the UK-based Sable Mining Company bribed these officials to insert a... Read More

Vietnam’s ‘Soft Diplomacy’ in the South China Sea
29 June 2016 | James Borton
China’s unilateral sovereignty claims on more than 80 percent of the international sea and massive military build-up on artificial islands over the past two years has sparked a sea change in Vietnam’s identity, from a Red River delta rice producing culture to a maritime nation. Read More

Timor-Leste: Australia Is Behaving Like China in Disputed Waters
28 June 2016 | Dan De Luce
There’s a major Asian power that refuses to compromise in its far-reaching territorial claims in oil-rich waters, despite appeals from its smaller neighbor to resolve the dispute in an international court. But it’s not China throwing its weight around in this case. Read More

Why the House Must Stop the Last-Second FSGG Rider on Conflict Minerals
22 June 2016 | Sasha Lezhnev and Holly Dranginis
Yesterday, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) filed an 11th hour amendment to the financial services appropriations bill to de-fund enforcement of the conflict minerals provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The amendment was adopted by the House Rules Committee and will go to the House floor for a vote today. Read More

The EU Has Acted on Minerals that Underwrite Modern Slavery
22 June 2016 | Seb Dance
After years of campaigning, the European Union has agreed an outline deal to combat the unchecked trade in natural resources, which fuels some of the world’s most brutal conflicts, underwriting child labour, sexual violence and modern slavery. 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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