Environmental Peacebuilding Update

Issue 67: 2 Aug 2016


Environmental Peacebuilding at the World Conservation Congress
3 August 2016
Are you going to the 2016 World Conservation Congress? In addition to the many events related to environmental peacebuilding, ELI will convene an informal strategy meeting with people interested in environmental peacebuilding. The date and venue are to be determined.  Read More

Save the Date: 4th Istanbul International Water Forum
2 August 2016 | Turkish Water Institute
The 4th IIWF will be held by the Turkish Water Institute (SUEN), with support from the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs of Turkey. The Forum's main theme is “Water and Peace”. There will be detailed discussions with distinguished policy makers, academics and experts on the impacts of the latest... Read More


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

Talk to Focus on Dangers of Climate Change & Water Scarcity

4 August 2016 | Leavenworth Public Library, Leavenworth, Kansas

Dr. Wendell King is Dean of Academics, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He will speak about the impact of climate change and water scarcity on the population at 7 p.m., Aug. 4, at the Leavenworth Public Library. Read More

IUCN World Conservation Congress: Planet at the Crossroads

1 September 2016 – 10 September 2016 | International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Hawai'i

Our planet is at a crossroads. The ecosystems that underpin our economies, well-being and survival are collapsing. Species are becoming extinct at unprecedented rates. Our climate is in crisis. And it’s all happening on our watch. Read More


In the last two weeks, 29 new publications were added to our online library of materials on environmental peacebuilding. Here is a sampling of the new additions:

A Better Balance: Revitalized Pastoral Livelihoods in Karamoja, Uganda
Elizabeth Stites, Kimberly Howe, Tsehay Redda, and Darlington Akabwai (Feinstein International Center, 2016)
Following years of conflict and national policies aimed at encouraging sedentarization of pastoral populations, international and bilateral actors are increasingly shifting their focus towards supporting animal production systems. This report reviews the state of animal-based livelihoods in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda and examines how animal ownership affects a household’s ability to weather shocks. Read More

In Defense of Water: Modern Mining, Grassroots Movements, and Corporate Strategies in Peru
Fabiana Li (The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 2016)
This article explores why water is at the center of recent mining controversies in Peru. It explores a conflict between the Yanacocha Mining Company and the community of Combayo in the Northern Highlands. In protests in 2006, campesinos stated that their struggle was over the protection of water resources from mining expansion;... Read More

Disputes over Land and Water Rights in Gold Mining : The Case of Cerro San Pedro, Mexico
Didi Stoltenborg and Rutgerd Boelens (Water International, 2016)
This article analyzes different visions and positions in a conflict between the developer of an open-pit mine in Mexico and project opponents using the echelons of rights analysis framework, distinguishing four layers of dispute: contested resources; contents of rules and regulations; decision-making power; and discourses. Read More

Understanding the Climate-Conflict Nexus from a Humanitarian Perspective: A New Quantitative Approach
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2016
This occasional policy paper aims to improve the humanitarian sector’s understanding of the nexus between climate change and violent conflict. This is crucial, given that about 80 per cent of the humanitarian crises with an inter-agency humanitarian appeal are conflict related, and climate change is expected to exacerbate this. Read More

Project Calculates the Cost of Social Conflict
Madison Condon (Columbia University, 2016)
One of the significant water-related risks to investment in the mining industry, particularly in non-OECD countries, comes from social conflict and political uncertainty. Read More

Forecasting Civil Conflict along the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
Håvard Hegre, Halvard Buhaug, Katherine V. Calvin, Jonas Nordkvelle, Stephanie T. Waldhoff, and Elisabeth Gilmore (Environmental Research Letters, 2016)
Climate change and armed civil conflict are both linked to socioeconomic development, although conditions that facilitate peace may not necessarily facilitate mitigation and adaptation to climate change. While economic growth lowers the risk of conflict, it is generally associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and costs of climate mitigation policies. Read More

Moving Beyond Natural Resources as a Source of Conflict: Exploring the Human-Environment Nexus of Environmental Peacebuilding
Anaïs Dresse, Jonas Østergaard Nielsen, and Dimitrios Zikos (Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems, 2016)
Over the past decades, an increasing number of research studies have explored the linkages between the biophysical environment, environmental scarcity and violent conflicts. Contrary to the viewpoints concerning those linkages, environmental change and cooperation have emerged over the last decade as a potential pathway for conflict resolution. Read More

Space, Discourse and Environmental Peacebuilding
Tobias Ide (Third World Quarterly, 2016)
The concept of environmental peacebuilding is becoming increasingly prominent among peacebuilding scholars and practitioners. This study provides a brief overview about the various discussions contributing to our understanding of environmental peacebuilding and concludes that questions of space have hardly been explicitly considered in these debates. Read More

Armed-Conflict Risks Enhanced by Climate-Related Disasters in Ethnically Fractionalized Countries
Carl-Friedrich Schleussnera, Jonathan F. Dongesa, Reik V. Donnera, and Hans Joachim Schellnhubera (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2016)
Social and political tensions keep on fueling armed conflicts around the world. Although each conflict is the result of an individual context-specific mixture of interconnected factors, ethnicity appears to play a prominent and almost ubiquitous role in many of them. Read More


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

Water and Habitat Engineer
1 August 2016 | International Committee of the Red Cross
As a Water and Habitat Engineer working for the ICRC, you will be responsible for the planning, design and implementation of engineering projects for victims of armed conflict. Working in a team, your tasks will include conducting needs assessments, surveying water and housing needs, negotiating with local authorities and firms... Read More

Libya: Humanitarian Mine Action Capacity Building Project Manager (Deadline: 2016-08-03)
1 August 2016 | Danish Refugee Council
The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a private, independent, humanitarian organization working on all aspects of the refugee cause in more than thirty countries throughout the world. The aim of DRC is to protect refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) against persecution and to promote durable solutions to the problems... Read More

Myanmar: Renewable Energy Fellow (Deadline: 2016-08-03)
2 August 2016 | Pact
Pact enables systemic solutions that allow poor and marginalized people to earn a dignified living, be healthy, and take part in the benefits that nature provides. Pact accomplishes this by strengthening local capacity, forging effective governance systems, and transforming markets into a force for development. Read More

Jordan: Consultancy for WASH in Schools (Deadline: 2016-08-04)
1 August 2016 | Norwegian Refugee Council
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a non-governmental, humanitarian organization with 60 years of experience in helping to create a safer and more dignified life for refugees and internally displaced people. NRC advocates for the rights of displaced populations and offers assistance within the shelter, education, emergency food security, legal... Read More

South Sudan: Hygiene Specialist (Deadline: 2016-08-10)
1 August 2016 | Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide is hiring a Hygiene Specialist to be responsible for the overall management and implementation of the Hygiene Promotion Programme in assigned locations within the former Unity State programme. Key activities include: to implement the water-sanitation component of emergency WASH responses according to global and organisational standards in coordination... Read More

Afghanistan: Shelter/WASH and Emergency Specialist (Deadline: 2016-08-15)
1 August 2016 | Norwegian Refugee Council
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been working in Afghanistan for the past 12 years. Its main activities include: Information Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA); Education; Shelter; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Through its programmes, NRC provides humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugee returnees, conflict and disaster-induced displaced persons (IDPs) and... Read More

Central African Republic: RCA - EHA Coordinator (Deadline: 2016-08-15)
1 August 2016 | Solidarités International
SI a débuté ses activités en RCA en 2007. Active sans discontinuer depuis, la mission comptait 4 bases opérationnelles au début de l’année 2012 à Kabo, Kaga Bandoro, Bozoum, et Ndélé, en plus  de la  coordination à Bangui, avant de rentrer progressivement, à partir de septembre 2012, dans la perspective... Read More

International News

China/South China Sea: Beijing Vows to Prosecute 'Trespassers'
2 August 2016 | James Griffiths, CNN
China has sent a clear warning to foreigners who enter contested areas of the South China Sea -- stay away or you'll be prosecuted. The warning came in a detailed explanation of last month's Hague ruling, which found that China's territorial claims in region have "no legal basis" under the U.N. Read More

Kenya: In Kenya, Scarcity and Drought are Driving Two Tribes to Go to War
30 July 2016 | Bill Corcoran, Irish Times
The air of tranquillity that dominates Lake Turkana’s desolate northwestern shoreline and surrounding rural landscape belies the severity of the tribal conflict gripping this part of the world’s largest permanent desert lake. Temperatures of 40 degrees are common in this part of the Rift Valley, which remains largely untouched by... Read More

Food Security: Millions Worldwide Trapped in Vicious Cycle of Violence and Hunger – UN
29 July 2016 | United Nations
Two United Nations agencies warned the UN Security Council today that ongoing conflicts around the world have pushed more than 56 million people into “crisis” or “emergency” levels of food insecurity and are hindering efforts to eradicate malnutrition. Read More

Colombia: Colombia is Charting a New Path Forward after a Brutal Civil War
28 July 2016 | Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, Bloomberg
In Latin America a critical experiment in land restitution is under way. On June 23 the government of Colombia agreed to a cease-fire with the armed leftist rebels called Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), officially ending hostilities in a conflict that raged for more than 50 years. Read More

Climate Change: Recipe for War: Remove Water and Food, Add Ethnic Strife—Then Stir
26 July 2016 | Eric Roston, Bloomberg
The question is no longer just whether climate change will kill us, but also whether climate change will make us kill each other. Almost 25 percent of armed conflicts in ethnically divided countries occur around the same time as climate-related disasters. This is the main take-away of a new study by researchers that adds crucial data... Read More

Myanmar/Thailand: Myanmar to Submit Disputed Parkland for Heritage Designation
26 July 2016 | Maung Zaw, Myanmar Times
Myanmar officials plan to submit land being claimed by Thailand for consideration as its own UNESCO World Heritage Site, U Than Zaw Oo, director of the Myanmar branch of the World Heritage Site committee, said yesterday. Read More

Liberia: Lands and Mines Ministry Launches Artisanal Mining Roadmap
25 July 2016 | Lewis S. Teh, New Dawn
The Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy has, for the first time, launched the Artisanal Mining Roadmap for the mining sector in Liberia. The launch of the Artisanal roadmap in Liberia will enable the Ministry in the implementation of its activities with regards to the mining sector. Read More

Climate Change: Disasters Linked to Climate Can Increase Risk of Armed Conflict
25 July 2016 | Damian Carrington, Guardian
Climate-related disasters increase the risk of armed conflicts, according to research that shows a quarter of the violent struggles in ethnically divided countries were preceded by extreme weather. The role of severe heatwaves, floods and storms in increasing the risk of wars has been controversial, particularly in relation to the... Read More

Climate Change: Kerry: Climate Change as Dangerous as Terrorism
22 July 2016 | Matthew Lee, Associated Press
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that climate change is as dangerous as, if not more, than the threats posed by the Islamic State and other extremist groups. Speaking Friday in Vienna at an international climate change conference, Kerry said the issue might not get as much public... Read More

Philppines/South China Sea: Despite Legal Victory in South China Sea, Philippines' Oil Remains in Troubled Waters
22 July 2016 | Enrico Dela Cruz, Reuters
The Philippines, eager to resume development of vital oil and gas reserves off its coast, will likely need to reach an accord with a Chinese government infuriated by last week’s ruling that granted Manila a big victory in the South China Sea. Read More

Conflict Minerals: U.S. Companies Providing More Details in Latest Conflict Minerals Filings with SEC, but Supply Chain Transparency Challenges Remain
20 July 2016 | Source Intelligence
More U.S. companies are providing greater details about their efforts to determine if their products contain conflict minerals under federal rules designed to help end a bloody war in Africa, according to an analysis by Source Intelligence of reports filed with the SEC this year. Read More

Afghanistan: Pistachios, Afghans' Green Gold, Coveted by Taliban
20 July 2016 | Agence France-Presse
Afghanistan takes pride in its world-class pistachios, but with looters harvesting the nuts well before maturity fears are growing that the Taliban and local strongmen are depriving the war-battered country of much-needed export income. Pistachios are not ripe for the picking until late July, but raiders rushed the forests earlier... Read More

Blogs & Opinion

In the last two weeks, 12 blogs & opinion pieces on environmental peacebuilding were posted on our website. Following is a sampling:

How the Paris Climate Agreement Can Drive Colombia’s Fledgling Peace – and Keep Liberia’s Peace Alive
28 July 2016 | Steve Zwick
For as long as Pablo Vieira Samper can remember, his native Colombia has been in a state of civil war – sometimes raging and sometimes simmering, but never completely abating. That may have changed last month, when the guerilla leadership of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the government of... Read More

Does Egypt Need Israel to Help Negotiate Nile Water Allocation from Ethiopian Dam?
26 July 2016 | Dana Sanchez
After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from a four-country trip to Africa, he got a visit from the Egyptian foreign minister, and those familiar with Israeli-Egyptian diplomatic relationships know how rare this visit was, Israel Today reported. Read More

Human Conflict is Pushing Gorillas Into Extinction – What You Can Do to Save These Animals
26 July 2016 | Jerald Pinson
The DRC contains two-thirds of the Congo rainforest, and the many years of governmental neglect and conflict has led to the near extinction of one of the forests largest inhabitants: the Eastern Lowland Gorilla. In order for local militias to support their campaigns during the Congolese War, their leaders would... Read More

How a New Source of Water is Helping Reduce Conflict in the Middle East
20 July 2016 | Rowan Jacobsen
Just a few years ago, in the depths of its worst drought in at least 900 years, Israel was running out of water. Now it has a surplus. That remarkable turnaround was accomplished through national campaigns to conserve and reuse Israel’s meager water resources, but the biggest impact came from... Read More

A Decades-Old Idea for the South China Sea Resurfaces: Make a Contested Area a Marine Park, Instead
20 July 2016 | Steve Mollman
One of the sea’s main areas of contention is the Spratly archipelago, an area the size of Tunisia featuring emerged rocks, tiny islands, and hundreds of coral reefs that various nations claim as their own. (China claims the entire archipelago, and nearly the entire sea and everything in it, as... 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
July, 2016 2781 4059 2307
June, 2016 2765 4219 2238
May, 2016 2746 6095 2170
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March, 2016 2604 4950 2097
November, 2013 298 5866 108

Compiled by Riza Aryani, Monica Emma, Pierre Gaunaurd, Liz Hessami, Sophie Labaste, Jeremy Walker, Sofia Yazykova, Sahra Yusuf, and Ben Zukowski
Edited by Joel Young
Coordinated by Jessye Waxman and Helen Wilson
Design by Graham Campbell
Managed and edited by Carl Bruch and David Jensen

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