A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Thursday, 6 November 2014

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2014 , 6 November

The environment has long been a silent casualty of war and armed conflict. From the contamination of land and the destruction of forests to the plunder of natural resources and the collapse of management systems, the environmental consequences of war are often widespread and devastating.
Armed conflicts are becoming ever more complex, and require solutions that address the root causes.   Issues of poverty, vulnerability to climate shocks, ethnic marginalization and the transparent, sustainable and equitable management of natural resources must be considered within and alongside peace agreements if we are to build more resilient and prosperous societies.
On this international day, let us reaffirm our commitment to protect the environment from the impacts of war, and to prevent future conflicts over natural resources. These challenges are even more urgent as the international community formulates the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
We must use all of the tools at our disposal, from dialogue and mediation to preventive diplomacy, to keep the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources from fueling and financing armed conflict and destabilizing the fragile foundations of peace.
Let us develop solutions that meaningfully involve local communities and build on our collective knowledge to advance good stewardship of the environment as an integral part of peacebuilding and sustainable development.

Ban Ki-moon


Six United Nations agencies and departments (UNEP, UNDP, UNHABITAT, PBSO, DPA and DESA), coordinated by the UN Framework Team for Preventive Action, have partnered with the European Union (EU) to help countries identify, prevent and transform tensions over natural resource as part of conflict prevention and peacebuilding programmes.

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Universities of Tokyo and McGill initiated a global research programme to collect lessons learned and good practices on managing natural resources during post-conflict peacebuilding. This four-year research project has yielded more than 150 peer-reviewed case studies by over 230 scholars, practitioners and decision-makers from 55 countries. This represents the most significant collection to date of experiences, analyses and lessons in managing natural resources to support post-conflict peacebuilding.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equity and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) have established a partnership to collaborate on improving the understanding of the complex relationship between women and natural resources in conflict-affected settings, and make the case for pursuing gender equality, women’s empowerment and sustainable natural resource management together in support of peacebuilding. The first outcome of the collaboration is a joint policy report released on 6 November 2013.

Forum International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment

 Publication : 
 Assessing and Restoring Natural Resources in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.

 When a country emerges from violent conflict, the management of the environment and natural resources has important implications for short-term peacebuilding and long-term stability, particularly if natural resources were a factor in the conflict, play a major role in the national economy, or broadly support livelihoods. Only recently, however, have the assessment, harnessing, and restoration of the natural resource base become essential components of postconflict peacebuilding.

This book, by thirty-five authors, examines the experiences of more than twenty countries and territories in assessing post-conflict environmental damage and natural resource degradation and their implications for human health, livelihoods, and security. The book also illustrates how an understanding of both the risks and opportunities associated with natural resources can help decision makers manage natural resources in ways that create jobs, sustain livelihoods, and contribute to economic recovery and reconciliation, without creating new grievances or significant environmental degradation. Finally, the book offers lessons from the remediation of environmental hot spots, restoration of damaged ecosystems, and reconstruction of the environmental services and infrastructure necessary for a sustainable peace.

Assessing and Restoring Natural Resources in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Land and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.

 Claims to land and territory are often a cause of conflict, and land issues present some of the most contentious problems for post-conflict peacebuilding. Among the land-related problems that emerge during and after conflict are the exploitation of land-based resources in the absence of authority, the disintegration of property rights and institutions, the territorial effect of battlefield gains and losses, and population displacement. In the wake of violent conflict, reconstitution of a viable land-rights system is crucial: an effective post-conflict land policy can foster economic recovery, help restore the rule of law, and strengthen political stability. But the reestablishment of land ownership, land use, and access rights for individuals and communities is often complicated and problematic, and poor land policies can lead to renewed tensions.

In twenty-one chapters by twenty-five authors, this book considers experiences with, and approaches to, post-conflict land issues in seventeen countries and in varied social and geographic settings. Highlighting key concepts that are important for understanding how to address land rights in the wake of armed conflict, the book provides a theoretical and practical framework for policy makers, researchers, practitioners, and students.

Land and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
High-Value Natural Resources and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.

  For most post-conflict countries, the transition to peace is daunting. In countries with high-value natural resources – including oil, gas, diamonds, other minerals, and timber –the stakes are unusually high and peacebuilding is especially challenging. Resource-rich post-conflict countries face both unique problems and opportunities. They enter peacebuilding with an advantage that distinguishes them from other war-torn societies: access to natural resources that can yield substantial revenues for alleviating poverty, compensating victims, creating jobs, and rebuilding the country and the economy. Evidence shows, however, that this opportunity is often wasted. Resource-rich countries do not have a better record in sustaining peace. In fact, resource-related conflicts are more likely to relapse.

Focusing on the relationship between high-value natural resources and peacebuilding in post-conflict settings, this book identifies opportunities and strategies for converting resource revenues to a peaceful future. Its thirty chapters draw on the experiences of forty-one researchers and practitioners – as well as the broader literature – and cover a range of key issues, including resource extraction, revenue sharing and allocation, and institution building. The book provides a concise theoretical and practical framework that policy makers, researchers, practitioners, and students can use to understand and address the complex interplay between the management of high-value resources and peace.

 Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.
Negotiating peace agreements, implementing humanitarian assistance, and developing legal frameworks are a few of the key issues involved in post-conflict natural resource management. What, indeed, is good governance? Contributing authors respond by assessing how governance should best address the cultural, social, economic, and political dimensions of post-conflict environments.

Negotiating peace agreements, implementing humanitarian assistance, and developing legal frameworks are a few of the key issues involved in post-conflict natural resource management. What, indeed, is good governance? Contributing authors respond by assessing how governance should best address the cultural, social, economic, and political dimensions of post-conflict environments. - See more at:

Governance, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
 Livelihoods, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.

 In developing countries around the world, local natural resources – such as charcoal, wildlife, and fisheries – have strong microeconomic and cultural importance. So vital to traditional livelihoods, these resources are unfortunately not exempt from the brutal effects of conflict. Contributing authors discuss strategies in managing these resources and supporting livelihoods in post-conflict environments.

Livelihoods, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
 Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.

 Water is a basic human need, and the provision of safe water is thus among the highest priorities during post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding. Water, sanitation, and the associated delivery infrastructure are also critical to economic development and the recovery of livelihoods in the aftermath of war. And despite predictions of “water wars,” shared waters have proved to be the natural resource with the greatest potential for interstate cooperation and local confidence building. Indeed, water management plays a singularly important role in rebuilding trust after conflict and in preventing a return to conflict.

Featuring nineteen case studies and analyses of experiences from twenty- eight countries and territories in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East, and drawing on the experiences of thirty-five researchers and practitioners from around the world, this book creates a framework for understanding how decisions governing water resources in post-conflict settings can facilitate or undermine peacebuilding.The lessons will be of value to practitioners in international development and humanitarian initiatives, policy makers, students, and others interested in post-conflict peacebuilding and the nexus between water management and conflict.

Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

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