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From Conflict To Peacebuilding: The Role Of Natural Resources And The Environment

The activities of the Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding programme span three main areas:

Policy and Knowledge Products: Based on ten years of field operations in countries ranging from Serbia and Sudan to Afghanistan and Albania, UNEP has documented key lessons learned on the linkages between natural resources, conflict and peacebuilding. Together with key partners, these lessons are being transformed into a series of flagship policy reports and guidance notes. UNEP and a number of partners including the Environmental Law Institute will also publish 150 case studies of best practice and lessons learned in managing natural resources in post-conflict peacebuilding.  

Field Support: UNEP’s field support on environment-peacebuilding linkages currently focuses on the agenda countries of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, specifically the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone. Assessment work has also been conducted in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Specific environmental diplomacy interventions are currently being conducted between Haiti and the Dominican Republic on illegal wood harvesting and deforestation. In addition, UNEP has developed a new methodology to assess the potential linkages between climate change, security and migration, using the Sahel region as a test case.

Training Programmes: All of the knowledge products produced by the programme are being transformed into training materials. These include a) Pre-deployment training for peacekeeping troops on natural resources and conflict, produced together with UNITAR and IISD; b) Training for UN Country Teams and EU staff on natural resources and conflict prevention, developed together with the UN Framework Team; and c) Training on best practice in managing natural resources for peacebuilding.
The Programme has established partnerships with the key UN entities addressing conflict prevention and peacebuilding, including the UN Peacebuilding Commission and Support Office, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Field Support, the Department of Political Affairs, and the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery. A partnership with the European Union has also been established on building national capacity to prevent conflicts over natural resources.

Finally, to broaden its expertise and deliver effective technical assistance to national partners and the UN system, UNEP has established an Expert Advisory Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding. The Group, composed of senior experts from academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and think tanks with demonstrated leadership in environment and conflict issues, provides independent expertise, develops tools and policy inputs, and identifies best practices for using natural resources and the environment in ways that contribute to peacebuilding and prevent relapse into conflict.

 

 

For further information on UNEP's Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding programme please contact David Jensen, ECP Programme Coordinator, at: david.jensen@unep.org