In 2008, the Central African Republic (CAR) became the fourth country to be placed on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission.

In addition to poor governance, insecurity, high inequality and social marginalization, the management of CAR’s abundant natural resources represents one the many challenges to stability faced by this impoverished nation of 4.3 million people, one of the world’s most neglected countries.

Within the framework of its partnership with the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission Support Office (PBSO), and the development of an Integrated Peacebuilding Strategy for CAR , UNEP undertook a mission in late January 2009 to assess the risks and opportunities for peacebuilding offered by natural resources and the environment. Conducted in partnership with PBSO and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the mission found significant potential conflict risks over natural resources. These related to revenue-sharing from forest and diamond extraction with local communities, as well as to land tenure and access disputes between pastoralists and agriculturalists. The full mission report can bedownloaded here.

The Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding in CAR, adopted by the Peacebuilding Commission on 6 May 2009, includes many of the issues highlighted by the UNEP study. In particular, the framework identifies the sound management of natural resources within a protected environment, which guarantees equitable redistribution of revenues, as a key priority for the country.

For further information please contact David Jensen, Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding Programme Manager on: