The linkages between natural resources and violent conflict are a critical challenge faced by many countries today. The exploitation of high-value natural resources, including oil, gas, minerals and timber, for example, has often been cited as a key factor in triggering, escalating or sustaining wars around the globe. Furthermore, increasing competition for diminishing renewable resources, such as land and water, is on the rise, compounded by environmental degradation, population growth and climate change. If they are well managed, however, natural resources can also serve to prevent conflicts or shore up efforts toward peace and sustainable development in war-torn nations.
Seven United Nations agencies and departments (UNEP,UNDP, UNHABITAT, PBSO, DPA, DESA and IOM), coordinated by the UN Framework Team for Preventive Action, have partnered with the European Union (EU) to help countries identify, prevent or transform tensions over natural resource as part of conflict prevention and peacebuilding programmes.
Through a joint programme coordinated by the UN Framework Team for Preventive Action and financed by the EU's Instrument for Stability, technical assistance will be provided to help national stakeholders, as well as UN and EU staff in conflict-affected countries, to better understand and prevent tensions over environmental issues and the management of natural resources. The partnership is also designed to enhance policy development and programme coordination between key actors at the field level.
The partnership is divided in two phases. Phase I consists of the development of guidance notes and training material that aims to equip national stakeholders, UN Country Teams and EU Delegations with the skills and tools needed to understand, anticipate, prevent, and mitigate potential conflicts over natural resources. As such, the first outcome of the project is a series of Guidance Notes and training manuals: and an online self-paced learning tool covering the following themes:
For more information on these guidance notes and other publications click here
Phase II of the partnership applies the guidance and training modules at the field level in countries where specific natural resource management and conflict challenges are identified. This could include conducting assessments, deploying staff and other experts, convening stakeholder meetings, analyzing options and designing programmes. Where needed, dedicated follow-up measures will also be undertaken on an inter-agency basis, in partnership with the EU. The first pilot activity was conducted in Afghanistan and a second pilot activity will focus on the Great Lakes region.
More information on the partnership can be found here.
For more information about the EU-UN Partnership and the Guidance Notes, please contact David Jensen, Head of ECP at UNEP: email@example.com, or Florian Bruyas, Project Manager of EU/UN Project on Natural Resources and Conflict Prevention, UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action: firstname.lastname@example.org