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David Jensen
Head of ECP

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Matti Lehtonen
Inter-Agency Affairs

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Ivan Blazevic
Greening of Peacekeeping

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Managing Natural Resources in Post-Conflict Societies: Lessons in Making the Transition to Peace

The sustainable management of natural resources in post-conflict countries was identified as a peacebuilding priority for the international community. In June 2007, the UN Security Council hosted a historic debate on this issue and concluded that poor management of high-value resources constitutes a threat to peace.

In addition, the Support Office of the UN Peacebuilding Commission has stated that “where resource exploitation has driven war, or served to impede peace, improving governance capacity to control natural resources is a critical element of peacebuilding.” The European Commission and the OECD Donor Assistance Committee also emphasized the importance of natural resource management in fragile states.

 In this context, the United Nations Environment Programme and the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law Specialist Group on Armed Conflict and the Environment held a joint workshop in Geneva on 17-18 September 2007 to exchange experiences and perspectives on “Managing Natural Resources in Post-Conflict Societies: Lessons in Making the Transition to Peace”.

As part of a broader initiative with the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC and the University of Tokyo, the workshop aimed to take stock of experiences to date and identify issues for further research and analysis. It also discussed potential next steps and specific measures to ensure a higher profile for natural resource management in ongoing and future peacebuilding efforts.

More detail on this workshop can be found in the Meeting Report.