Environment, Natural Resources and UN Peacekeeping Operations: Restoring Governance of Natural Resources | Environmental Series

Ongoing course
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Over 20% of the world’s population currently lives in conflict affected areas and fragile states. In many of these places, natural resources and their governance play a key negative role in both the conflict and the fragility. In fact, since 1990 at least 18 violent conflicts have been fuelled by the exploitation of natural resources. At the same time, good governance of natural resources can provide a solid platform for post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. Addressing conflicts where natural resources play an important role has also been one of the difficult challenges faced by the UN peacekeeping operations and the UN Security Council. Since 1948, a quarter of all peacekeeping operations, representing half of the total peacekeeping budget, have been deployed to address conflicts with clear links to natural resources. While UN’s response to these conflicts has improved over the decades, the 2012 UNEP report Greening the Blue Helmets: Environment, Natural Resources and UN Peacekeeping Operations identified a number of opportunities for improved implementation of peacekeeping mandates and the ways in which peacekeepers can capitalize on the peacebuilding potential of natural resources. The findings of this report form the basis of this training module. **


The main objective of this training program is to raise awareness about the links between natural resources, conflict, peacekeeping and peacebuilding among relevant peacekeeping staff and those working on planning, drafting and monitoring of implementation of peacekeeping mandates.

By the end of this module, the user should be able to:

  • Explain the links among natural resources, environmental change, conflict and peacebuilding.
  • Describe how natural resources have been integrated into the UN’s peace and security work.
  • Describe the components of and tools for good natural resource governance.
  • Identify how peacekeepers can help restore the governance of natural resources in post-conflict societies.

Content and Structure

The course is broken down into five main sections:

  • Section 1 – Introduction to key concepts and definitions.
  • Sections 2 and 3 - Review of the linkages among natural resources and conflict and peacebuilding, respectively.
  • Section 4 – Outline of how natural resources considerations have been integrated into UN peace and security operations.
  • Section 5 – Review of what peacekeeping operations can do to address the governance of natural resources in conflict-affected and post-conflict societies.

The course approximately takes 2-3 hours to complete.

Target Audience

This module is particularly targeted at peacekeepers dealing with natural resource related issues including but not limited to: civil and political affairs officers, JMAC (joint mission analysis cell), CIMIC (civil-military coordination), J5 (joint planning branch), staff officers, DDR components, decision makers at headquarters, and anyone else who needs detailed awareness of the risks and opportunities posed by natural resources in peacekeeping. For general awareness of the topic and to get a foundation of the topics discussed in this Module, we recommend interested participants to take Module 1 of this training programme titled, Introduction to Environment, Natural Resources and UN Peacekeeping Operations. **

How to register

To find out more or to apply please visit: https://www.unitar.org/event/full-catalog/introduction-environment-natur...