Environment Critical to Peace, Says UN Environment Programme Report

March 23, 2009

Executive Director Achim Steiner To Discuss From Conflict to Peacebuilding at Wilson Center

WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Civil wars are likely to escalate without a stronger focus on the environment during the peacebuilding process, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment. http://postconflict.unep.ch/publications/pcdmb_policy_01.pdf

On Tuesday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m., UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner will discuss the report’s implications for conflict prevention and peacekeeping operations:

  • Civil conflicts with a link to natural resources are twice as likely to relapse within the first five years, yet fewer than 25 percent of the peace agreements address conflict-environment connections.
  • As the global population and demand for resources continue to grow, conflicts over natural resources could intensify in the coming decades.
  • New conflicts could be generated by climate change’s impacts on water availability and food security.
  • Environmental issues can also contribute to peace: Carefully managed natural resources can jumpstart economic activity in countries recovering from war, and shared environmental concerns can provide a platform for cooperation between former combatants.

Steiner will be joined by U.S. Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment Daniel Reifsnyder, and UNEP’s Disasters and Conflicts Expert Andrew Morton.

RSVP/Live Webcast: http://tinyurl.com/c5p259

What: From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment (Report Launch)


Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science, U.S. Department of State

Andrew Morton, Programme Manager, Disasters and Conflicts Programme, UNEP

When: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.(Reception at 6:00 p.m.)

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 6th Floor Flom Auditorium

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Media planning to cover the event should contact Sharon McCarter at sharon.mccarter@wilsoncenter.org or (202) 691-4016.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds, engaged in the study of national and world affairs. http://www.wilsoncenter.org

Since 1994, the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program has explored the connections among environmental challenges and their links to conflict and security. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/ecsp

SOURCE Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Source: newswire

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