UN and EU launch training programme on natural resources and conflict

Jan 16, 2013

Demographic changes, increasing consumption, environmental degradation and climate change are placing increasing pressures on land, water and ecosystems. As a result, natural resource-induced conflicts may well come to define global peace and security in the 21st century.

Against this backdrop, the EU and the UN came together to form the multi-agency EU-UN global partnership to strengthen capacities for sustainable management of natural resources. This partnership aims to support war-torn and vulnerable countries to prevent conflict and build peace through improved management of natural resources like timber, minerals, fertile land and water.

Within this partnership UNDP, five other UN agencies, the EU’s Instrument for Stability, and select EU Delegations have worked together to produce practical guidance notes, an inventory of source material, and on-line training modules. Together they form the “EU-UN Toolkit and Guidance for Preventing and Managing Land and Natural Resources conflict”, which seeks to enhance capacities of EU, UN and related practitioners to transform potential conflict over natural resources into opportunities for collaboration, trust-building and sustainable development.

As part of this initiative, a new on-line course on land, natural resources and conflict was launched on 16 January 2013. The course is available at the United System Staff College website. The course starts with a global overview so that participants will have a better understanding of the links between natural resources and conflict, their overall effect on development, and what the UN and the EU are doing together in this area. The other modules relate to concerns on specific natural resources, such as land, extractive industries and renewable resources.

This training has been developed by the United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action, which manages the joint global UN-EU project for the prevention of natural resources conflicts.  This initiative brings together several UN agencies and departments (DESA, DPA, PBSO, HABITAT, UNDP, and UNEP). The project is financed by the EU’s Instrument for Stability.

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