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Civil strife, peacemaking often tied to natural resources, UN report says

20 February 2009With over 40 per cent of intra-State warfare tied to the exploitation of natural resources, peacemaking efforts must focus more sharply on environmental factors, according to a report launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

“From Conflict to Peacebuilding – The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment” was launched as UNEP’s Governing Council wrapped up in Nairobi, Kenya, with agreements on an environmental assessment in Gaza and an international treaty on mercury pollution.

The report on conflicts, analyzing 14 case studies including Afghanistan, Darfur, Sierra Leone and Liberia, says that no less that 18 violent conflicts have been fuelled by the exploitation of natural resources since 1990.

It also shows that, even though conflicts with a link to natural resources are twice as likely to relapse within the first five years, fewer than 25 per cent of relevant peace agreements address the issue. [MORE]

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