“Natural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners” is a collaborative research project undertaken by the Policy and Mediation Division of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA/PMD) and the Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The project has also received support from Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR), the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), and the EU-UN Global Partnership on Land, Natural Resources and Conflict Prevention.
This guide collects and summarizes good practices on the successful mediation of resource conflicts. It consolidates lessons from decades of hands-on experience at both the local and international levels mediating conflicts over extractive resources, land and water. It draws on the field experiences of DPA’s mediators and mediation experts, and also features lessons learned from UNEP’s work on environmental diplomacy.
Part A includes the core guidance of the report. It presents a four-phase methodology for mediating natural resource conflicts and examines challenges that may arise when mediating conflicts over extractive resources, land, or water.
Part B of the report includes eight case studies that demonstrate how different strategies and good practices have been combined in mediation processes. Each case study presents the key conflict context, the mediation process highlights, an overview of the final agreement, and the key implementation challenges.
We must use all of the tools at our disposal, including dialogue, mediation and other forms of preventive diplomacy, to help prevent natural resources from fueling and financing armed conflict as well as destabilizing the fragile foundations of peace.
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, 6 November 2014
Other reports in this series