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Environmental Peacebuilding Platform Marks its First Anniversary

November 2014

(WASHINGTON, DC and GENEVA) The Environmental Peacebuilding Global Knowledge Platform, the leading knowledge source on natural resources, conflict and peace, celebrates its one-year anniversary today, on the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

One year ago today, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the University of Tokyo, and McGill University launched the Environmental Peacebuilding Knowledge Platform to make the latest information, experiences, and tools on environmental peacebuilding publicly available. Today it serves as the leading global platform on issues related to natural resources, conflict, and peace.

The anniversary follows United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s call to the international community to develop solutions that “build on our collective knowledge to advance good stewardship of the environment as an integral part of peacebuilding and sustainable development.”

“A key goal of the Environmental Peacebuilding Global Knowledge Platform continues to be to provide resources to decision-makers, practitioners and researchers on how to improve peacebuilding through more effective natural resource management,” said UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

The platform now hosts more than 1000 related publications books, articles, and teaching curricula from over 100 countries. A core resource available on the platform includes a series of books produced by the founding partners with over 150 case studies and analyses from 60 conflict-affected countries.

It also offers action-oriented insights from practitioners in the field as well as new analysis from leading thinkers through its Policy Briefs and Environmental Perspectives series. Global news outlets and articles on the role of natural resources, climate change, and other environmental factors linked to conflict are monitored and information is collated for distribution through the platform.

The founding partners are also putting policy into action through the establishment of its community of practice on environmental peacebuilding. This global forum enables researchers, practitioners, and decision makers to share experiences and lessons; network; and learn about events, jobs, and other related opportunities. With over 2100 active members from 75+ countries, this community is gaining global notoriety. Biweekly updates are distributed to all members and the community is growing its presence on social media.

ELI and UNEP are also working with academic institutions to establish regular lecture events such as the annual Al Moumin Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Peacebuilding held in partnership with American University’s School of International Service.

“Recognition of the vital role natural resources and the environment has in peacebuilding and sustainable development is rapidly growing and we’re happy to support and be part of that momentum,” explained ELI President John C. Cruden.

“In the coming year we will be working with our partners to reinforce and expand the field of environmental peacebuilding, support professors and trainers in fostering the next generation of peace builders, and build local working groups and national communities of practice for more face-to-face exchange, learning, and collaboration on environmental peacebuilding,” he added.

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Notes to Editors:

The Environmental Peacebuilding Knowledge Platform is available at www.environmentalpeacebuilding.org.

The six books produced through the Global Research Programme can be purchased online; each chapter is available for download free of charge six months after its original publication date.

The knowledge platform is made possible through the generous support of the Government of Finland, the United States Agency for International Development, the European Union, the EU-UN Partnership on Land, Natural Resources and Conflict, and other partners.

The Environmental Law Institute (www.eli.org) is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization based in Washington, DC. For further information, please contact Brett Kitchen at +1.202.939.3833 or pressrequest@eli.org.

The United Nations Environment Programme (www.unep.org) is the voice for the environment in the United Nations system. For media enquiries, please contact the UNEP Newsdesk in Nairobi, Kenya, at +254.20.762.5022 or unepnewsdesk@unep.org.