Natural Resources

In violent conflicts where natural resources have been involved, successful peacebuilding depends on robust analysis of conflict-natural resource linkages to ensure that resources become a source of peace in the post-war phase. This section examines the varied concepts that vie to explain the nature and role of natural resources in conflict, delving into the sometimes linked or overlapping areas of the environment and conflict, and natural resource management and illuminating the ways in which natural resources can be harnessed and utilized as critical assets for post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding in ways that benefit stakeholders at all levels.

The main actors involved in natural resources and peacebuilding are discussed, with emphasis on national ownership of the processes. Key activities that can be broadly associated with the issue of natural resources and peacebuilding are then examined, with a major emphasis on various strategies to address natural resource-related conflict, such as the inclusion of natural resource management issues in peace agreements, improving the governance of natural resources, and macroeconomic policies that cushion against natural resource price volatility and shocks. Recent years have seen an increasing push towards the use of institutional mechanisms, such as certification schemes and commodity tracking mechanisms, for reducing the illegal trade of conflict resources; several of these mechanisms are explored in detail. Several key debates and challenges are then discussed, including the so-called "resource curse," the greed versus grievance debate on the motivations underlying conflicts, the difficulty in attracting reputable companies in the extractive industries, and the challenges in responding to indigenous peoples' rights.

The news, reports, and analyses herein are selected due to there relevance to issues of peacebuilding, or their significance to policymakers and practitioners. The content prepared by HPCR International is meant to summarize main points of the current debates and does not necessarily reflect the views of HPCR International or the Program of Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research. In addition, HPCR International and contributing partners are not responsible for the content of external publications and internet sites linked to this portal.