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Natural Resources and Conflict

A Guide for Mediation

image of Natural Resources and Conflict

This guide collects and summarizes good practices on the successful mediation of resource conflicts. It draws on the field experiences of mediators and mediation experts, specifically those with natural resource expertise. It also features lessons learned from UNEP’s work on environmental diplomacy in different conflict-affected countries, with a particular focus on how to use impartial technical knowledge to equalize stakeholder information in a mediation process.

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Conclusion

The exploitation of high-value natural resources—oil, gas, minerals, and timber—has often been a key factor in triggering, escalating, or sustaining violent conflicts around the globe. Competition over renewable resources such as land and water is on the rise, and environmental degradation, population growth, and climate change are compounding the challenges. Governments are therefore under increasing pressure to sustainably manage natural resources and resolve conflicts around their ownership, management, allocation, and control.

English

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