Report sought to increase awareness of the environment in peacekeeping UN operations, as a victim, and as a tool for cooperation and peacebuilding.
This two-year analysis by the United Nations Environment Programme is the result of ongoing collaboration between UNEP and the UN Department of Field Support (DFS) and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to increase the consideration given to natural resources and environmental issues in UN peacekeeping efforts. Following violent conflict, a country’s natural resources are its primary assets, which can help kick-start economic recovery, employment and livelihoods. Early decisions on how they are used, managed and allocated can have fundamental implications for short-term stability, security and peacebuilding. While 25 percent of UN peacekeeping missions since 1948 have had a direct or indirect mandate to address natural resources, the broader issues surrounding natural resource and environmental management have until now not garnered sufficient attention within the peacekeeping community. This report shows that peacekeeping operations not only have important natural resource implications, as well as significant impacts on the environment, but also that natural resources are often a fundamental aspect of conflict resolution, livelihoods and confidence-building at the local level.