Areas of Work

Natural Resources, Conflict and Cooperation

QUNO recognises that weak and inequitable governance of natural resources can lead to destructive conflict, exacerbating tensions between groups and in some cases escalating to violence. We therefore take a conflict prevention and peacebuilding approach to natural resource management, encouraging dialogue, cooperation and the constructive handling of conflicts. QUNO works with laws and guidelines from international frameworks that support inclusive decision making and equitable access to natural resources, while also bringing expertise and good practices from the local level to the international policy environment. We highlight the need to empower local communities, including vulnerable groups such as women and the poorest, to participate meaningfully in decision making around natural resources, focusing particularly on water, land and food. 

Recent Timeline Events

May 2015

Negotiations on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration

QUNO Geneva have produced a new publication that focuses on the potential of environmental rights agreements to prevent destructive conflict around natural resources. “Building Peace through Principle 10, Access rights and the prevention of environmental conflict”, is a contribution to the ongoing negotiations to conclude a regional agreement for Latin America and the Caribbean on the right to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice, in environmental matters. It uses case studies from the region to illustrate how public participation in decision-making around natural resources contributes not only to sustainable but also to peaceful and equitable development. This publication was sent personally to each of the country delegates, and civil society representatives, to the negotiations in Santiago de Chile.

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February 2015

QUNO particpates in Fifth Meeting of the Aarhus Task Force on Public Participation in Decision Making on Environmental Matters

Fifth Meeting of the Aarhus Task Force on Public Participation credit:Noah Berger Photography

QUNO participated in the fifth meeting of the Aarhus Convention Task Force on Public Participation in Decision-Making on Environmental Matters from 23 to 24 February 2015. Entering into force in December 2001, the Aarhus Convention provides the publics of signatory states with a number of procedural rights with respect to the environment, including the right to access information, the right of participation, and the right to justice. The Fifth Task Force gathered state and civil society representatives at the Palais de Nations with the aim of facilitating discussions about the chief challenges to effective public participation, allowing for the exchange of good practices, and proposing potential methods for the strengthening of public participation in relation to environmental matters. Acknowledging the negative impact of local capacity deficits on public participation, QUNO’s Diane Hendrick gave a presentation, highlighting the value of peacebuilding approaches in increasing environmental awareness and building capacity in order to provide stakeholders with the ability to engage in more meaningful and effective participation in environmental decision-making.

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