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Volume 42, Issue 6 — June 2012


Building or Spoiling Peace? Lessons From the Management of High-Value Natural Resources

by Siri Aas Rustad, Päivi Lujala, and Philippe Le Billon

The management of high-value natural resources in post-conflict situations depends, among other things, on the context, including the causes and trajectory of the conflict; the characteristics of the natural resources in question and their role in conflict; the quality of domestic institutions; regional dynamics and international markets; and current and previous approaches to the management of natural resources and the associated revenues. Thus, no one set of policies or programs can ensure success. Instead of attempting to provide a single recipe for the management of high-value natural resources, this chapter highlights a range of policy options and management tools.

Commerce in the Chaos: Bananas, Charcoal, Fisheries, and Conflict in Somalia

by Christian Webersik and Alec Crawford

This chapter examines how, over the course of nearly 20 years, the production and trade of three natural resources has contributed to the ongoing conflict in Somalia and could ultimately contribute to its resolution. While this use of bananas, charcoal, and fisheries has contributed to the Somali conflict, these resources also represent a potentially important source of nonconflict income that could help the country recover from crisis and, ultimately, strengthen the nascent peacebuilding process.

Addressing the Roots of Liberia’s Conflict Through the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

by Eddie Rich and T. Negbalee Warner

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) sets a global standard for transparency in the management of oil, gas, and mining revenues. In many resource-rich countries, especially those that are recovering from civil war, opacity and silence have created mistrust and suspicion. Citizens often assume that the government and the extractive companies are in cahoots to keep the wealth for themselves, and companies sometimes feel that governments and citizens are ganging up on them to reset the rules and renegotiate contracts. The EITI has been held up as a shining example of how multi-stakeholder initiatives can address these kinds of challenges. But the initiative is still young, and much of this praise has been premature. This chapter investigates the EITI through the recent case study of Liberia.

Mitigating Risks and Realizing Opportunities: Environmental and Social Standards for Foreign Direct Investment in High-Value Natural Resources

by Jill Shankleman

In the wake of conflict, there is a risk that resource extraction will have destabilizing impacts by damaging the environment, preventing local people from accessing the
resources that they depend on, or fostering tension about the distribution of jobs and other project benefits. Responsible resource extraction requires companies to minimize such risks, and thereby render their activities more likely to contribute to post-conflict stability and economic development. This chapter examines three voluntary standards that can help ensure that companies investing in extractive industry projects in such settings take seriously the risk of social and environmental damage, and position themselves to support post-conflict peacebuilding by providing economic (and sometimes social) development opportunities.

Natural Resources and Peacebuilding: The Role of the Private Sector

by Diana Klein and Ulrike Joras

Corporate participation in peacebuilding can be vital, but measures have to be taken to prevent companies from aggravating conflicts. This chapter illustrates how private investments can promote peacebuilding by contributing to economic development, dialogue, and reconciliation. It describes the challenges that exist in attracting and realizing investments and suggests ways in which private investments can be managed to be constructive, rather than destructive, to peace.