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Rebuilding natural resource-based livelihoods is crucial following conflict – new report

Rebuilding livelihoods is critical to peacebuilding and economic redevelopment in the aftermath of armed conflict, concluded a new study released on April 3, 2015 by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the University of Tokyo and the McGill and Tufts universities.

According to the study, entitled Livelihoods, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, reestablishing natural resource-based livelihoods following conflict can strengthen food security, provide employment, help reintegrate ex-combatants and other vulnerable groups, as well as offer opportunities for cooperation between formerly warring groups.

“This publication is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the role of livelihoods and natural resources in post-conflict peacebuilding,” noted Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council. “If we are to build robust and peaceful societies, nothing is more important than creating and sustaining livelihoods.”

The publication includes 18 cases studies on livelihoods in 16 conflict-affected countries and territories in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. These case studies illustrate some of the challenges inherent in post-conflict livelihoods programming, such as how to balance trade-offs, how to prioritize and sequence livelihoods interventions, how to undertake institutional reform, and the advantages and disadvantages of a market-based approach.

“Rebuilding livelihoods in post-conflict countries is a critical component of peacebuilding and economic recovery. Where conflict-affected communities rely on natural resources for livelihood security, peacebuilding solutions must address the livelihood needs of poor and vulnerable populations to ensure the sustainable management of these resources in the context of future national development planning and encourage the equitable distribution of development assistance,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

Livelihoods, Natural Resources, and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding is the fifth book in a six-volume series addressing the challenges and opportunities of managing natural resources for post-conflict peacebuilding around the world. This work was made possible through the generous support of the Government of Finland, the United States Agency for International Development, the European Union, the EU-UN Partnership on Land, Natural Resources and Conflict Prevention, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as well as other partners. The book can be ordered at or through

For more information on the broader initiative on environmental peacebuilding, please visit

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