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Peace Week: UNEP holds novel training

UNEP has held one of the first training workshops of its kind in Geneva on the resolution of land and natural resource conflicts in peacebuilding.


The event was held on 18 November as part of Geneva Peace Week and was organised together with the International Organisation for Migration, the UN Department of Political Affairs and Swisspeace.


The workshop brought together participants from a wide range of actors - including civil society, academia and the UN – and provided a unique platform for discussion on how the links between land and natural resource issues are dealt with by the international community and beyond.


The training also provided a brief introduction to conflict sensitivity in programming and the need to take this as a foundational approach when engaging in environments that are highly dynamic and prone to conflicts. Led by Sabina Handschin of Swisspeace, this section encouraged actors to reflect strongly on their own role and impact in conflict contexts. As she put it: “being active in a context means becoming part of a context”.


Senior Natural Resources Mediation Expert Michael Brown spoke in two separate sessions about mediating conflicts around natural resources, presenting the recently developed guide on natural resources and mediation produced by UNEP and UNDPA. He also delved into the complexities of land dispute resolution in peacebuilding.


During his session on Business and Peace, Andreas Graf of Swisspeace addressed corporate involvement in conflict, provoking discussion not only on how companies can be part of the problem but, importantly, how they can also be part of the solution and contribute positively to peacebuilding efforts.


The workshop offered an initial look at the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of these issues and participants stressed that they were keen to receive further training on the topic.


For more information on the workshop, or to express your interest in future events of this type, please contact

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