While the United Nations may be divided on certain issues, the need to prevent conflicts over natural resources such as water, land, oil or minerals is uniting experts inside and outside the UN system. With climate change now acting as a threat multiplier, over 300 experts are collaborating in the largest effort ever undertaken to understand how to unlock the peacebuilding potential of natural resources, without triggering new forms of conflict, unleashing the resource curse, or causing environmental damage. The challenge now lies in applying these lessons in conflict-affected countries such as Afghanistan.
In April 2013, David Jensen, Head of UNEP’s Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding programme, was invited to deliver a TEDx talk on the theme “Natural resources and peacebuilding: Is the United Nations united?”
The presentation focuses on the need to address natural resource degradation, governance and benefit-sharing as fundamental components of peacebuilding in Afghanistan and other post-conflict countries. It highlights new initiatives that are taking shape to broker collaboration and cooperation on natural resource challenges both inside the UN and with relevant partners on the ground.