Efficient Resource Management Crucial In War-Torn Nations To Ensure Peace Un

New York, Nov 15 2011 1:05PM
A new book published by the United Nations and partners
tackles the key challenges faced by post-conflict countries on how to
efficiently manage their natural resources so they contribute to economic
recovery without causing further conflict or environmental degradation.

The book, the first of a seven-part series in post-conflict peacebuilding
and natural resource management, aims to provide countries with guidelines
to better manage their natural resources and avoid falling into a cycle of
economic inequality where an elite controls key resources, increasing the
risk of creating new grievances.

The publication also assesses practices from around the world in using
high-value natural resources such as oil, diamonds, gold and timber in
consolidating peace and provides 30 case studies drawn from 18 countries,
examining how high-value resources could be better managed in post-conflict
countries such as Angola, Nepal, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of
the Congo (DRC).

?We had to turn this natural resource ?curse? into a blessing,? says Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian President and one of this year?s Nobel Peace Prize
laureates, in the book?s foreword. ?But where to start??

The book ? High-Value Natural Resources and Post-Conflict
? seeks to answer that question by providing insight into
management strategies, addressing the different steps in the natural
resource value-chain, and highlighting a wide range of policy options and
management tools without prescribing only one strategy for countries.

The publication stresses four areas where international support can be
helpful which include providing help to post-conflict countries so they
secure better contracts with companies extracting natural resources,
increasing transparency in payments and decision-making, supporting the
monitoring of companies extracting natural resources, and encouraging
strategic planning using revenues to provide immediate gains to the

In addition, investing in infrastructure, health, education and economic
diversification are all stressed as priorities to ensure long-term peace.

The book was jointly published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the
Environmental Law Institute (ELI), the University of Tokyo and McGill
University, and counts with 39 contributing authors.

?This project is the largest undertaking of its kind and will make
significant contributions toward improving post-conflict resource management
through sharing lessons learned and best practices,? said UNEP Executive
Director Achim Steiner.

?It is UNEP?s hope this research will ultimately help transform the resource
economies of post-conflict nations from corruption and rent-seeking into
?green? economies that can lead nations on a path to peace, recovery and
development on an environmentally sustainable basis,? he added.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news