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Program Report by the Japan Foundation Global Center for Partnership

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US-Japan Joint Research “Strengthening Post-Conflict Security & Diplomacy: Integrating Natural Resource Management and Infrastructure Redevelopment into U.S. and Japanese Peacebuilding”

Fiscal year Grant program for fiscal year 2008
Project name “Strengthening Post-Conflict Security & Diplomacy: Integrating Natural Resource Management and Infrastructure Redevelopment into U.S. and Japanese Peacebuilding”
Grantee Environmental Law Institute (Washington D.C.)
Project term October 1, 2008 to November 30, 2011

US-Japan Joint Research “Strengthening Post-Conflict Security & Diplomacy: Integrating Natural Resource Management and Infrastructure Redevelopment into U.S. and Japanese Peacebuilding”

Environmental Law Institute (ELI) accomplished a three-year project to conduct a joint research and make policy brief based on the deliberate case study in partnership with Global Infrastructure Fund Research Foundation Japan, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo and other institutions. The project shed light on how the natural resource management and infrastructure redevelopment of the regions in the aftermath of exhausting conflicts would contribute to a peacebuilding process effectively.

According to ELI, the forty percent of conflicts that had erupted around the globe since 1960 was considered to be related to natural resources. The fact indicates “natural resources” and “conflicts” are closely linked. In addition, conflicts over the natural resources tend to recur within 5 years in the post-conflict areas twice as many compared to conflicts over other factors than the natural resources.
The conventional support provided by international organizations and donor countries in the post-conflict areas has mainly been the emergency assistance such as food rations, temporary house building and others. However, it turned out that the proper management of natural resources and environment in the region is the key issue to provide the local people with a job security and steady income benefited from the economic recovery and prevent the eruption and recurrence of the conflicts over the natural resources.

A number of studies to clarify the mechanism of the outbreak of conflicts and access the impact of conflicts on a society, economy and environment have been implemented while research to focus on the natural resource management after the conclusion of the conflicts were rarely conducted. Taking this situation into consideration, ELI and other collaborating organizations comprehensively covered the environmental management and infrastructure redevelopment as well as natural resource management. Accordingly, the three-year US-Japan joint research was conducted to make proposals for assistance to be provided in the post-conflict regions as standards of conduct by the Japanese government, the U.S. Government and international organizations.

A wide range of participants from practitioners to researchers who belonged to international organizations joined the joint research program, and conducted sixteen case studies related to the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and others in the Asian region. They shared the lessons and knowledge learned from the case studies at the international symposiums held in Japan and the U.S. four times in total, which were thereafter published as a book.

Book Name: Harnessing Natural Resources for Peacebuilding: Lessons from U.S. and Japanese Assistance
Authors: Carl Bruch, Environmental Law Institute
Mikiyasu Nakayama, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Ilona Coyle, Environmental Law Institute
Publication: Environmental Law Institute (Washington D.C, the U.S.)
Year of Publication: 2011 (Not for sale)

This book was published based on the feedback from intellectuals of such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Department of State and the World Bank, who had participated in the third symposium held in Washington D.C. on July 20, 2011, followed by further deliberate research and discussion. The book was presented and distributed to the participants of the fourth (final) symposium at JICA Research Institute on October 25, 2011. The participants included the figures of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the JICA Research Institute, Embassy of Japan in Timor-Leste, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and many other NGO groups. A booklet which summarized the outline of the book was also published as a policy brief in both Japanese and English languages.

May 1, 2012


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