Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 2 Number 1 (2010)

Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management 2010 2 1

doi: 10.3850/S1793924010000416

Natural Resources, Infrastructure, and Post-conflict Peacebuilding: Lessons from the United States and Japan

Carl Bruch1,a, Mikiyasu Nakayama2, Michele Leonelli1,b and Vikki Leitch1,c
1Environmental Law Institute, 2000 L Street NW, Suite 620, Washington, DC 20036, USA.
2Department of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, 5-1-1, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba, 277-8563, Japan.


Over the last few decades, the United States, Japan, other bilateral donors, and multilateral institutions have increasingly incorporated natural resources along with infrastructure considerations into post-conflict peacebuilding. This chapter examines 14 case studies, which are set forth in subsequent chapters of this issue of AJEDM. These experiences highlight six key lessons. First, natural resources affect multiple peace building objectives. Aid assistance programs and projects need to be sufficiently flexible to be able to adapt to on-the-ground dynamics. Coordination needs to be improved among the various objectives and numerous actors working in post-conflict countries, particularly around natural resources. Community engagement is essential to the success of peacebuilding projects, particularly relating to natural resources. Other issues—including insecurity, corruption, and politics—can affect progress. Finally, the case studies illustrate challenges with monitoring and evaluation of peacebuilding projects, as well as the long timeframe.

Keywords: Post-conflict, Peacebuilding, Natural resources, Infrastructure.

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