Natural Resources and Conflicts
Natural resources can be the root of a conflict, finance it, and even burden its resolution. More generally, environment is at the same time a silent victim and an aggravating factor in armed conflicts, sometimes even a catalyst. Yet, resources management policies, as environmental policies, can also contribute to the country’s stability and prosperity. Human environmental and natural resources management is a window to a socio-economic and political dimension of the conflicts. This theme is a way to tackle a range of initiatives and processes aiming at establishing a lasting peace in areas of instability.
Through this research theme, GRIP aims to analyse the links between natural resources, their management and dynamics of conflicts or co-operation. GRIP wants to provide an overall picture of the security challenges which are brought about by contentious resources management policies (scarce lands, agricultural and pastoral conflicts, acquisition of lands, etc.). This programme seeks to find cooperation, mediation and development opportunities within the political factor which is at the core of each of these conflicts.
• Implementation of the international traceability instrument in Africa;
• Field studies on the circulation of SALW and their ammunitions.
Since 2001, GRIP has coordinated the “Réseau africain francophone sur les armes légères, la prévention des conflits et la construction de la paix” (French-Speaking African Network on Small Arms, Conflict Prevention, and Peace-building). RAFAL is a network designed to exchange information, research, train, publish and broadcast in order to enhance the capacity of the French-speaking African civil society. Its goal is to improve the common knowledge of small arms proliferation to prevent conflicts and build peace in Africa. At the moment, the network counts 80 members.