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Amazon Dams Keep the Lights On But Could Hurt Fish, Forests

A surge in hydroelectric power could displace the iconic region’s indigenous peoples and resources. When Asháninka Indian leader Ruth Buendía realized that a hydroelectric dam on the Amazon's Ene River would displace thousands of her people, she vowed to fight it. The project, she argued, would bring more hardship to families—including her own—already uprooted by political violence...
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Quote of the Month

"The impact of climate change is posing a growing challenge to peace and stability. That is why we need a new culture of international cooperation: affected states need to be involved at an early stage, and state resilience needs to become a leitmotif of foreign policy." - Frank‑Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister, Presentation of the Report “A New Climate for Peace – Taking Action on Climate and Fragility
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What’s in a Name? States of Fragility and Adjusting Aid to Conflict Zones

Depending on how closely you pay attention to the OECD, you may have picked up on a subtle but meaningful change in this year’s States of Fragility report. Whereas previous reports were titled Fragile States, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has shifted its framing to focus less on states and more on conditions,...
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ECC Newsletter Edition 1/2015

We have published the first edition of the Environment, Conflict, and Cooperation Newsletter in 2015. Read how foreign policy makers can use opportunities for green job creation to promote ambitious climate action, about linkages between climate change and fragility in Africa, or how climate change exacerbates conflicts between mining and herding in Mongolia.
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Policies & Initiatives

Green Diplomacy Network

The Thessaloniki European Council agreed to launch an initiative aimed at promoting the integration of environment into external relations through the creation of an informal network of environment experts within foreign ministries, the so-called Green Diplomacy Network. This was one of the elements included in the strategy on environmental integration in external policies adopted by the Barcelona General Affairs Council in March 2002. In essence, the main tasks of the network will be: 

Firstly, in line with the Action Plan and with comments made since by Member States, the Network should promote the use of the EU's extensive diplomatic resources (diplomatic missions, development cooperation offices) in support of environmental objectives, orchestrating campaigns and demarches that bring the EU messages to third parties all over the world, gathering also our partners' views. The network could help create a new "culture" by introducing points relating to the multilateral agenda more systematically into regular bilateral discussions. 

Secondly, in line with the European Council's basic mandate of promoting the integration of environment into external relations, the network should consider how foreign ministries are integrating environmental concerns into their working processes across the spectrum. This could start with simple but useful information exchanges, such as on how Member States and the Commission are organised in capitals and abroad to channel their efforts in the field of environment. In the longer term, it may be appropriate to identify best practices and potential synergies. The coordination of the network resides in each Presidency in full association with the Commission. The European Commission's participation in the network will be essential to guarantee its effectiveness, inter alia, by ensuring continuity and by making substantial contributions, such as briefings on specific topics. A report on the first two years of the network's operation will be presented to the European Council in 2005. 

For more information, please see http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/environment/gdn/index_en.htm