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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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Articles

How wars and poverty have saved DR Congo's forests

Source: BBC

5 December 2011 - It is an uncomfortable fact that decades of conflict and poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo have helped to protect the world's second largest rainforest, and by extension to slow the process of global climate change.

"Yes," says Thierry Bodson, who runs the World Wildlife Fund's programmes in the east of the country from the town of Goma. "In some places the presence of rebels has protected some areas. A lack of development has somehow protected the Congo basin."

The vast, and almost pristine forest - which sweeps west from the Rift Valley to the Atlantic coast and covers an area roughly the size of Spain - acts as a huge capture and storage unit for carbon dioxide, one of the main contributors to global warming.

But there is a growing consensus that the Congo basin is now under imminent threat. As the region's conflicts appear to be ebbing, farming, mining and logging intensify, and China and other countries stand poised to build substantial roads through the jungle.

"A lack of roads… protects a major part of this forest so far," says Mr Bodson. "We can't say don't build roads, don't create economic activity. What we can do… is to direct this development in a sustainable manner. Otherwise this very important forest can disappear."

For the complete article, please see BBC.