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UNEP Releases Study on Water in Post-Conflict Situations

UNEP18 March 2014: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a study, titled ‘Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding,' which examines the role of clean water delivery in peace-building operations. The study highlights the impacts of conflict on water management and infrastructure, noting that failure to provide access to clean water post conflict causes health problems, limits livelihoods and weakens state legitimacy.

The study, which is synthesized in a policy brief and is also available as a book, emphasizes that investment in water infrastructure and management in post-conflict situations helps eliminate poverty and promotes economic recovery. The study outlines steps for successful post-conflict interventions in the water sector including: involving stakeholders in decision making; prioritizing, sequencing and coordinating water interventions; investing in resilient water infrastructure and adaptive management; assessing institutions and rebuilding capacities for water governance; engaging the informal sector; and using water as a platform for cooperation and confidence building.

The book includes case studies on, inter alia: water service restoration in Kabul, Afghanistan and Monrovia, Liberia; Angola's post-war cities; the water sector in South Sudan; community water management in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Afghanistan and Liberia; environmental management of the Iraqi marshlands; irrigation management and flood control in post-World War II Japan; refugee rehabilitation in India, Pakistan and the Indus River system; experiences with water resources management in Northern Afghanistan; water as a measure of security and stability in Helmand Province, Afghanistan; the Jordan River basin; the Sava river in the transition to peace in the former Yugoslavia; and shared water resources in the South Caucasus.

The book is the fourth in a six-part series examining the role of natural resources in post-conflict peace building. The series is a partnership between UNEP, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), the University of Tokyo, McGill University and Duke University. [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: Policy Brief on Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding]