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Why Is The Nexus Between Natural Resources And Armed Conflict One Of The Biggest Global Challenges? What Are Its Implications For The Promotion Of Peace And Justice?

1245 words - 5 pages

Simone María Vogel Global Challenges: Peace and Justices1559516 Dr. Darinka PiqaniWHY IS THE NEXUS BETWEEN NATURAL RESOURCES AND ARMED CONFLICT ONE OF THE BIGGEST GLOBAL CHALLENGES? WHAT ARE ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PROMOTION OF PEACE AND JUSTICE?Once a synonym of economic development and prosperity, natural resources have now become a major instigator of deterioration, economically, politically and/or environmentally, and consequently a trigger towards war. Although natural resources are not single-handedly the only source of conflict, their abundance, particularly in developing countries, aggravate the onset and duration of local and international feud.The increasingly rapid exploitation of natural resources, underlined by a rising appeal towards economic development, has become one of the most evident outcomes of globalization. An increasing international dependence and trade of these resources have made their demand one of the biggest challenges we are yet to overcome. Such growing demand of natural resources and the complexity of each individual conflict, make the management and promotion of peace and justice hard to achieve. Nonetheless, if states and communities were required and committed into making a worthy utilization of globalization, peace and justice could utterly be established.Before reaching a concluding statement on what appropriate measures can be taken for the abolition of these conflicts, we must first understand what factors encourage these. While every conflict is distinctive from each other in constitution, experts have been able to identify, through the review of former conflicts, four recurring factors present in the dispute for natural resources. These are as follows: first, oil has a correlation with the direct onset of conflict; second, "lootable" commodities, in particular diamonds and narcotics, although unlikely to initiate a conflict, do intensify the duration of existing conflicts; third, agricultural commodities have no correlation with civil wars; and lastly, there is no solid relationship between primary commodities and the onset of civil wars. These last three, however, shall not be reviewed for a deeper exploration of the first mentioned factor. [1: Michael L. Ross, "What Do We Know about Natural Resources and Civil War?", Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 41, No. 3 (May, 2004), pp. 337-356 (Sage Publications, Ltd.), 337]Over the past 15 years, the prevalence of both major and minor conflicts has declined. Nevertheless, when it comes to oil related conflicts, numbers alarmingly remain the same. Oil-producing countries now withstand about a third of the world's major and minor civil wars. This trend can be explained by one of the previously mentioned underlying regularities: "oil increases the likelihood of conflict, particularly separatist conflict." This way, oil wealth instigates conflict not only between countries, but within them as well. [2: Michael L. Ross, "Blood Barrels: Why Oil Wealth Fuels...

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