January 2022

‘The case for human rights & conflict sensitive approaches to business activities’ – a joint contribution to the future of environmental peacebuilding.

As part of QUNO Geneva’s long-term work on environmental peacebuilding, we have been engaging in a multi-stakeholder process hosted by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform to define a vision for environmental peacebuilding.

Alongside Swedwatch and Frient we submitted our own contribution on: ‘The case for human rights and conflict sensitive approaches to business activities’. This is part of a compendium on the lessons learned and recommendations towards the future of environmental peacebuilding, with contribution from nearly 150 authors.

Our paper argues that a conflict-sensitive and rights-based approach to business activities is essential to ensuring that social and environmental impacts do not negatively affect marginalised populations. Environmental challenges are part of a complex web of actors and interests, connected to various unaddressed grievances, from inequality, oppression, human rights violations and displacement. A conflict sensitive and rights-based approach to environmental peacebuilding is key to understanding and addressing these challenges. 

To implement such an approach, we outline recommendations for business actors and governments, including:

-        Regularly conduct conflict mapping and human rights due diligence (HRDD) assessments, alongside environmental and social impact assessments of their activities

-        Adopt legislation on mandatory conflict sensitive HRDD, including accountability measures, to ensure that business actors conduct conflict sensitivity and HRDD throughout their activities, value chains and investments.

-        Develop policy measures and mechanisms to implement the right to information, meaningful participation, and access to remedies concerning the prevention of destructive conflict relating to the environment. Measures should ensure that grievance mechanisms set up by business actors are accessible to affected communities.

The paper is available to read here: https://medium.com/@ecosystemforpeace 

A ‘White Paper’ is a compilation of key policy-oriented takeaways from 150 authors which was developed through a reflexive, consultative, multi-stakeholder process. It will be presented at the Second International Conference for Environmental Peacebuilding on 2nd February 2022.



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