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  • Author: Elaine (Lan Yin) Hsiao
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: It has often been cited that major armed conflicts (>1,000 casualties) afflicted two-thirds (23) of the world’s recognized biodiversity hotspots between 1950 and 2000.1 In 2011, the International Law Commission (ILC) included in its long-term work program Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict.2 This led to the adoption of twenty-eight Draft Principles, including designation of protected zones where attacks against the environment are prohibited during armed conflict.3 Protected zone designations apply to places of major environmental and cultural importance, requiring that they “[...] shall be protected against any attack, as long as it does not contain a military objective.”4 Most research on armed conflict and protected areas has focused on impacts to wildlife and less on how to protect these natural habitats from the ravages of armed conflict.5 This article highlights some of the gaps in the ILC Draft Principles towards protecting protected zones in bello. It uses transboundary protected areas (TBPAs) formalized through multilateral agreements to illustrate challenges on the ground. TBPAs are internationally designated “[...] protected areas that are ecologically connected across one or more international boundaries [...]” and sometimes even established for their promotion of peace (i.e., Parks for Peace).6 There is little legal research on how to design TBPA agreements for conflict resilience, conflict sensitivity, and ultimately positive peace.7 The research draws from two case studies in Africa’s Great Rift Valley: the Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL) between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda, and the Kidepo Landscape, which forms part of the broader Landscapes for Peace initiative between South Sudan and Uganda. Both suffer from armed conflicts of various types and present two of the only TBPAs in the world that have incorporated environmental peacebuilding into their transboundary agreements.8 The case studies illustrate different approaches to TBPA design and the pros and cons of each modality in the context of conflict resilience and conflict sensitivity. This guides us on how to better protect protected areas in bello, ensuring that protected zones endure on the ground and not just in principle.
  • Topic: Environment, Culture, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
  • Author: Christiana Ochoa, Patrick J. Keenan
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The focus of this paper is the connection between conflict and commercial activity. In particular, it focuses on the ongoing conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is funded, in large part, by the sale of conflict commodities – minerals, metals, and petroleum – that fund violent groups at their source and then enter legitimate markets and products around the world. Recently, attention has turned to how to regulate conflict commerce as a tool for divesting from violent conflict. In the United States, for example, the recently adopted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act include a provision addressing conflict minerals originating from this region. The violent and secretive nature of conflict minerals transactions makes crafting effective regulation and policing strategies challenging. As a result the Dodd-Frank Act, like other domestic and international efforts, is designed in large part to discover, gather and disseminate information about the nature and scale of conflict commodities emanating from the DRC. This paper analyzes this legislation while also discussing a number of other current conflict commerce governance efforts. It observes the difficulty of regulating in the context of conflict and corruption and analyses the use of regulation as a tool for information- xtraction, information-forcing and information-dissemination as opposed to its use as a tool for directly proscribing undesirable behavior.
  • Political Geography: United States, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Pelin Ekmen
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article addresses the economic phenomenon of the so called Dutch Disease, also known as the Paradox of Plenty, as faced by countries rich in natural resources. Rendering a rough definition of this occurrence, the article continues to dwell on the link age between violent conflict and illicit resource trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo