Managing conflicts that are associated with natural resources is now more important than ever before. With the rise in global consumption levels due to population and economic process, many countries face a risk of shortages of important renewable resources, one among which is renewable energy.
This article aims to present ways, (as proposed by the UN and EU, also as by other international bodies), on the ways to prevent and resolve conflicts arising from renewable energy while capitalizing on infrastructure investment.
Conflict Prevention Strategies for Renewable Energy
While there’s endless competition with regards to natural resources which frequently lead to conflicts, there are ways to turn these combined interests into a shared opportunity for cooperation, confidence-building and sustainable development.
Understanding the way to transform conflicts over natural resources into interdependent outcomes that deepen trust and co-dependence between parties may be a key aim of effective conflict prevention and conflict management methods.
Such efforts should specialise in building agreement and mutual trust around the co-management
of natural resources and therefore the environment, determining equitable sharing of advantages and resolving disputes in non-violent ways.
In most cases, conflicts over renewable energy or natural resources, are intertwined with afore existing political, socioeconomic or security tensions and stresses, and this needs a response on several levels and across various sectors.
In other words, there’s often no “quick fix” to the matter. Appropriate interventions depend upon the combination of key influencers, livelihood responses, existing government regulations and therefore the level of conflict intensity. In a lot of cases, solutions would require intended interventions at the local, national and international levels.
For renewable energy, conflict prevention and conflict resolution strategies often encompass a mix of three main sorts of linked objectives and associated interventions, which are:
1. A total reduction in the competition over scarce resources between livelihood groups:
• Supporting easily sustained livelihoods and reducing exposure to resource scarcity: The sustainable livelihoods framework is one method to determine options and help determine suitable solutions that reduce vulnerability and help prevent conflict. A deep understanding of livelihood strategies in a specific area, especially areas where livelihoods compete for equivalent
limited natural resources, is vital to designing conflict prevention or management strategies. especially, the risks to minority groups and indigenous people must be assessed.
• Increasing the supply of renewable energy through protection, restoration, infrastructure and efficient use:
These measures specialise in addressing the number, quality and availability of renewable natural resources to scale back scarcity and competition. Supply-side interventions specialise in increasing the general supply of, or access to, renewable resources, also as stopping sources of environmental degradation and pollution. Demand-side strategies specialise in improving the efficiency of resource use and reducing the per capita rate of consumption. Substitution measures plan to replace scarce renewable resources with alternatives.
2. An improvement in resource governance, accountability and dispute resolution capacity:
• Establishing the governance framework for natural resources, strengthening implementation capacity and recognizing resource rights: Improving resource governance includes a variety of measures such as: addressing inequitable access; reducing corruption and improving transparency; preventing environmental degradation; establishing and enforcing rights and rules over natural resources use; fostering parliamentary oversight; enhancing public participation within the design and acceptance of such rules; ensuring that there is a transparent identification of any potential environmental and social effects from development projects; and, establishing
mechanisms for the resolution of diverging disputes.
• Building the capacity of stakeholders and civil society to participate in decision-making, to watch compliance with the governance frameworks, and to access justice mechanisms: Even when governance frameworks for natural resources exist, stakeholders and civil society groups cannot often participate in decision-making, to watch compliance with the governance frameworks, to market accountability and transparency, and to access justice mechanisms and dispute resolution processes. As these are essential components of excellent governance and may contribute to conflict prevention, targeted capacity-building is usually required.
3. Improve transboundary management institutions and cooperation:
• Establish or strengthen transboundary information, resource-sharing agreements, joint institutions, and dispute resolution processes: The effective management of transboundary resources often relies on a mixture of tools and approaches. These can include flexible resource-sharing agreements, joint management institutions, harmonized laws and constant access to dispute resolution processes that have been used over time. These measures often got to be strengthened as a part of conflict prevention efforts.
4. Implement cross-cutting measures across all programmes:
• Designing conflict-sensitive resource management, adaptation and development programmes: one among the critical aspects of preventing conflicts over natural resources s is to make sure aconflict-sensitive approach is integrated within all-natural resource management, development and global climate change adaptation policies and programmes. Stakeholders and donors got to anticipate the potential sources of conflict that would be generated by their interventions and adopt a conflict-sensitive approach in the least phases.
• Conducting early warning, risk assessments and scenario analysis to spot potential conflict hotspots: the utilization of early warning, risk assessments and scenario analysis to spot potential conflict hotspots involving renewable resources is a crucial input to any targeted conflict prevention programme. These tools should be used on a scientific basis to spot existing and potential conflict hotspots.
Effective management of energy-related conflicts now more important than ever before, with an endless increase in global consumption. Hence the necessity for effective methods (as outlined above), that yield timely solutions with a tilt towards infrastructure investment.