Resource Based Conflicts

I use the example of minerals as natural resources. If mining was mathematics, then I could argue that, gold reserves=gold=foreign exchange=national income=national wealth. Unfortunately mining does not always follow this mathematical formular. My research in Ghana's gold mines showed that: Gold Reserves=Land Loss, Water Pollution, Loss of jobs, Destruction of livelihoods, collapse of micro-economies. In other contexts, it leads to violent conflicts, loss of lives and destruction of poverty. It is no wonder that countries endowed with a wealth of natural resources - including land, water, minerals etc tend to languish in poverty and in some cases characterised by social and political tensions. Analysing resource based conflicts provides the basis for a more integrated policy interventions in such contexts.

Conflict prevention is one of the primary obligations of Member States set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, and United Nations efforts in conflict prevention must be in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter. Conflict prevention is also an activity best undertaken under Chapter VI of the Charter.

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