Afghanistan’s precious natural resources – its land, water, forests and mineral deposits – are critical to the country’s prospects for a peaceful and prosperous future.
However, the management of natural resources can also influence conflict in Afghanistan. Natural resources are scarce resources that communities fight over, instruments of coercion used to exert control, and a source of illicit revenues that sustains corruption and the war economy and provides incentives for peace spoilers.
In essence effective natural resource management (NRM) is a form of conflict prevention, bringing order and predictability to situations where otherwise competition is rife.
The attached map produced by the United Nations Environmental Programme is by no means comprehensive but illustrates some of the ways natural resource management impacts peacebuilding in Afghanistan. This map can be located here: UNEP Afghanistan – Natural Resource Management Guidance Chart