A conflict resource is a natural resource that’s been traded in an environment of exploitation, conflict and human rights or humanitarian law violation. In other words, if there’s tension (such as war) relating to or behind the commercial use of a particular natural resource, the specific substance is a conflict resource. Such conflict resources, in fact, turn out an obvious finance source for rebel outfits. Water, oil, minerals, precious stones, etc. could be conflict resources.

Urbanization, population increase, climate change, increasing consumption, environmental degradation, etc. are prompting rising natural resource extraction and processing, and altering resource demand and supply patterns. In fact, with increasing population, disputes over resources currently unknown to mankind could arise when they’re discovered later.

Conflict Causes

Why is there civil unrest in most of Africa? It’s primarily because of their low incomes, economic decline and natural resource dependency. Some substances such as diamonds and oil lead to instability and violence wherever they’re found. A substantial amount of internal conflicts are linked to natural resource exploitation – which includes both scarce resources like water and fertile land, and high-value resources like diamonds, timber, oil and gold. These disputes are likely in states with high corruption levels, weak governance, and existing political and ethnic divisions.

Conflict Resolution

The majority of such disputes are locally resolved sans much international intervention, courtesy existing judicial, legislative, management and traditional mechanisms. However, at times, local communities and national authorities may not be able to come to a compromise; for example, when there aren’t sufficient funds for resolving disputes, or an impartial outsider is required for coming up with creative solutions. In such cases, the international community would play an important role in resolving the dispute.  

Modern consumers can also directly play a role in bringing such disputes to an end, by buying electronics that are not made of conflict resources. Suppressing such conflicts is imperative to protect the environment and prevent ecosystems from getting destroyed. When a conflict is peacefully resolved, the calm situation leads to the development and progress of the particular region. In fact, countries have broken apart into separate states through such violence over natural resources.