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Abstract

The current intensification of mining activities, commercialisation of significant land areas, and undertaking of large infrastructure projects in fragile environments is leading to increased and often violent conflict at the local level. With development, peacebuilding and investment agendas at risk, there is a clear imperative for action. This paper builds the conceptual foundation for an action framework for conflict prevention in the context of large scale business investments in fragile environments. The framework targets multi-sectoral and multi-layered approaches to conflict prevention and risk mitigation; better uptake of the shared responsibilities but differentiated roles of business, government, and development actors; and the building of prevention capabilities. The framework proposes neutral spaces for dialogue and information sharing across actors and sectors; locally-sourced intelligence in support of policy development and intervention planning; networks that connect local spaces at the national or international level; and an international strategic focal point to facilitate international accompaniment of local efforts as elements to be creatively adapted to a specific setting. Intensified prevention efforts save lives and money. Successful risk mitigation means fewer people hurt or killed, fewer livelihoods destroyed and fewer operational disruptions. It accelerates achievement of development goals, the recovery of investments, and the realization of benefits to communities. It helps keep the promise of private sector investment as a foundation for stability, inclusive development, and economic growth, even in the world’s most fragile environments.

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