The issue of increased competition and conflict over access to oil, gas and minerals has risen up the political agendas prices have risen, emerging countries such as China and India have become major new players in international energy and mineral markets, and multiple post-Cold War civil wars have appeared to be linked to the extraction and looting of fossil fuels and minerals. The threat of conflict and instability has added urgency to the search for collaborative and cooperative solutions to ensure secure and equitable access to these vital natural resources, which are critical for future global prosperity and security.
The POLINARES project, funded by European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme, is examining how tension and conflict may undermine future global peace and economic development, and is exploring new modes of behaviour which promote an appropriate balance between competition and collaboration through a multidisciplinary approach.  After one year and a half from the beginning of the project, we can do a sum of the FEEM contribution and of the first results of our ongoing research.