Investing in Stability: Conflict Risk, Environmental Challenges and the Bottom-Line

By John Bray, Jason Switzer, Hussels Mareike, Daniel Wagner, Michael Kelly on July 1, 2004

This collection of papers aims to stimulate debate on the interactions between finance and conflict, and to explore opportunities to improve financial institutions' management of these interactions. Concerning itself principally with voluntary actions, this initiative seeks to identify mechanisms whereby firms could help to reduce the economic drivers and impacts of violence and terrorism, in areas where profitability and social responsibility align.

Drawing upon a series of articles by leading experts in the field of corporate risk consulting, sustainable finance and political risk assessment and management, this collection identifies several areas where the tools and capacities of banks, insurance companies and asset managers could be strengthened, and where novel financial products could be utilized to reduce conflict vulnerability or strengthen post-conflict reconstruction. Firms that start now to identify the emerging opportunities and risks posed by conflict/business interlinkages will be better positioned to respond if and when these do become material.

With conflict high on the international political agenda, the feasibility of launching a multi-stakeholder platform for more sophisticated and informed dialogue and learning towards these ends should be assessed, and appropriate convenors and participants identified.

For this work, IISD has partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative. Mareike Hussels (UNEP Finance Initiative) and Jason Switzer (IISD) served as editors.

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