With the implementation of a 2009 Environmental Policy, UN peacekeeping has a robust platform for progress in reducing its environmental impact, the report noted.
The report identified the UN Interim Force in Lebanon ( UNIFIL) as having made the most progress in introducing environmental practices, with initiatives ranging from the use of electric cars at the mission's headquarters in Naqoura, to energy efficient power generation and the establishment of a community- led recycling plant for plastic bottles, cans and glass.
"The case of UNIFIL illustrates what all our peacekeeping missions are now trying to achieve," said Anthony Banbury, the acting head of the UN Department of Field Support, which, together with UNEP, jointly hammered out the Environment Policy.
The UN peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), a country long haunted by water scarcity, has undertaken a series of measures to increase water use efficiency and reduce overall consumption and impact, the report said.
To reduce deforestation pressure and water consumption, the UN mission in Dafur (UNAMID) replaced traditional building bricks with compressed soil blocks. This led to a 30 percent reduction in water use and 100 percent reduction in fuel wood consumption.
The UN Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has supported the development of a number of innovative projects to recycle mission waste into new products or sources of revenue.
Measures include token-operated showers with low-flow shower- heads that can reduce the consumption of water by 50 percent, waterless urinals that can save up to 170,000 litres of water per unit, the installation of 39 water treatment units that can supply 78,000 litres of non-potable water per day and the use of 10,000 litre rainwater collection tanks.
"We aim for United Nations peacekeeping operations to lead by examples in managing environmental impact," Susana Malcora, UN under-secretary-general for field support, and Herve Ladsous, the UN under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations and head of the DPKO, said in their joint foreword of the report.
Over the past 60 years, 40 percent to 60 percent of internal conflict has a direct link with natural resources, David Jensen, head of UNEP's Program of Environment Cooperation for Peacekeeping, told Xinhua on Tuesday as he was briefing on the new report.
"Examples of good environment practice have emerged across all main sectors of the peacekeeping infrastructure," Ivan Blazevic, program officer of the UNEP's Program of Environment Cooperation for Peacekeeping, told Xinhua.
Meanwhile, Blazevic listed two negative factors in the process -- lack of dedicated human resource and low general awareness among the UN peacekeeping staff.
"An adequate universal system for compliance monitoring of the Environment Policy is not yet in place," Balzevic said.
Therefore, the new report recommended that "effective implementation" of the Environment Policy should be ensured.
With more natural resource provisions in peace agreements today, it is also that there is a need for the international community -- and peacekeeping operations in particular -- to build new capacities and partnerships to be able to support the implementation of these provisions.
Since 1948, 17 UN peacekeeping operations with a combined budget of 42 million U.S. dollars have been deployed to address conflicts with clear links to natural resources. This budget represents half of the UN's total global expenditure to date on peacekeeping operations.
However, the 17 peacekeeping missions referred to account for only 25 percent of the total number of operations over the same period.
Globally, peacekeeping operations with a link to natural resources have occurred most frequently in Africa, where 13 missions have been conducted to address conflicts fueled by natural resources, costing an estimated 32 billion U.S. dollars.
"Greening the Blue is not just our motto, it is also our commitment to ensuring that peacekeepers have a lasting and positive impact in countries where they are deployed," said Ladsous.
The report also discussed natural resources as drivers of conflict, and recommendations that where diamonds, gold, oil and other resources are factors in a conflict, peacekeeping missions should be given a more systematic mandate to support national authorities in restoring the administration of natural resources, monitoring sanctions and prosecuting violations.
Steiner said that addressing the ownership, control and management of natural resources is crucial to maintaining security and restoring the economy in post-conflict countries.
"There has been little progress in systematic considering and documenting how natural resources can support, advance or undermine the aims of a peacekeeping mission so this report is the first attempt to understand the links and identify good practices and gaps," Steiner said.