An issue of growing concern for national governments, civil society, policy analysts, and the international community is conflict linked to the mismanagement or abuse of natural resources in developing countries. Ian Bannon and Paul Collier of the World Bank estimated in 2001 that nearly 50 conflicts around the world were tied in some way to the licit or illicit exploitation of natural resources. From timber and oil to coltan and diamonds, natural resources are often linked to instability and conflict. FESS's activities address the linkages that mining and minerals, oil and gas, and forest resources have to instability and conflict as well as to sustainable development.