Mine Action in the Blogosphere

For an aid sector worth tens of millions of dollars every year, one would expect mine action to have a sizable presence in the blogosphere.  Where are all those bored Technical Advisers, way out in the field, far from their spouses, with nothing but an internet connection and a digital camera to keep them entertained?  Why aren’t they writing about their experiences, techniques learned on the job or the byzantine bureaucratic wranglings of NGOs, companies and the UN?

After several hours searching I have only found a few blogs dedicated primarily to mine action.  Probably the most detailed is UXOInfo, run by Center for Ordnance Research & Education (CORE), which is an organization I’d never heard of.  They have an online document database, glossary and vacancy listing, but all that corporate sponsorship emblazened in the sidebar unnerves me a little. 

The mine/UXO survivor assistance NGO Clear Path International has set up a blog telling stories about their projects and programs in the field, but does not address the sector of mine action more broadly. Fragmented Legs has posts and links to a variety of useful resources on landmines and demining, though I found the format a little cluttered.  There is this blog of course, by yours truly, but I am a political scientist, not a technical guy, so I focus largely on the political issues within the sector.

Despite this lack of choice for your mine action blog needs, there are several very good blogs that deal with disarmament, arms control and explosive ordnance more generally. The cluster munition campaigners have their own blog, Ban Advocates, which has posts from ban campaigners and cluster munition survivors. Disarmament Insight is an excellent resource, a joint project between the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and the Geneva Forum. They even have podcasts — who would have guessed? Explosive Violence, by Richard Moyes, the policy and research man at Landmine Action, has some good, meaty and detailed posts.  It appears to be pretty new,  but it is definitely one to keep an eye on for the future. Despite the odd name, Total WonKerr has a lot of interesting discussion of arms control issues. IED & Terrorism Resource Blog provides some information on IEDs, but is run by a group that bizarrely claims to be “run on Christian principals [sic].” 

Of course, postings on mine action issues show up on a variety of other blogs — just google “blog landmines”, “blog demining” or “blog mine action” and plenty will turn up.  However, it’s disappointing that there aren’t more dedicated spots in the blogosphere wholly dedicated to this issue.  I’d like to see more mine action researchers disseminating their findings, technical advisors posting their latest field observations and others just telling funny stories from the field.  If you start a mine action blog, or know of ones I’ve missed off the list, let me know and I will post a link to it in that right-hand column over there.

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 2 August 2008.

2 Responses to “Mine Action in the Blogosphere”

  1. Another interesting blog is the War Victims Monitor, which tells the stories of civilian victims around the world:
    http://warvictims.wordpress.com/

  2. […] Mine Action Blogs Since my post on “Mine Action in the Blogosphere” I have discovered some additional blogs that may be of interest to mine action campaigners […]

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