The UN has declared the 6thNovember each year to be the

Exploitation of the Environment

sampling water in Gaza

International Day for preventing the exploitation of the environment in war and armed conflict. War has a hugely negative impact on the environment. Water wells are often polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned and animals killed for military advantage. The UN Environment progamme has found that in the last sixty years, 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources.

These could be timber, diamonds, gold and oil or water and fertile land. Conflicts involving natural resources are more likely to relapse. The United Nations therefore wants to ensure that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention and peacekeeping or building, and have partnered with the European Union to ensure this occurs.

Last year, Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon commented,

As global population rises and the demand for resources grows, the potential for conflicts over resources could intensify. The impacts of climate change may exacerbate these threats. In response, we will need to develop new thinking on sources of insecurity and ensure that our preventive diplomacy takes into account the trans-boundary nature of ecosystems and environmental degradation.”

We hope that this year again promotes awareness of the exploitation of the environment in war.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 6th, 2011 at 11:26 am and is filed under General . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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