On Thursday the 6th of November, the United Nations General Assembly will again commemorate the 14th ‘International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict”.
"On this International Day, we stress the critical importance of protecting the environment in times of armed conflict and restoring the good governance of natural resources during post-conflict reconstruction. We also recognize the important role that natural resources play in supporting the livelihoods and resilience of all members of society, especially women, and the implications of sustainable natural resource management for conflict prevention and peace." - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Conflict is devastating for humanity, but the impact of armed conflict and warfare stretches far beyond the human condition. Over the long history of warfare, the relentless and severe damage on our environment includes the destruction of forests, burning of crops, poisoning of soils and water wells, as well as the killing of animals. Vital natural resources such as fresh water, land, oil, ores and minerals have also been dramatically exploited.
War and armed conflict affects each and every one of us in a variety of ways, as is evident by this far-reaching environmental destruction that is taking place. In contrast, this also shows that peace and conflict prevention saves lives both directly and indirectly and assists in the nurturing and preservation of our fragile plant, both now and long into the future.
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To celebrate World Environment Day, we take a look at the relationship between peace, the environment, climate change, sustainability and resilience.
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