Today, 6th November, marks the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
In the havoc and destruction spread by war, damage to the environment is almost always regarded as a necessary price to be paid. But cleaning up the environmental consequences of war is a tough, often impossible, task. Damage to the environment in times of armed conflict can impair ecosystems and natural resources long after the period of conflict, often extending beyond the limits of national territories and the present generation.
Often during conflict, the environment itself has been used as a weapon of war, of mass destruction. Soils have been poisoned, water wells polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, all to achieve political and military goals: subdue resistance, destroy people’s livelihood and drive them away from their homes. Continue reading