World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Protect environment from wars and conflicts, UN urges

Protect environment from wars and conflicts, UN urges on International Day

6 November 2017 – Commemorating the international day for lessening the impact of armed conflicts and wars on the environment, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the need to recognize that environment is also a victim of fighting.

“Whether caused by fighting or a breakdown in Government control, the damage to the environment has devastating consequences for people’s health and well-being […] it is not a new problem, but is one that can last for decades,” said Mr. Guterres in a message on the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

“Areas of Europe are still affected by heavy-metal contamination from munitions used during the First World War.”

In his message, the Secretary-General also highlighted the importance of a healthy environment for people to rebuild their lives once fighting stops, noting that the shared management of natural resources can also provide avenues to maintain or improve relations.

Given the importance of the environment and natural resources for sustainable development, the UN chief called for steps to reduce the collateral damage from conflicts and protect them.

“The UN is committed to protecting the environment as an essential pillar of peace, security and sustainable development,” he stressed.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), conflicts over natural resources are among the greatest challenges confronting today’s world, with serious threats to human security.

Furthermore, at least 40 per cent of all internal armed conflicts over the past 65 years have had an important natural resource dimension. Since 1989, more than 35 major armed conflicts have been financed by revenues from conflict resources, and there are fears that in the coming years, extreme climate stresses could double the risk of violent conflict.

However, despite these risks, there are also “significant opportunities” linking the environment and peacebuilding, added UNEP.

“Let us not forget the power of environmental cooperation to drive peace and prosperity,” said UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim.

Also today, joining forces with the Environmental Law Institute, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Duke University, and the University of California at Irvine, UNEP opened the enrolment at the online course, Environmental Security and Sustaining Peace, which aims to build a community of 10,000 practitioners that can make natural resources a reason for global cooperation.

The course covers a range of natural resources, from extractives to land and water, as well as a range of tools and approaches from conflict and gender sensitivity to assessments, meditation and spatial planning.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>