The United Nations(UN)’s International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is annually observed across the globe on November 6th to create awareness about the damages caused to the environment due to war and armed conflicts.
The exploitation of the environment in war and armed conflicts includes pollution of water wells, forest fire, deforestation, poisoning of soils, killing animals to gain military advantage.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/56/4 on 5th November 2001 and proclaimed the 6th November of every year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
ii.The first ever International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict was observed on 6th November 2002.
Effects of war and armed conflict on the Environment:
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in the last 60 years, around 40% of all internal conflicts are associated with the exploitation of natural resources which includes, high-value resources like timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water.
Efforts to Prevent Exploitation of the Environment:
United Nations Environment Assembly adopted resolution UNEP/EA.2/Res.15, which recognised the role of healthy ecosystems and sustainably managed resources in reducing the risk of armed conflict and reaffirms its commitment to implement the sustainable development goals.
EU-UN Partnership on Land and Natural Resource Conflicts
UNEP, UN Development Programme(UNDP), UN-HABITAT, Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPA) and Department of Economic and Social Affairs(DESA), coordinated by the UN Framework Team for Preventive Action, partnered with the European Union (EU) to assist the countries to identify, prevent and transform tensions over natural resource as a part of the conflict prevention and peacebuilding programmes.
Global Research Programme:
The Environmental Law Institute (ELI), UNEP and the Universities of Tokyo and McGill initiated a global research programme, a 4-year research project, to collect lessons learned and good practices on managing natural resources during post-conflict peacebuilding.
UNEP, United Nations Entity for Gender Equity and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), UNDP and PBSO have partnered to collaborate on improving the understanding of the relationship between women and natural resources in conflict-affected settings
About The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya