International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2021: The main objective of the day is to educate people about the effects of war and armed conflict on the environment. When a war occurs, ecosystems like water supply, forest cover, and animals are also harmed.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), over the last 60 years, at least 40% of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, and also high-value resources like timber, diamonds, gold, and oil, or scarce resources including fertile land and water.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2021: History
The UN General Assembly on November 5, 2001, declared November 6 annually as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
The United Nations Environment Assembly on May 27, 2016, adopted resolution UNEP/EA.2/Res.15. It recognised the role of healthy ecosystems and sustainably managed resources in reducing the risk of armed conflict. And also to reaffirm its strong commitment to the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals which are listed in General Assembly resolution 70/1 and entitled "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2021: Significance
In any war or armed conflict, casualties are always counted in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians. In fact, cities and livelihoods are also destroyed due to war and armed conflict. The environment remains the unpublicized victim of war because the impact of war on the environment is always ignored.
The day also focuses on how the effects of war are deteriorating the natural environment because the damage and destruction caused due to war and armed conflict can have serious and long-term consequences.
According to the UN, action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding strategies, as there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.