International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is observed on November 6 each year. Humanity undeniably always suffers from war. People are killed and injured. Cities are burned to the ground. But what about the environment? Rivers, seas, and wells are polluted. Crops are burned and forests are cut down. Soils are poisoned. The natural world around us, including other living species, weather, climate, and natural resources, affects us and is affected by us.
Therefore, this day was created to protect the environment as a guarantor of security and peace; to prevent its exploitation in military conflicts. We are all urged to speak out and reaffirm our commitment to protecting our endangered planet, even in the face of armed aggression.
History of International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
War and armed conflict destroy humanity and other forms of life on our planet. If we just take the recent history, decades of terrible wars, such as in Afghanistan, Colombia, or Iraq, have led to a huge loss of natural resources. In Afghanistan alone, we have witnessed an impressive rate of deforestation, up to 95% in some areas. It was catastrophic for wildlife and forest conservation, as these habitats opened the door to illegal logging, unregulated mining, and mass poaching.
The elephant population has been wiped out in the Central African Republic, while in Ukraine, the Seversky Donets River has suffered further damage from pollution. In Gaza and Yemen, the water infrastructure has been damaged, posing risks to the environment and public health.
Ignoring such disastrous consequences is not an option. Indeed the international community was urged to act through the declaration of this international day by the U.N. in 2001.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict timeline
The U.N. General Assembly declares November 6 the annual International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
The Joint Political Report results from a partnership to improve understanding of the complex relationship between women and natural resources in conflict situations.
Member States demonstrate their recognition of the need to improve the protection of the environment during armed conflict.
This project aims to integrate natural resources and the environment into conflict assessment and planning.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict FAQs
How can environmental problems contribute to conflicts in the world?
The most common elements of the environment around which conflicts can arise are water flow, drainage, salinization, floods, and pollution. In addition, indirect international or domestic conflicts are usually caused by resource depletion, such as deforestation, soil erosion, and desertification.
How does war affect the environment?
Military activity has a significant negative impact on the environment. Not only can war be devastating to the social environment, but military activity also produces large amounts of greenhouse gasses, pollution, and depletion of resources.
What destroys the environment the most?
Perhaps the greatest devastating impact on the environment comes from global warming.
How to Observe International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
You can talk at school, at work, or even at home in front of relatives. Explain the importance of the day, and tell more about how the environment suffered during the war and the consequences for humanity.
Take care of the environment
The best way to celebrate this day is to dedicate it to caring for the environment. Clean up the town and ponds, plant trees and flowers, and feed animals.
Share the story
Post a story in which you tell about this holiday, and express your position and opinion. Spreading awareness of this day helps combat the problem and lobby for change.
5 Facts About Our Environment You Probably Don’t Know
Cows “destroy” the environment
A cow can emit 200 to 400 pounds of methane gas each year, which is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
About 71% of the planet’s surface is water.
Throughout the planet’s long life, roughly a million species have become extinct.
Fungi do almost everything in environmental management.
Elephants are unique
This is because they are the only animals that have chins.
Why International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is Important
We care about the environment
The environment is everything to human life. We have to take care of it and protect it before it’s too late.
It’s a call to renounce war
War is full of losses. Lives are lost. Natural resources are lost. The environment is destroyed. This day reminds humanity to think before making a rash decision.
It’s a day to save our future
Protecting the environment is essential for maintaining peace. There can be no lasting peace if the natural resources that support livelihoods and ecosystems are gone.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict dates