Today: International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed ConflictNovember 6, 2009 By Sajid Anwar“There can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods are damaged or destroyed,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message today, the 9th annual International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. He called for “Member States to clarify and expand international law on environmental protection in times of war.”
Coinciding with this year’s observance, the United Nations Environment Programme, along with the Environmental Law Institute, released “Protecting the Environment During Armed Conflict: An Inventory and Analysis of International Law,” which finds serious gaps and weaknesses in international law and offers 12 recommendations for the UN and policymakers.
“Destroying and damaging the natural assets and ecological infrastructure of a country or community should be an issue of highest humanitarian concern,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner in a UNEP press release.
Earlier this year, Steiner spoke at the Wilson Center to launch From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment. In a recent ECSP video interview, UNEP’s David Jensen spoke about how post-conflict resource management can be a platform for economic recovery and cooperation.