International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2024
The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of Environment in War and Armed Conflict is celebrated on November 6th each year to raise awareness about the devastating impact of war and armed conflict on the environment.
International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of Environment in War and Armed Conflict Theme 2024
As of today, the theme for the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of Environment in War and Armed Conflict 2024 has not been announced yet.
The theme in 2023 was “Together for a more sustainable and peaceful future.”
This theme highlights the importance of working together to protect the environment during war and armed conflict. The environment is often the first victim of conflict, and it can take many years and significant resources to recover from the damage.
History of International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of Environment in War and Armed Conflict
War has always been associated with casualties in terms of soldiers, civilians, and the destruction of cities and livelihoods. However, the environment has often been an unspoken victim of conflict. Water sources have been contaminated, crops set ablaze, forests cleared, soils contaminated, and animals harmed, all in the pursuit of military advantage.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has identified that, over the past six decades, at least 40% of internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources. These resources can range from valuable ones like timber, diamonds, gold, and oil, to essential ones like fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have been shown to have a higher likelihood of recurrence.
The United Nations places great importance on integrating environmental action into conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding strategies. This is because lasting peace cannot be achieved if the natural resources that support livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.
Resolution Adopted by the UN
On November 5, 2001, the UN General Assembly declared November 6th of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (A/RES/56/4).
On May 27, 2016, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted resolution UNEP/EA.2/Res.15, which acknowledged the role of healthy ecosystems and sustainable resource management in reducing the risk of armed conflict. It also reaffirmed the commitment to fully implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in General Assembly resolution 70/1, titled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Significance of International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of Environment in War and Armed Conflict
It is a day to –
- Raise awareness about the devastating impact of war and armed conflict on the environment. War and armed conflict can cause widespread environmental damage, including deforestation, water pollution, and soil contamination. This damage can have a long-term impact on human health and well-being, as well as on the biodiversity of ecosystems.
- Call for action to protect the environment during conflict. Governments, militaries, and other stakeholders can take steps to reduce the environmental impact of conflict, such as avoiding the use of toxic weapons and promoting sustainable practices.
- Highlight the importance of environmental peacebuilding. Environmental peacebuilding is the process of building sustainable peace by addressing the environmental challenges that have contributed to conflict or that have been exacerbated by conflict. This can involve activities such as restoring degraded ecosystems, promoting sustainable livelihoods, and mediating environmental disputes.
By raising awareness of these issues and calling for action, International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of Environment in War and Armed Conflict can help to create a more sustainable and peaceful future for all.
6th November 2024 Special Day
November 6, 2024, marks the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. This annual observance sheds light on the profound consequences of war and armed conflict on the environment. By fostering awareness, it aims to underscore the importance of safeguarding the natural world during times of strife, and advocating for responsible practices to mitigate environmental damage amid the challenges of conflict.
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