Foster Peace, Just and Inclusive Societies
When you look at the title of the blog “Foster Peace, Just and Inclusive Societies”– you could come across points that can be raised for serious discussion. One of the main topics can be conflicts and their effects. Turning on the radio, television or even social media in present times screams out the news of conflicts, contentions and issues between nations, humanity and nature.
We are all aware that war is never the first option for nations, unfortunately, concerning the present situation, few of them are still amidst conflicts. As a result, these conflicts not only destroy humanity, and bring death but also cause chaos, destruction and huge environmental concerns.
Environment — The silent victim
To understand how the environment can facilitate peacebuilding, it is very important to understand the reasons that lead to environmental conflicts. These conflicts are those induced by ecological factors such as the destruction of and scarcity of natural resources. The loss of human life is dependent on natural resources and may lead to forced migration and demographic pressure resulting from climate change.
These circumstances can be more serious and can contribute to violent clashes. Such agitation is more likely to occur in areas where the environment is already under great stress. During armed conflicts, the use of bombs, chemicals and biological weapons leave their mark on agriculture, forest, infrastructure, and biodiversity.
Infrastructure — The first strike
During bombings, a single blast at the wrong site can damage the country’s water supply system bringing a burden to agricultural production. Heavy military vehicles and the presence of land mines can destroy usable land. These wars can also cause shortages in cooking oils, which can force the locals to destroy trees to prepare their food. Even dangerous nuclear waste can cause severe health effects and burden to nature. Chemical weapons used in populated areas kill and cause suffering and serious injuries, such as open wounds, fracture, and burn. They cause disabilities and psychological trauma. They result in forced population displacement, and the destruction of infrastructure such as hospitals, homes, schools and other places.
Biodiversity — The highly afflicted
The use of explosives and military machinery causes deforestation.
According to the United Nation “Due to the conflicts in Cambodia 35% of the country’s forests had been destroyed. Bombing in Vietnam destroyed over 2 million acres of land. By the year 1991, as a result of the long-term civil war in Angola, the country’s parks and reserves had only 10 % left of their wildlife population”.
During these conflicts, the ecosystem is often overlooked, leading to neglect of soil erosion control and water quality.
The solution? — Environmental Peacemaking
In short, good government plays an important role both in avoiding the reasons for conflict as well as in settling disputes.
Effective peacebuilding can be achieved by transparent laws and dispute resolution management, ensuring effective enforcement and greater accountability. Environmental policy has to be integrated with economic and foreign policy as it will help in identifying priority areas.
Despite the limitations, they are a lifeline and must be preserved. Certain natural resources and environmental cooperation create a way to proactively address conflict prevention as an essential part of ensuring sustainable development and sustainable peace.
Something that we have learned from our past is that war is, at best, to be avoided.