Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Environment Suffers in War

 The Center for Peace and Environment has convened an international seminar every year on the occasion of November 6 the International Day for the Prevention of the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Members of the diplomatic community and countries which have suffered from war were invited to speak about the devastation that war had caused in their homelands. Also, representatives from the international organizations such as the UNDP , OCHA and the International Red Cross attended the seminar and provided reports on their actions in this regard.  As a Champion of the Earth, I would invite these international figures to attend our ceremony and they had usually responded favorably.  This year, considering the circumstances and continuing restraints on the activities of the civil society, the Center decided to issue a statement and postpone the session to the next year. The full statement is available at . This is the opening phrase:

"Since mankind has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, as well as destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment has often remained the unpublicized victim of war.
Yet when the environment   suffers in warfare, it threatens the well-being of vulnerable populations and undermines prospects for lasting peace, thus triggering a vicious cycle of destruction...."

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