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UN observes International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
The UN Agencies observe November 6 of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict to highlight the fact that 'action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace building strategies - because there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed'.

"Though mankind has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment has often remained the unpublicized victim of war. Water wells have been polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed to gain military advantage," UN informs.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found that over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse, writes the UN on its website.

It was in 2016 that the United Nations Environment Assembly recognized the role of healthy ecosystems and sustainably managed resources in reducing the risk of armed conflict, and reaffirmed its strong commitment to the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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