Monday, November 10, 2008

Congo fighting is about water, timber and diamonds

"The natural environment enjoys protection under Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions. But this protection is often violated during war and armed conflict. Water wells are polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed, all in order to gain military advantage.


We have seen how environmental damage and the collapse of institutions are threatening human health, livelihoods and security. These risks can also jeopardize fragile peace and development in post-conflict societies. The environment and natural resources are crucial in consolidating peace within and between war-torn societies.

The United Nations attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of our approach to peace. Protecting the environment can help countries create employment opportunities, promote development and avoid a relapse into armed conflict. On this International Day, let us renew our commitment to preventing the exploitation of the environment in times of conflict, and to protecting the environment as a pillar of our work for peace."

Quote United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. My emphasis. Said on the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, which is observed each year on November 6 while on his way to negotiate peace in Congo.

Since the outbreak of fighting in August 1998, the conflicts have been rooted in struggles for control of natural resources such as water, timber, diamonds and other minerals as well as various political agendas

Via Environment News Service.

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