UN: UN urges better environment governance to prevent conflicts

New York, US (PANA) - To achieve the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of peace, prosperity and dignity for all on a healthy planet, it is essential to recognize the shared duty of care towards the environment in peacetime and during war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday.

In a message to mark the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, Ban stated: "Poor governance of the environment and natural resources can contribute to the outbreak of conflict. It can fuel and finance existing conflicts and it can increase the risk of relapse."

The UN chief noted that in the aftermath of violent conflict, natural resources, such as land, timber, minerals, oil and gas, are often the primary assets that governments need to support livelihoods and economic recovery.

"How governments manage these resources can fundamentally alter the course of post-conflict peacebuilding," he said.

He also stressed the need to work together to combat environmental crime, end the illegal exploitation of natural resources, improve transparency, share benefits more equitably and encourage the participation of women, indigenous peoples and vulnerable groups in decision-making.

According to Ban, "the important message of the 2030 Agenda is that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security and peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development."

"Therefore, this year, all 193 member states of the UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution committing States to the protection of the environment in areas affected by armed conflict.

"In addition, the UN International Law Commission is going over the legal framework to establish guidelines to better support environment preservation, particularly in protected areas, and environmentally sensitive sites, especially drinking water aquifers, that are vital to humans," the UN chief stated.

"On this International Day, I urge governments, businesses and citizens around the world to prioritize environmental care and the sustainable management of natural resources for preventing conflict, building peace and promoting lasting prosperity," he said.

On his part, UN Environment chief Erik Solheim said: "Among the unprecedented 65 million refugees in the world, many will have a story that includes ecocide. Wars are starting because of natural resources.They are being perpetuated because of natural resources. And we are seeing the environment being used as a weapon."

According to him, environmental destruction can impact the delivery of humanitarian assistance, the prospects of post-war recovery and lasting peace, and can serve as a driver of migration.

Mr. Solheim also noted that, "environmental protection needs to take a more prominent role in our response to conflict."
-0-  PANA  AA  6Nov2016

06 november 2016 20:53:55




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