Commemorating the international day for lessening the impact of armed conflicts and wars on the environment, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the need to recognize that environment is also a victim of fighting.
"Whether caused by fighting or a breakdown in Government control, the damage to the environment has devastating consequences for people’s health and well-being […] it is not a new problem, but is one that can last for decades," said Mr. Guterres in a message on the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
"Areas of Europe are still affected by heavy-metal contamination from munitions used during the First World War".
In his message, the Secretary-General also highlighted the importance of a healthy environment for people to rebuild their lives once fighting stops, noting that the shared management of natural resources can also provide avenues to maintain or improve relations.
Photo: open sources