The United Nations (UN) International Day For Preventing The Exploitation Of The Environment in War and Armed Conflict is annually held every 6th of November, with the aim of creating much awareness on the damaging effects of acts of war and armed conflicts on our environment.
Natural resources are components of the environment which are inherently created by the environment for the purpose of supporting life on earth. These resources which are air, water, minerals, soil, forest, plants etc are very essential for our daily sustenance and survival on mother earth.
Thus, the devastation of wars, conflicts and crisis goes beyond the dead and wounded military personnel and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods. The environment in which we all live has also been described as the “silent casualty” of warfare/crisis.
Effects of wars, armed conflicts, internal or communal crisis have incessantly led to the pollution of our streams and rivers making it dangerous for domestic use or drinking, farmlands and crops been burnt or otherwise destroyed, soils poisoned and aquatic animals killed as a result of dangerous explosives used at such periods.
These environmental damages in times of armed conflicts/crisis greatly impairs the ecosystems and natural resources long after those periods of conflict. Today’s observance is therefore aimed at fostering awareness and advocating for action or policies that include our environment as part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace building strategies.
For it is indeed, an undisputable fact that there can be no longlasting peace if our natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are constantly destroyed due to conflicts or crisis.
God bless and keep you and your families.
From Her Excellency,
Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike,
The Wife of His Excellency,
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike CON.
The Governor of Rivers State