International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict

On November 6, 2001, the UN General Assembly declared November 6th a day to prevent the exploitation of the environment during war and armed conflict.

Today the environment is a concern for all countries, however, special attention should be paid to those environmental problems that arise during armed conflict. Conflicts often go beyond national borders and concern more than one state.

Unfortunately, Ukraine also has environmental problems, especially in the temporarily occupied territories (TOT)  under Russian control. “The threat of an ecological catastrophe concerns not only our occupied territories, not only the entire territory of Ukraine, but also impacts the whole of Europe. We have long had to identify the threats that exist to the TOT and look for tools to address them” said Deputy Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Vyacheslav Shapovalov.

Flooding of mines, destruction of ecosystems and protected areas, and the risk of surface water pollution on both sides of the line of contact – this environmental degradation is a threat to the safety and lives of people. Part of the Ukrainian territories may become unfit for life and economic activity, which will cause population migration and economic losses.

Resolving this issue requires a lot of effort, compromise and unpopular solutions to protect the lives and health of the population.

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