AASU On International Day For Preventing The Exploitation Of The Environment In War And Armed Conflict- November 6
There is no gainsaying of the fact that the survival of human being is linked to his environment. It is, therefore, our duty to ensure sustainable environment through the judicious use of natural resources and to protect them to the best of our abilities.
However our thrilling lust, for material things, has been a reason for the over exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resource as fertile land and water.
Unfortunately the accrued profits, acquired in the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, have been used to fuel and finance armed conflict, hence, destabilizing the fragile foundation of peace. During these conflicts each party’s ultimate aim is to gain military advantage. As a result no thing is spared to have the upper hand which occasions the pollution of wells, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) over the last 60 years, at least 40 percent of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources.
Considering the long term and widespread devastating effects of environmental damage during armed conflict, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 6 as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. The Day was established by the UN General Assembly Resolution 56/4 adopted on November 5, 2001.
It is the responsibility of all of us to protect our environment in order to safeguard the future of current generation and generations yet to come. Our existence as individual on this earth is transitional and it is the responsibility of each generation to leave behind a safe environment for coming ones. This can only be done if we undertake self-conscious examination to bring down to a reasonable level our individual and group needs and commit ourselves to work to protect the environment. Greed and selfishness must pave way to selflessness and commitment to promote and protect the general interests.
AASU urges all its member and friendly organizations to use this occasion to embark on activities aimed at creating awareness on the prevention of war and armed conflict and the protection of environment. The struggle for safe environment must be part of our daily activities; therefore, student organizations are encouraged to consider environmental issues as permanent components of their programme of activities.
AASU calls on Africans and for that matter all forward thinking citizens of the world to uphold peaceful co-existence and their traditional values that are geared towards safeguarding the environment to ensure that our children’s children would inherit a better world.
Long live “World Day to Protect the Environment in War”!