Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, observed on 6 November:

The climate crisis is a peace and security crisis.  It intensifies conflict over natural resources, inflating food prices and increasing geopolitical tensions.

Today, around 1 in every 5 people is living in an area affected by fragility, conflict or violence.  The assault on our planet is driving instability, displacement and confrontation, and making our quest for peace ever more difficult.  Protecting the environment is essential to preserving peace.

On the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, we recognize the environment as yet another victim of war.  Crops are torched, water wells polluted and soils poisoned to gain short‑term military advantages, with devastating consequences that can last decades.

Protecting the environment is integral to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and sustainable development, because there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.

The time for climate action is now.  Negotiators at the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow must show ambition and solidarity to save our future.

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Author: Editor
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