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Impact of War on Environment

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Impact of War on Environment

Dr. Kanchan Mishra

Dr. Kanchan Mishra "Impact of War on Environment" Published in International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development (ijtsrd), ISSN: 2456-6470, Volume-6 | Issue-3, April 2022, pp.1525-1531, URL: https://www.ijtsrd.com/papers/ijtsrd49778.pdf

The environmental impact of wars begins long before they do. Building and sustaining military forces consumes vast quantities of resources. These might be common metals or rare earth elements, water or hydrocarbons. Maintaining military readiness means training, and training consumes resources. Military vehicles, aircraft, vessels, buildings and infrastructure all require energy, and more often than not that energy is oil, and energy efficiency is low. The CO2 emissions of the largest militaries are greater than many of the world’s countries combined. Militaries also need large areas of land and sea, whether for bases and facilities, or for testing and training. Military lands are believed to cover between 1-6% of the global land surface. In many cases these are ecologically important areas. While excluding public development from these areas can benefit biodiversity, the question of whether they could be better managed as civil protected areas is rarely discussed. Military training creates emissions, disruption to landscapes and terrestrial and marine habitats, and creates chemical and noise pollution from the use of weapons, aircraft and vehicles. Sustaining and renewing military equipment and materiel means ongoing disposal costs, with implications for the environment. It is not just the most hazardous nuclear and chemical weapons that create environmental problems throughout their lifecycle. The same is also true for conventional weapons, particularly where they are disposed of through open burning or detonation. Historically, vast quantities of surplus munitions were also dumped at sea. A history of weak environmental oversight has left many countries with serious environmental legacies linked to military pollution, with impacts on public health and vast costs for environmental remediation. These continue to grow as emerging pollutants like PFAS are identified. These legacies are also a problem around overseas bases where one-sided agreements with host nations can reduce environmental oversight. Indirectly, high levels of military spending diverts resources away from solving environmental problems and away from sustainable development. International tensions stoked by high levels of military spending also reduce opportunities for international cooperation on global environmental threats, such as the climate emergency. It is also important to consider how security policies and militarism are tailored to ensuring access to, and control of, natural resources like oil, gas, water and metals. The environmental impact of conflicts themselves vary greatly. Some international armed conflicts may be brief but highly destructive. Some civil wars may last for decades but be fought at low intensity. Many contemporary conflicts have blurred the lines, lasting years but with sustained periods of high intensity warfare. Who is fighting, where they’re fighting and how they’re fighting all strongly influence the environmental impact of a conflict.High intensity conflicts require and consume vast quantities of fuel, leading to massive CO2 emissions and contributing to climate change. Large scale vehicle movements can lead to widespread physical damage to sensitive landscapes and geodiversity, as can the intensive use of explosive ordnance. The use of explosive weapons in urban areas creates vast quantities of debris and rubble, which can cause air and soil pollution. Pollution can also be caused by damage to light industry and environmentally sensitive infrastructure such as water treatment plants. The loss of energy supplies can have reverberating effects that are detrimental to the environment, shutting down treatment plants or pumping systems, or can lead to the use of more polluting fuels or domestic generators.

impact, war, environment, explosive, weapons, conflicts, pollution, generators, fuels

Volume-6 | Issue-3, April 2022
IJTSRD | www.ijtsrd.com | E-ISSN 2456-6470
Copyright © 2019 by author(s) and International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development Journal. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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