Nature in War
Worldwide, little attention is given to the state of nature and natural resources in situations of armed conflict. Because of the human disaster involved, there is often a reluctance to focus on the environmental consequences. Nevertheless, there is no reason to assume that nothing can be done to conserve natural resources and biodiversity. It is sometimes assumed that nature conservation must be in conflict with the rights and traditions of peoples on their domains. In reality, where peoples are interested in the conservation and traditional use of their lands, waters, territories and the natural and cultural resources that they contain, conflicts need not arise. Formal protected environmentalists all over the world can provide means to recognize and guarantee the efforts of many communities who have long protected certain areas such as sacred groves and mountains, urgently requisite to be accredited in the sacred Palestine.
The recent crisis has entailed-in addition to violating civil and political rights of Palestinians from Israeli government, serious axis and conundrums on socio-economic, agricultural, health, cultural and environmental rights that have dramatically been regressed and deeply affected the whole living circuit and resulted in significant losses for the Palestinian assets and morale.
In Volume One, Ministry of Environmental Affairs (MEnA) has documented most of the Israeli aggressions against the unarmed people of Palestine and against their innocent environment over the period of Sept 28 through Nov 9, 2000. Since then, violence has engulfed our country and Israeli militias have escalated the fierce attacks against the Palestinian people, their agricultural assets, their existing infrastructure, and, nonetheless, their environment. This report seeks to quantify the losses and analyze the turbulence incurred on several levels, including, but not exclusive to, human resources, social life, infrastructure and environment.
All listed impacts and consequences in this report may be priced to some extent, but the damage to sacred places, the fear among children and women, psychological stress and loss of life cannot be appraised in financial terms. For now, people need to deal with their grief and trauma immediately. We must provide services addressing issues of death, loss, violence, stress and crisis management. Not only must we bury our dead and heal our injured; there are emotional, psychological and social wounds which must be tended to as well.
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