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Environmental degradation triggering tensions and conflict in Sudan
Geneva/Nairobi, 22 June 2007 - Sudan is unlikely to see a lasting peace unless widespread and rapidly accelerating environmental degradation is urgently addressed. A new assessment of the country, including the troubled region of Darfur, indicates that among the root causes of decades of social strife and conflict are the rapidly eroding environmental services in several key parts of the country. Investment in environmental management, financed by the international community and from the country's emerging boom in oil and gas exports, will be a vital part of the peace building effort, says the report. The most serious concerns are land degradation, desertification and the spread of deserts southwards by an average of 100km over the past four decades.
Many sensitive areas are also experiencing a "deforestation crisis" which has led to a loss of almost 12 per cent of Sudan's forest cover in just 15 years. Indeed, some areas may undergo a total loss of forest cover within the next decade.
"A big part of that future and central to keeping the peace will be the way in which Sudan's environment is rehabilitated and managed. Sudan's tragedy is not just the tragedy of one country in Africa, it is a window to a wider world underlining how issues such as uncontrolled depletion of natural resources like soils and forests allied to impacts like climate change can destabilize communities, even entire nations," said Mr Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.
Read the entire article, including key findings and data, on the UNEP website.
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 10:02am on June 25, 2007
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