IUCN Report: Conflict and Conservation

The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently released a report called the “Nature in a Globalised World: Conflict and Conservation”. The report focuses on complex relationships between nature and armed conflict. The main objective of the report was to bring nature conservation into the mainstream of economic and political decision making.

The report has analysed how armed conflicts in the past thirty years are related to productivity and availability of arable land, percentage of rural population in the country, prevalence of drought.

Key Findings of the report

  • The major threats posed by conflicts in the world are disruption of conservation efforts, direct killing of wildlife, degradation of ecosystems.
  • The armed conflicts are prevalent in major biodiverse regions in the world. For instance, India-Pakistan and India-China border conflicts are being fought in the Himalayan Biodiversity hotspots.
  • Military Exercises and Civil unrest pose a risk to two hundred threatened species. This includes the iconic species such as the Critically Endangered Eastern Gorilla.
  • Countries are more prone to wars if less land is available for agriculture or if the agricultural productivity of the land was low. The wars were also frequent when increased number of droughts occur.

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made the report:

  • The Natural resource governance should be strengthened through improved transparency and accountability, inclusive decision making, and by recognising the rights of indigenous people and women.
  • The conservationists, protected area staff and environmental defenders should be provided with explicit protections against those committing environmental crimes.

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