Two reports out today on conflict and the environment mesh in a disturbing way. One, from the United Nations Environment Program, asserts that persistent conflicts within states most often relapse when the root cause is scarce natural resources and environmental issues are not incorporated into efforts to forge peace. The other study, “Warfare in Biodiversity Hotspots,” has been published in the journal Conservation Biology. The authors find that “more than 80 percent of the world’s major armed conflicts from 1950 to 2000 occurred in regions identified as the most biologically diverse and threatened places on Earth.”
So there’s potentially a vicious loop here, as resource-based battles drag on in the world’s last bastions of biological bounty.
Sustainability requires that we take care of both the human and the environmental condition. The global system will remain in an unsustainable state until both are addressed.