/CORE – Effects of War on the Environment

CORE – Effects of War on the Environment

The most common topic for discussion these days is the Ukraine-Russia war. War is never good for anyone, neither humans, nor animals, and the same applies to the environment. It is something that is extremely dangerous for all. Dangerous, since it has resulted in several casualties, irreparable damage to cities and financial losses in a world already crippled from the after-effects of the pandemic.

However, apart from affecting people, wars usually affect the environment as well. They can be extremely harmful to plants, animals and many other aspects of nature.

Some of the major consequences of war affecting the environment (in a negative way) can include:

  • Animal Deaths: The bombing and firing that takes place in a war zone usually takes many animal lives. In World War II, over 1000 species were killed. Other ammunition and missiles also lead to animal casualties that go unnoticed.
  • Loss of Habitat: Fires, bombs, landmines, missiles and other arms can lead to the destruction of nature. This can include burning trees, contaminated water, etc. This can lead to loss of animal habitat and dislocation of the animals.
  • Deforestation: Whether it has been done on purpose or by mistake, the biggest problem that wars can lead to is deforestation. This can be because of forest fires, bombs or even cutting down the trees to make landmines, bunkers, secret tunnels/routes, etc.
  • Soil and Water Contamination: Residue from fires, gun-powder, radioactive substances, explosives, etc., can sink into the soil. This can affect the fertility of the soil, and can in turn contaminate the crops. These materials can also harm the groundwater. Along with that, such materials can flow into the water and pollute the water-bodies.
  • Pollution: Emissions of Carbon Di-Oxide or Methane, due to various reasons can cause an increase in the greenhouse gases, in the atmosphere. These can cause ozone-layer depletion and deposition of a huge amount of pollution in the atmosphere.

War not only affects humans, but also the environment. These were just a few examples that show how destructive it can be and whether intentional or not, collateral damage is done. Unfortunately, it is impossible to expect countries and leaders who declare wars to care about the environment when they do not seem to care about human lives.

Written by Anaiya Giare (MYP 2A)