Thursday, October 04, 2007

Examining Environmental Links to Peace and Conflict in Sudan: UNEP Assessment

Featured Speakers: Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP; Andrew Morton, Sudan Project Coordinator, UNEP

Andrew Morton presented a brief of the UNEP assessment of the environmental impacts of post-conflict Sudan. The report focused on the environmental degradation of the various ecosystems of Sudan, which include the desert-like conditions of the north and the tropical forests of the south. Morton mentioned various environmental problems, such as natural resource degradation, desertification, the depletion of arable land and the causes. UNEP pinpointed the footprint of humanitarian aid, the increasing number of refugees, and the lack of environmental governance as some of the indirect causes of environmental problems. However, unlike other post-conflict countries, Sudan does not have significant conflict-related environmental concerns. The conflicts were low tech and therefore, military impact was small.

The UNEP assessment also gave recommendations for changing the situation in Sudan. Investment in natural resource management was a key recommendation which would allow for the sustained future of Sudan. There is a need for all government and UN projects to integrate environmental concerns in order to lessen the environmental effects of projects. By integrating the environment into projects, the Sudanese government will build an awareness of the causes and the magnitude of the degradation.

Sponsor: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Location: 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

Date: September 21, 2007

Time: 10am-12pm

Approximate Number of Attendees: 100

Intern Attending: Rebekah McKnight

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