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Dawn

Published Date: Jul 5, 2011

?MILITARY OPERATIONS BRING DISASTER TO ENVIRONMENT?

Military conflicts and operations bring disastrous repercussions for local, national and global environment which needs to be addressed and documented properly, said Dr Robina Bhatti, Professor of Global Studies at California State University, USA.

She was giving a special lecture on “Ecological foot, boot and hoof prints on Pakistan’s environment” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Dr Bhatti said military campaigns consume enormous amounts of fossil and nuclear fuels in planes, ships and tanks. Citing an example, she said US military consumed at least 1.3 billion gallons of oil annually in the Middle East alone which was more than the annual consumption of Bangladesh. She said these military establishments are clearly a resource consumptive and waste generating endeavors.

Dr Bhatti raised questions on the overwhelming silence over impacts of the ongoing war against terrorism on Pakistan’s ecosystem. She said Pakistan was in the midst of a protracted human and ecological trauma and it was necessary to study and document environmental impacts to estimate the material and non-material consequences for Pakistan’s everyday life and for global changes.

“We have destroyed the whole ecological system in military campaigns, killing not just people but also destroying ecological fauna and flora across the world. The whole world has been converted into some kind of laboratory to experiment weapons of mass destruction and wagging wars to gain utmost control, power and authority.

She stressed the need for devising environmental policies based upon ‘national natural security’ approach, adding militaries produced the greatest amount of hazardous waste in the world and were directly involved in destruction of environment, chemical contamination of ecosystems.

She lamented that the war against extremism continued for the last 10 years in Pakistan but still there was no environmental impact study carried out by the government. She urged researchers and organisations to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact assessment study in view of militarisation and conflicts in Pakistan.

She informed the participants that from 2001 to 2010, military spending in South Asia had increased by 50 per cent.

Web Link : http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/05/military-operations-bring-disaster-to-environment.html