Friday, July 27, 2007

Save the Environment, Save Sudan

Competition over resources. Environmental degradation. Deforestation. Lack of clean water. All this on top of a massive refugee and humanitarian crisis. These inflictions cannot be dealt with in isolation of one another if peace and prosperity is to return to Sudan.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is rightly bringing increased attention to the environmental challenges facing Sudan, which play a significant role in the ongoing conflict within the country. The agency assessed that “Sudan is unlikely to see a lasting peace unless widespread and rapidly accelerating environmental degradation is urgently addressed.”

Thanks to UNEP's comprehensive environmental assessment, we know what the main problems are. What Sudan needs now is a solution that deals with all of these problems in a coordinated manner. In conducting this study, UNEP participated in community hearings to consult with local people on what they deemed to be their greatest needs and challenges. Future action will hopefully combine feedback from these hearings and best practices from a variety of UN agencies operating in Sudan.

One thing that can be agreed on from the start is the need for action now.

Watch this video for an excellent overview of UNEP's Sudan project.