Impact of Wars on Environment

Impact of Wars on Environment

“Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.” – 1992 Rio Declaration. Ruination of infrastructure and oil fields, explosions, military equipment movements and spraying of lethal chemicals are all examples of the environmental devastation that war can cause.

Water, Air and Soil are poisoned, people and animals are killed and those who are still alive suffer from a variety of health problems. Usage of chemical and nuclear weapons has adversely affected various habitats and degraded the environment. World War I, World War II, The Vietnam War, The Kosovo War, The Rwandan Civil War and The Gulf War are all examples of war’s environmental effects. 

While the armed forces are enhancing their combating capabilities by using advanced technology, it has utterly damaged the environment. If you are wondering how these advancements and war have affected the environment, look at the points mentioned hereunder:


  • Destruction of habitat 

During the Vietnam War, US forces sprayed harmful herbicides like Agent Orange on the forests and mangrove swamps that provided protection for guerilla soldiers. Approximately, 20 million gallons of herbicide were utilized, annihilating around 4.5 million acres of farmland. It was reported that some areas will take decades to recover. 

The armed forces of India fight shy of using such hazardous chemicals and have signed several agreements on it. India has won several wars with the gallant efforts of its manforce. The armed forces of India select forces by conducting exams like NDA, AFCAT, CDS etc. Youngsters who aim to enter the Defence forces right after clearing their 12th standard, they appear for NDA exam.

While some rely on self-study, others choose to join a coaching institute for effective preparation. If anyone is looking for sterling guidance while preparing for the exam, they can approach a reputed institute that caters perfect NDA coaching institute in Chandigarh.  

  • Mass movement of people
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When people are forced to flee their homes as a result of warfare, the environmental consequences can be disastrous. When thousands of people are compelled to relocate, widespread deforestation, unregulated hunting, soil erosion and pollution of water and land is caused by human waste.

During the Rwandan war, animal species such as the eland and the roan antelope became extinct because much of the country’s Akagera National Park was available to refugees. 

  • Intrusive Species

Non-native plants and animals will travel alongside soldiers and munitions on military ships, cargo aircraft and vehicles, entering new areas and demolishing native species in the process. Movement of troops during World War II introduced rats which nearly decimated the Laysan finch and the Laysan rail, also bringing in sandbur, an intrusive plant that crowds out the native bunchgrass that local birds use for shelter. 

  • Infrastructure collapse

The enemy’s roads, bridges, services and other facilities are among the first and most vulnerable targets of attack in a military campaign. Ruination of wastewater treatment plants utterly downgrades regional water quality. Chemical processing plants were bombed during the 1990s Croatia fight, and since treatment facilities for chemical spills were not working, chemicals flowed downstream unchecked before the war ended. 

The Indian armed forces have participated in various peacekeeping missions with the UN with the intention to avoid mass destruction. They have deployed various defence and medical officers for conducting different peacekeeping operations of the UN. The capable and intellectual youth in the Indian armed forces has actively participated in such operations. If you are also aiming to be part of the armed forces then qualify the CDS exam. While studying the exam, if you seek proper assistance then join the most prestigious institute that offers top-class CDS coaching in Chandigarh.

  • Chemical, biological and nuclear weapons
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The design, research, transportation and use of these advanced and noxious weapons is perhaps the single most environmentally damaging aspect of war. Despite the fact that their use has been strictly restricted since the US military bombed Japan at the end of  second World War,  eight military experts are concerned about the proliferation of nuclear material as well as biological and chemical weapons. 

  •  Hunting, poaching and scorched earth practices

It is time-honored, although tragic, wartime tradition to destroy one’s own homeland. The word “scorched earth” was used to describe the destruction of crops and structures that could be used to feed and shelter the enemy, but it is now used to describe any environmentally damaging tactic.

During the second Sino-Japanese War(1937-1945), Chinese authorities blew up a dike on the yellow river to stop invading Japanese forces, drowning thousands of Japanese soldiers and thousands of chinese peasants that flooded millions of square miles of land. 

The negative side of war will make you think how destructively the armed forces work. But, also mark one thing that armed forces conduct various rescue operations to protect the general public. The Indian Air forces have rendered their valuable help during the floods of Ladakh and Uttarakhand and protected the lives of millions.

Are you planning to join the Indian Air forces and offer selfless services to the nation? If yes, all you need to do is, prepare for the AFCAT exam. In case you feel the need of sterling guidance while preparing for the exam, connect with a brilliant institute that provides marvellous AFCAT coaching institute in Chandigarh.

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Impact of war on the environment is discussed above. Keeping in view the hazardous effects of warfare on the environment, the Indian defence forces have signed various treaties and agreements on not to use such pernicious weapons.

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