Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
Mine Action and

The Environment

Landmines and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) make land and other natural resources inaccessible and cause overexploitation of those available, which leads also to soil degradation. Moreover, they adversely affect biodiversity through unplanned explosions or leaks of chemical substances into soil and water.

Despite their positive impact, mine action operations can also have unintended adverse consequences on the environment and some have been subject to environmental enquiry, as is the case for mechanical flails and tillers. To ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account, it is important they are mainstreamed within the mine action sector and in particular in how programmes are planned and implemented. This is relevant not only for programmes’ effectiveness and efficiency, but also to ensure they are consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The GICHD has conducted research and facilitated the dialogue on environment issues within the mine action community. In addition, it has developed the International Mine Action Standard (IMAS) 07.13 that deals specifically with environmental management. Environmental concerns will continue to be addressed by the GICHD in the framework of its strategy 2019-2022.

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Peace Mediation

Mine action addresses conflicts’ consequence by removing risks form explosive ordnance, but it can also help addressing causes of such conflicts by supporting efforts to reach ceasefire and peace agreements...

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Security Sector Reform

It is important that advice is not only based on IMAS, but also on guidance and expertise from the security sector reform, which applies the principles of good governance to the broader security sector...

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Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

The GICHD has established a research project to characterise explosive weapons and their immediate, destructive effects on humans and structures...

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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

It is pivotal for the mine action sector to understand how its activities can accelerate progress across the SDGs and how they can be more coherently mainstreamed into national sustainable development efforts...

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