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.