There have been a number of studies on the environmental/ecological effects due to the presence of landmines and mine clearance activities.

Mechanical demining, especially where large machines are used to mill or grind the top 30 to 50 cm of soil, can have a very significant impact on soil structure and vegetation. Where the top-soil layer is thin (only a few cm), or subject to erosion, and especially where its retention depends on fragile plant life, mechanical mine clearance can have a significant impact. At worst it can permanently destroy the agricultural capacity of the land.

Clearance methods should also address the issue of residual contamination of the soil, especially by toxic substances.

Given that the purpose of humanitarian mine clearance is to return land to its original (usually productive) state, the environmental impact of clearance methods is of obvious importance.

Record updated on : 13 March 2014
Record id : 32