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The past weeks have been plagued with bloodshed, tears and bomb blasts as the world woke up to the news that Israel and Palestine were at war yet again. the conflict between the two groups has been a long battle dating back to even the Bible times, however, the current conflict began on October 8, 2023, when Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel, and armed militants broke down the hi-tech barriers surrounding the strip to enter Israel, shooting and taking hostages. Israel’s response… war! The past two weeks have been grim given the extension of the war, and while the world may still be recovering from the war between Russia and Ukraine, this was a battle no one saw coming. 

You may be wondering what this war has to do with you, however, like many other wars, it carries a major effect on our environment. The war has had a devastating impact on sustainability and the environment, disrupting the ecological balance and consequently taking a toll on both the environment and communities. This is evidenced by the widespread deforestation, contamination of water sources, destruction of habitats and release of toxic chemicals. There is a direct impact of wars on the destruction of ecosystems wars like that in Gaza have used chemical weapons such as phosphorus which have drastic effects on our environment. They have a direct impact in polluting the soil, groundwater, and surface water and contaminating the air, making it highly toxic and detrimental to human health. Think about the carbon footprint alone that the war has caused given the massive carbon emissions. 

You may be wondering why we are worrying about the environment when thousands of lives are being lost every day. It’s because the war in Gaza affects all of us on a greater scale. The environment is our home, meaning that whatever we do in one country affects the world at large. When it comes to the environment, we have a collective responsibility to save it. There is only one question we should all be asking now as we place our heads on our pillows at night. How can we stop the war?

Credit: Freepik

“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”

Lady Bird Johnson