Doug Weir once said, “The environment is the silent victim of conflicts”. War is not just a threat to the environment but to society and biodiversity as a whole. It impacts the Air, Water, land, people, and all the other organisms that exist. The process of environmental damage not only takes place during the time of the action but begins from the very first step of its preparation. The factories producing the machinery or any other harmful, toxic substances used during the war caused major environmental protection. The case of Chernobyl in which the bursting of a nuclear reactor caused great havoc. The toxins released into the air which were inhaled by all were dangerously affected and repercussions can be seen to date.  Studies have found that about a hundred million people are exposed to this toxic air on a daily basis. People consume about a 24-hour average of up to 25 micrograms/cubic meter of air of the deadly, microscopic pollutant, PM 2.5—far above the World Health Organization’s (WHO) limit of 10 micrograms/cubic meter. Long-term exposure to such pollutants can cause respiratory issues and damage to the lungs. Apart from the chemicals exposed in the air during this process, the heat generated through the plants, machinery, or the trail of experiments results in an increase in global warming. In a recent UN conference, the air issue was considered a topic of serious concern. 

The Black Sea Biosphere Reserve which is located at the southern side of Ukraine, which attracts more than 120000 migrating birds every year has been compromised due to the Russia- Ukraine war. The waste produced during the trial of weapons or after the war destruction has been done, the products are often dumped in water.  

Land pollution in many cases is caused by humans intentionally during the state of war. During the time of the Vietnam War, the U.S. army spread defoliants over a large widespread of Jungle just to drive the enemies away. Lands are dug to build bunkers for protection, trees are shredded down to clear paths. The toxicants released often get disposed in the soil which can cause harm to the plants and microscopic organisms living there. The destruction caused by bombs, and damage to vegetation are large threats to the land.

In 1945, the infamous war between the US and Japan i.e., World War 2 and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place which is remembered till now for the massive destruction it caused. The war affected thousands of lives and changes in mutation. The exposure to harmful circumstances caused a change in cells. Leukaemia was the biggest issue faced by the survivors. The future generations of the survivors were born blind and with many bodily defects. This not only harmed the humans but also caused the populated areas to become nuclear wastelands.  


Wars have never been beneficial to mankind. The intrigued and rebellious nature of humans has made it difficult for other organisms to survive in the biosphere. Wars are not natural in nature; they are caused by humans but however, but the result has to be faced by all. 

Author: Ishmeet kaur, a student of GGSIPU

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