Struggling in a Post Civil-War State

Struggling in a Post Civil-War State: How the country of Sudan is failing to find a harmony between economic development and environmental concerns in the country

The environment of Sudan struggles to recuperate from decades of civil war that plagued the country. While some conflicts still rage on, the United Nations Environment Programme is working to help the environment recover. Their official statement reads major issues include, ” land degradation, deforestation and the impacts of climate change, that threaten the Sudanese people’s prospects for long-term peace, food security and sustainable development. In addition, complex but clear linkages exist between environmental problems and the ongoing conflict in Darfur, as well as other historical and current conflicts in Sudan.”

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Image Credit: UNEP.org

One of Sudan’s greatest issues is deforestation. More than 20 years of civil war depleted most of the country’s resources and delayed development. When the war was over, Sudan set out to change many things, but most of those led to forests being cut down to help development of cities and urban areas.

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Image Credit: UNEP.org

UNEP created a plan to help restore the environment in Sudan. One suggestion was to properly manage brick-making, which causes a lot of serious deforestation because it uses up natural resources. UNEP says if it were managed correctly, forestry could actually represent a huge economic sector for Sudan. HBL Deforestation says illegal logging is also a major cause of deforestation in the country. The site says corrupt government officials make money from making illegal deals with loggers to cut down forests. As the problem grows, the forests continue to disappear in a place where natural resources are already dwindling.

Shocking statistics about deforestation in Sudan include (according to UNEP):

  • Deforestation rate is more than 0.84 percent per annum at the
    national level
  • From 1990 and 2005, the country lost 11.6 percent of its forests
  • Some areas are expected to suffer complete deforestation in the next 5-7 years.

Even the United States has acknowledged severe deforestation is an issue in Sudan and surrounding areas. This article from NASA describes the effects of deforestation in Sudan but also countries that face similar debilitating environmental issues and how the problems can be solved.

In the following lecture posted by the Woodrow Wilson Center, two speakers reflect on “efforts to end the ongoing violence in Darfur and build on the 2005 peace agreement between Northern and Southern Sudan must consider how environmental problems such as deforestation, drought, and desertification affect the balance between peace and conflict.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlOHGYh-tNY

Posted by Courtney Doll

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3 thoughts on “Struggling in a Post Civil-War State

    1. Brick making causes deforestation because the bricks are fired by burning charcoal. Nevertheless traditional brick making creates jobs and is more affordable than importing bricks from abroad. Brick making by the River Nile is also sustainable because it uses mud deposited annually by the water.

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