How does the natural and human environment impact on conflict and how does conflict impact on people and their environment?
Where is the Afghan War located?
It is situated below the Brandt line (running through the middle of the earth) in south central Asia. It is bordered by Iran on the west, by Pakistan on the east and south, and by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan on the north. The war is fought in Kandahar and also in the south.
How has the environment / physical geography of Afghanistan affected the conflict? In Afghanistan, the environment has affected the conflict for both positive and negative reasons. In some cases, the environment has had a positive impact because of the numerous mountains spread across it covering two thirds of its surface. This useful during a war as when you are up high you have the advantage and the enemy would not be able to see the Afghans. The mountains are popular for the Taliban. Also, as it is the Taliban’s home land, they would know the area. As well as this, the rest of the landscape is made up of desert and grass lands meaning there are lots of places to hide in the grass but it is very hard to hide in the deserts. However, the landscape of Afghanistan would also make it harder to transport weapons and carry all of the supplies. With this, the poor resources would mean that the longer the soldiers stay there the weaker they get. The very cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers Afghanistan has make it hard to work as they can overheat it the blazing sun but then freezer in the winter. How has the conflict affected the physical geography / environment? The conflict has affected the physical geography and environment of Afghanistan in many ways. These include: * The land -The harsh conditions make plants and wildlife in deserts and mountains very fragile and put them at risk from sudden changes, and both deserts and mountains are slow at recovering from damage. Desertification and slope erosion are two examples of events that occur from damage to these ecosystems, and both are extremely difficult and expensive to change back. Changes to these beautiful landscapes can also easily result in lots of extinctions of plants and animals in their local area. * Wildlife -Unfortunately, Afghanistan has had no history of any efforts to look after the animals. Lack of environmental protection combined with a developing human population completely dependent upon very scarce natural resources has driven many species of plants and animals to the brink of extinction. Seventy-five species of animals and plants found in Afghanistan have been placed on the IUCN Red List (a list for endangered or threatened animals and plants) and 35 species of animals are listed as either vulnerable or endangered. * Poaching-Although the number of troops on the ground might be quite small, these troops will still need food and resources. In order to maintain an income for weapons and arms, poaching may also become a very ideal option for the guerrilla fighters. They can eat the meat, sell the skin and benefit from almost all of the body of an animal. As Afghanistan is very poor, no one has enough money to donate to charity nor do they have the education to set up campaigns to stop this. * Landmines-Another important, but less obvious, impact of the military forces is the introduction of landmines. It is thought that about 10 million mines have been placed in Afghanistan over the last two decades. These mines have been scattered randomly, put in big clusters, and have been put as just one in a traps. These landmines have not only caused damage to humans and wildlife, but have destroyed hundreds of systems to supply dry land with water by using ditches etc. in Afghanistan. Landmines not only accelerate environmental damage with their explosions, but the fear of mines will drive herders, villagers, and others from areas thought to be mined into more fragile environments and speed up the use of...
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