Environmental Causes of Landmines:
Many countries are effected by landmines and the environmental effects are major. Landmines can cause soil degradation, deforestation, pollution of water resources with heavy metals and possibly altering entire species’ populations by degrading habitats and altering food chains. Landmines can also be placed by hospitals which impacts tactics to preserve human health adding to the already high number of casualties. By degrading habitats, impacting population species, altering food’s chain, and placing additional pressure over natural resources, landmines pose a considerable risk to pristine ecosystems throughout the world. Landmines are a simple and effective way of killing wildlife.
Short term effects generally include the physical destruction of close range vegetation and killing/injuring of wildlife. Medium term impacts may include a deterioration on soil composition preventing cultivation lands to return to levels of agricultural production prior to a landmine explosion.
Long term impacts include long term chemical effects such as the persistence and bioaccumulation of certain toxic substances such as mercury and lead. Landmines are a probable influence into global warming by depletion and enhanced human pressure over natural carbon dioxide sinks. In the effects of landmines entire populations may not be able to return to their villages or cultivation lands, in occasion they are forced to find new land to settle. To better comprehend the issue, let us remember some basic principles of environmentalism: first, nature knows best; second, everything must go somewhere; and third, but not last, everything is connected to everything else.