UN workshop aims to help Sudan plan and manage natural environment
, UN News Centre reported 20 July 2006:
"This country has endured years of turmoil and years of misery," Achim Steiner, UNEP's Executive Director, said in a news release. "A new chance for the people of Sudan will hinge on numerous factors, including strengthening the ability of the Sudanese authorities to sustainably manage their natural resources."
He emphasized that restoring and rehabilitating Sudan's economically important and productive land, forests, river systems, and other crucial ecosystems, which so many people depend on, will play an important role in ensuring stability and a lasting peace.
"Environmental issues in Sudan such as desertification, land degradation and deforestation greatly contribute to the scarcity of vital resources such as water for drinking and irrigation, animal fodder and fuelwood," he said. "This scarcity can drive and exacerbate conflicts and population displacement, which may in turn then result in accelerated environmental degradation and human suffering."
He pledged UNEP's readiness to help the Sudanese authorities to address these problems. The agency is currently conducting a detailed assessment of Sudan's challenges with the aim of identifying environmental issues and priorities that require priority attention. That study is due to be published in October.