Eco-soldiers and Green Battalions

The connections between keeping the peace, climate change and economic well-being might not seem obvious at first glance. But we are beginning to see that they may be far more connected than previous conventional wisdom foresaw. Certainly, as humanity’s demand for natural resources increases, this puts more pressure on countries to ensure that those valuable resources are well-protected.

And globally, militaries and other security forces are suddenly finding themselves in an interesting and unusual new position. i.e., “protector” of water, timber, and other natural resources, from illegal plundering. In essence, these new “eco-soldiers” are protecting their national interests as the world wakes up to the both the environmental and economic value of these resources.

One example of this is happening in Nicaragua, (which isn’t exactly a country unused to conflict) where soldiers more accustomed to hunting down drug runners, are finding themselves tracking down illegal loggers instead, and even planting trees.

From the article linked above: ” ‘Since 2006, we are losing $200m (£126m) a year in lost agro-production due to climate change,’ says Dr Paul Oquist, who is President Daniel Ortega’s adviser for national development policies and representative to world climate change forums…. So, he says, ‘Nicaragua is not waiting for the global community’ to act on climate change.”

What I also love about this program is that besides the admirable efforts against global warming, the soldiers are actually also gaining an appreciation for the natural world and enjoy the benefits of being outside surrounded by nature. They are also gaining some skills along the way and after they have served their terms in the military, this will pay off in educated and interested potential forestry students. It’s a win-win-win situation, well, except for the loggers.

Thanks for stopping by,

Heather McC

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