On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November of each year as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (A/RES/56/4). Times of war can result in rapid environmental degradation as people struggle to survive and environmental management systems break down resulting in damage to critical ecosystems. For over six decades, armed conflicts have occurred in more than two-thirds of the world’s biodiversity hotspots thus posing critical threats to conservation efforts. On the occasion to mark the 17th anniversary since the inception of this day, the UN Environment Programme prepared historical and contemporary reminders of why we need to protect biodiversity from the direct and indirect effects of wars and armed conflicts. Learn more about UN Environment’s work the environmental causes and consequences of disasters and conflicts and the resources made available for the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Find more information in the Further Reading section below.