La catástrofe ambiental de la guerra en el Líbano

En cualquier guerra, la mayor atención se centra en los muertos, los heridos y los desplazados. Según se informa, la cantidad de gente asesinada como consecuencia de la ofensiva de Israel en el Líbano mientras se escribe este texto es de aproximadamente 800 libaneses y 120 israelíes –una proporción habitual para los conflictos árabe-israelíes-. Las Naciones Unidas estiman que la cantidad de desplazados supera el millón, de los cuales aproximadamente 800.000 son libaneses.

Los daños a la infraestructura y al medio ambiente también se seguirán sintiendo una vez que cesen las hostilidades. Por supuesto, la infraestructura se puede reconstruir mucho más rápidamente de lo que se puede restaurar o recuperar el medio ambiente por sí solo. En el caso del Líbano, sin embargo, ambos están íntimamente asociados, ya que gran parte del daño ambiental se origina a partir de la destrucción de la infraestructura.

Como sucede en la mayoría de las guerras modernas, los derrames de petróleo son una de las formas de daño ambiental más visibles –y, por lo tanto, más comentadas-. Hasta que comenzó la guerra, las playas del Líbano eran unas de las más limpias del Mediterráneo. Hoy, en su gran mayoría, están cubiertas de petróleo. Para una especie rara de tortuga de mar, éstas son malas noticias, ya que los huevos depositados en la arena en esas mismas playas en la temporada anual de desove deberían empollarse precisamente en esta época del año. La cantidad total de petróleo vertida al mar hoy supera con creces las 100.000 toneladas.

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