Oil slick and environmental consequences of conflict in the Middle East

Background - 10 August, 2006

While our immediate concern and sympathy lies with the injured, thedisplaced and the families of the victims of this conflict, long termenvironmental damage is an inevitable consequence of war.

Greenpeace is calling for an immediate cease fire and an end to theviolence and environmental destruction. We also call for efforts toestablish long lasting regional stability and peace.

This would also allow urgent and needed humanitarian aid to reach allparts of Lebanon, and for the UN Environment Programme, the WorldHealth Organization and others to begin assessing the environmentaldamage caused by the bombing.

In the case of the heavy oil flowing into the sea from the bombedstorage tanks at the Jiyyeh power station, 30 km south of Beirut, themost important priority is to prevent any further leakage anddestruction and which could potentially spread to the entire eastMediterranean coastline.

View maps of

the current oil pollution

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In the short term the Lebanese authorities are in urgent need ofassistance to stem and control the flow of the oil onto its beaches andinto its fishing grounds.

In the longer term it could take between 6 and 12 months to clean up the oil from some 100 km of Lebanon's coastline.

The spill is especially threatening since fish spawn and sea turtlesnest on Lebanon's coast, including the green turtle which is endangeredin the Mediterranean.

Greenpeace urges the international community to work to bring animmediate end to the human suffering and the environmental destruction.