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Table of Contents
Country Reports
HUMANITARIAN MINE ACTION, Executive Summary - Landmine Monitor Report 2001
 
<Banning APL | Casualties & Assistance>

HUMANITARIAN MINE ACTION

Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) was developed as a response to the concern about the impact of landmines on people and communities. HMA works to minimize that impact – both as a threat to life and limb and as an impediment to post-conflict reconstruction and development. HMA activities include survey and assessment; marking, mapping and clearing of mines; mine awareness; and quality assurance.[22] HMA practitioners prefer to not focus on the number of mines removed and square meters of land cleared as the sole – or even most meaningful – measure of progress, as such figures often give little real feel for the impact of mine action on communities.

HMA is not only about removing mines, but also involves a focus on the civilians living with mines. HMA programs emphasize priority setting based on civilian needs, with humanitarian development as a final goal. In the year 2000, there was increased attention to the development aspect of mine action through studies by the UN and NGOs; there were also more assessments of mined areas, and more evaluations of clearance operations. The result has been an improvement of the techniques necessary to address the humanitarian imperative and to make mine action operations more cost-efficient.

Another significant measure of progress is the conclusion of the groundbreaking Landmine Impact Survey in Yemen in July 2000; the Yemeni government is already receiving funding from various countries to help develop a national mine action plan.

The information in this section is based upon data collected by Landmine Monitor researchers for Landmine Monitor Report 2001; various UN documents and reports; information from mine action agencies; media reports; and findings from Landmine Monitor Reports 1999 and 2000.

Landmine Problem

Landmine Problem

Click to enlarge

Landmine Monitor finds that 90 countries in the world are affected by landmines or unexploded ordnance (UXO). In the past year, Bulgaria has completed clearance of its landmines and thus been removed from the affected list; Slovenia has clarified its status as mine-free and also been removed from the affected list. New mine laying in FYR Macedonia and Uzbekistan has resulted in their being classified as mine-affected. Also, a new survey carried out in El Salvador, which had previously declared itself mine-free, has identified 53 mine and UXO affected sites in that country.[23]

Landmine/UXO Problem in the World Today

Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe/ Central Asia
Middle East/ North Africa
Angola
Chile
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Burundi
Colombia
Bangladesh
Armenia
Egypt
Chad
Costa Rica
Burma
Azerbaijan
Iran
Congo-Brazz.
Cuba
Cambodia
Belarus
Iraq
DR Congo
Ecuador
China
Bosnia & Herz.
Israel
Djibouti
El Salvador
India
Croatia
Jordan
Eritrea
Guatemala
North Korea
Cyprus
Kuwait
Ethiopia
Honduras
South Korea
Czech Republic
Lebanon
Guinea-Bissau
Nicaragua
Laos
Denmark
Libya
Kenya
Peru
Mongolia
Estonia
Morocco
Liberia
Falkland / Malvinas
Nepal
Georgia
Oman
Malawi

Pakistan
Greece
Syria
Mauritania

Philippines
Kyrgyzstan
Tunisia
Mozambique

Sri Lanka
Latvia
Yemen
Namibia

Thailand
Lithuania
Golan Heights
Niger

Vietnam
FYR Macedonia
Northern Iraq
Rwanda

Taiwan
Moldova
Palestine
Senegal

Poland
Western Sahara
Sierra Leone

Russia

Somalia

Tajikistan

Sudan

Turkey

Swaziland

Ukraine

Tanzania

Uzbekistan

Uganda

Yugoslavia

Zambia

Abkhazia

Zimbabwe

Chechnya

Somaliland

Kosovo

Nagorno-Karabakh

In addition to these countries, Landmine Monitor also monitors and reports on eleven regions because of their mine-affected status: Abkhazia, Chechnya, Falkland/Malvinas, Golan Heights, northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Palestine, Somaliland, Taiwan and Western Sahara.

Impact Survey and Assessment

From country to country, there is a huge difference in the levels of contamination and in how mines affect development. The recognition that different countries are affected in different ways and degrees helps guide the appropriate response in terms of HMA. In order to evaluate the urgency of need for humanitarian mine action operations, it is important to determine the degree to which mines represent a problem in each mine-affected country.

One way of measuring the need for humanitarian mine action is through a Landmine Impact Survey, a method for assessing a country’s landmine problem, which has been developed by the Survey Working Group. Through systematic gathering of information to gauge the social and economic impact that landmines have on communities, the survey will lead to a prioritization of community needs and help inform the allocation of mine action resources. Additionally, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) undertakes assessment missions in various countries to evaluate the scope and impact of landmines, and to recommend appropriate responses.

Landmine Impact Surveys have been completed in Yemen, Thailand, Chad and Mozambique.

In total, 30 countries as well as Abkhazia and Kosovo have undergone landmine assessments and/or surveys since 1997. These assessments have included missions by UNMAS and other concerned UN agencies and departments, surveys conducted by NGOs and local agencies, and Landmine Impact Surveys conducted by the Survey Action Center (SAC).

Landmine Impact Surveys have been completed in Yemen (reported in Landmine Monitor Report 2000), Thailand, Chad and Mozambique. In Yemen, SAC subcontracted Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA, Afghanistan) to implement the survey. In Thailand, SAC subcontracted Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) to implement the survey in cooperation with the Thailand Mine Action Center (TMAC). In Chad, SAC subcontracted Handicap International (HI) to implement the survey. In Mozambique, the Canadian government directly funded the Canadian International Demining Corps to conduct the survey. In Kosovo, SAC conducted a modified Landmine Impact Survey.

In Afghanistan, SAC, MCPA, the Mine Action Program for Afghanistan, Cranfield University’s Mine Action Management Program and the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining have begun work on a Landmine Impact Survey. In Nicaragua, the OAS has begun introducing the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) in order to collect information on mine-affected areas, and SAC is in the process of conducting a landmine impact analysis, in cooperation with the Organization of American States. SAC and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation are conducting a Landmine Impact Survey of Vietnam. The first comprehensive national survey is being conducted in Cambodia in a joint project of the Cambodian Mine Action Center and the Canadian governmentÂ’s aid agency.

In countries such as Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon and Somalia, advance survey missions have been conducted and in these countries there are plans to follow up with Landmine Impact Surveys in near future. The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) has conducted an assessment mission to Uganda. In Western Sahara there is a plan for a level one survey conduced jointly by NPA and Medico International. Also in Ethiopia and Eritrea there are discussions of undertaking Landmine Impact Surveys. Additionally, HI and SAC are exploring involvement in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

UNMAS is, among other things, responsible for assessments and monitoring of the global landmine threat. In 2000/2001 UNMAS has carried out assessment or fact-finding missions to Belarus, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia/Abkhazia, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Zambia. As a natural follow-up after assessment missions, level one surveys are planned for the countries to identify the location and impact of mines and mine suspected areas.

Some countries remain in conflict, making assessments difficult if not impossible. For example: in Angola three provinces are partly without access due to the security situation; Chechnya continues to experience intense fighting, making assessment impossible; in Colombia, guerrilla groups control significant territory, and continue to use antipersonnel mines extensively; in Burma there is little reliable information on mines planted or land affected because of the conflict situation in the country.

Mine Clearance

In mine-affected countries, there may be a variety of responses to the problem, or a combination of responses, including humanitarian mine clearance, clearance by military or civil defense forces, as well as commercially-oriented operations. In some cases one can also find civilian clearance, which presents a significant risk for the individual, but many times is the result of basic survival needs. This is especially the case in Cambodia where civilian clearing is widespread.

During 2000 and early 2001, mine clearance operations were carried out in 76 countries and regions, including humanitarian mine action programs in 34.

The International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) have been developed to improve safety and efficiency in mine action by providing guidance, by establishing principles and, in some cases, by defining international requirements and specifications. NGOs involved in mine clearance have commonly been in the forefront of developing a comprehensive understanding of demining, including, for example, the use of the term “mine action” opposed to mine clearance, involving affected populations in decision-making and intended civilian use of cleared land, as formulated in the NGO-created “Bad Honnef Guidelines.” Various forms of impact assessments are increasingly valued as useful tools for analyzing community needs in order to set priorities for clearance as well as for post-demining evaluation.

In some countries the military conducts mine clearance with military objectives in mind, or clears minor areas with little impact on civilians. However, in other countries, the military carries out clearance operations based on national strategic goals and with positive impact on the civilians in the country. UN policy on the military role is:

“To ensure its neutrality, the United Nations has determined that training or support for mine action will not, in principle, be provided to the militaries of mine-contaminated countries in such circumstances. However, the United Nations is prepared to support Government mine action programmes which include collaborative arrangements with the militaries when such arrangements are clearly defined and when the overall responsibility for coordinating mine action and setting priorities for mine action rests with the national/local civilian authorities.”[24]

In Thailand, the army has cooperated constructively and positively with NPA and is undertaking clearance based on results of the Landmine Impact Survey. In Latin America, the military conducts mine clearance with coordination and supervision from the OAS AIMCA program and with training and certification from the Inter-American Defense Board Mission for Mine Clearance in Central America (MARMINCA).

During 2000 and early 2001, mine clearance operations were carried out in 76 countries and regions: Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Burma Myanmar, Cambodia, Chad, Chechnya, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, India, northern Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nagorno-Karabakh, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Somaliland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, FR Yugoslavia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

This number includes all kinds of clearance – landmine clearance, clearance of UXO, sporadic clearance, clearance for military purposes. Compared with last year’s Landmine Monitor reporting, there are three more countries that have reported some kind of clearance, including the DR Congo, where Handicap International (Belgium) started a mine clearance program in March 2001, Guinea-Bissau, and Kyrgyzstan.

Humanitarian Mine Action is clearance for humanitarian needs; civilians are the beneficiaries of the clearance programs. Such HMA operations can be undertaken by NGOs, as in Afghanistan, or by the army as in Thailand, or through a UN agency in support of national capacities, most commonly, by UNDP and UNOPS. UNOPS serves as an executing agency for both UNMAS and UNDP, operating today in 13 countries. One example is Azerbaijan where UNDP is financing the Azerbaijan Mine Action Program, together with the government. In northern Iraq/Iraqi Kurdistan UNOPS has managed the Iraq Mine Action Program since 1997.

In 2000 and early 2001, 34 countries and regions have reported some kind of HMA program, including Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Costa Rica, Croatia, DR Congo, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, northern Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Moldova, Mozambique, Nagorno-Karabakh, Namibia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Somaliland, Sudan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yemen.

This is a decrease in the number of HMA programs reported last year and there are various reasons for this. Sri Lanka had a UN Mine Action program, however, it was suspended in April 2000 and then shut down the following month, due to conflict. In Zimbabwe, there are now mainly commercial operations underway. In Taiwan, mine clearance is currently going primarily for commercial needs.

Some results of the clearance operations in major humanitarian clearance programs are given below, as an indicator of land released for post-demining use. Although the number of items cleared and disposed gives very little evidence of the qualitative results of HMA, it is an indication of the level of contamination and also important data for the technical planning and requirements of mine clearance operations.

Afghanistan: A total of 24 million square meters of mined and suspected mined land were cleared in 2000 and in addition some 80 million square meters of former battle areas were cleared of UXO and other ammunition. A total of 13,542 antipersonnel mines, 636 antitank mines, and 298,828 UXO were destroyed.

Cambodia: Some 32 million square meteres of land containing 22,613 AT mines, 856 AP mines, and 61,589 various kinds of UXO were cleared from previously suspected and confirmed contaminated lands, now providing among other things, additional safe land for cultivation which in Cambodia is a scarce resource.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: In BiH, 1.7 million square meters were declared to be mine-free, and 635 AP mines, 48 AT mines, and 511 UXO were destroyed. Although Bosnia and Herzegovina has many high-density minefields, one major problem is the low-density minefields suspected to contain randomly-laid “nuisance” mines. Unfortunately, these areas also have to be cleared, whether they are found to contain mines or not.

Croatia: In 2000, the military and civil defense together with national commercial companies under the supervision, coordination and tendering of the Croatian Mine Action Center (CROMAC) cleared 9.8 million square meters of 1,173 antipersonnel mines, 710 antitank mines and 789 UXO.

Mozambique: In 2000, the area of land cleared was 5 million square meters, including over 317 kilometers of road. A total of 6,679 mines and 993 UXO were cleared and destroyed.

Angola: In 2000, INAROEE reported that 1,335 antipersonnel mines, fifty-one antitank mines and 75,017 UXOs were destroyed.

Kosovo: In Kosovo the planned clearance activities for 2000 were exceeded. In 2000, 19.4 million square meters of land were cleared, including 10,713 AP mines, 3,920 AT mines, 3,729 cluster bomblets (CBUs), and 9,643 UXO. UNMACC plans to complete clearance of all known minefields and surface CBU by the end of 2001.

Coordination of Mine Action and Transparency

A national body responsible for mine action and related issues is a prerequisite for coordination of mine action. An increasing number of countries are developing Mine Action Centers (MACs), either within a military framework or with varying degrees of civilian input. In 35 of the mine-affected countries and regions today, one can find some body responsible for coordination and implementation of mine action programs: Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Costa Rica, Croatia, Djibouti (inaugurated in 2001), Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Jordan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somaliland, Sudan, Thailand, Ukraine, Yemen, and Zambia.

In all but five of these the body has a civilian structure and represents a mine action center under some social or civilian ministries. In Estonia, Namibia, Pakistan, Sudan, and Zambia, one can find military or a combined military/governmental body responsible for mine clearance.

In the mine-affected countries and regions where there are no coordinating bodies, this may imply either that there is no clearance going on in the country or that clearance is conducted by the military whenever there is a need for such an operation. In the Americas region, the main institution for humanitarian demining operations is the OAS through its AMICA program for coordinating operations, with assistance from the IADB MARMINCA mission for training and certification activities. In Vietnam, a plan for creating an agency has yet not been approved by the government. In the DR Congo, UNMAS has recommended the establishment of a Mine Action Cell as a part of the headquarters of MONUC (Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies au Congo).

The degree to which civilian-structured centers are purely civilian with priorities based on civilian and humanitarian needs is not clear, and there remains a lack of transparency within some bodies – both related to the prioritization process and impact assessments post-clearance. A precondition for a mine action center based on humanitarian needs should be that the center has a civilian structure and that the priorities for clearance are based on humanitarian and development-oriented needs for people at large whether at a national macro level or in line with community-based approaches.

A national Mine Action Center is often supported through UNDP, which has been active in supporting mine action centers based on the concept of local capacity building. In 2000, UNDP reported being involved in such work in 15 countries and regions, including Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Croatia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Laos, Lebanon, Mozambique, Somalia/Somaliland, Thailand, and Yemen. In Angola, UNDP had to close down its support program in August 2000 due to lack of funding. UNDP is responsible for the development phase of the MAC after the cessation of a conflict or transition from the emergency phase and normalization is taking place with transformation to more development-oriented environments. During such emergencies or in peacekeeping environments, UNMAS has primary responsibility for the initiation and support of mine action activities, often in partnership with other relevant agencies and departments. Examples of this include Kosovo and Eritrea, where the mine action centers are under UNMAS auspices, and staffed by UNOPS.

Mine Action Planning and Priority Setting

Mine-affected countries and regions with a formalized mine action plan with priorities developed and coordinated by mine action centers, or indications of the on-going development of such mine action plans, include: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chad, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, South Korea, Kosovo, Laos, Mauritania, Mozambique, Rwanda, Thailand, Ukraine, and Yemen.

  • In Yemen, the National Demining Commission developed a strategic national plan and associated computer planning tool with a Survey Utilization Team consisting of SAC, MCPA, and Cranfield University’s MAMP;
  • In Thailand, TMAC will develop a five-year Plan on Humanitarian Mine Action, based on the results from the Impact Survey carried out during 2000/2001;
  • In Afghanistan, mine action plans are prepared by UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA) and five UN Regional Mine Action Centers (RMAC) with input from all mine action NGOs and in consultation with UN agencies;
  • In Laos, UXO Lao is responsible for the national mine action program;
  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Mine Action Centers report that clearance is prioritized in relation to the return of refugees and IDPs, and to support reconstruction of housing and related activities for economic sustainability, such as the expansion of agricultural and grazing lands, infrastructure and common areas.

There is still a great need for more and improved information on post-clearance use of land. The lack of significant data is largely due to the fact that it is a relatively new field within mine action.

Post-clearance Development and Land Use

There is still a great need for more and improved information on post-clearance use of land. The lack of significant data is largely due to the fact that it is a relatively new field within mine action. However, as it is related to priorities for clearance, and the allocation and efficient use of mine action resources, the need for such information continues to grow. The procedures for post-demining assessments should ideally lie within the mandate of mine action centers. Such procedures should contribute to determining clearance conducted by NGOs and other agencies, but should be developed and elaborated by all concerned parties, including beneficiaries, operators, national MACs and donors in order to obtain transparency regarding both the use of resources and appropriate post-clearance land use.

Priorities for clearance can be decisive in what happens to areas after they have been cleared. There is a need for transparent procedures for both prioritization and for ensuring that cleared land is handed over to those stated as the intended beneficiaries of HMA. Areas should be assessed both before and after clearance in order to determine if clearance has met the HMA objectives of improving living conditions and ensuring positive development in mined-affected areas. Some examples of post-clearance evaluation activities follow.

In May 2001, UNDP and GICHD published “A Study of Socio-Economic Approaches to Mine Action.” The study focuses on the humanitarian imperative in mine action, emphasizing that “all potential useful outputs of mine action” should be considered, and not just the number of square meters cleared or mines and UXO destroyed.[25] With case studies from Kosovo, Laos and Mozambique, the report gives examples of three different settings in which clearance operations take place – the emergency, transition and development phases. The objective of the report was to “identify social and economic analytical tools by which mine action programs can be more effectively planned, managed and evaluated.”[26]

In Afghanistan, a study was conducted in order to measure the social and economic impact of mines and mine action. This study reported substantial economic benefits due to clearance in several areas. Afghanistan is also one of few countries to date conducting post-clearance survey in areas demined measuring both the social and the economic impact of clearance operations.

In Namibia, there are no procedures to ensure that cleared land improves the situation for those most in need. However, according to Namibia-based US Ambassador Jeffrey Bader, the local communities will benefit from clearance, and the demining project in Namibia has provided 1 million square meters of land for civilian use.

In Azerbaijan, there are reports of how civilians benefit from clearance operations. In the Fusili area covering about 40% of the country, 55,000 inhabitants returned to the district after clearance took place. Houses have been rebuilt, schools opened, and many of the district’s roads reported demined as well as rebuilt.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are still no clear procedures in order to ensure that cleared land benefits intended target groups, but according to the two entity MACs and the BiH MAC, it will generally be the municipality who will decide how to allocate the cleared areas and also be responsible for priorities.

In Cambodia, a study on the land cleared by CMAC shows that, in general, land has been distributed to those needing it the most. HMA priority setting is linked to methods for property claims and the establishment of landownership at the municipal as well as regional level. After clearance there has been a significantly increased sense of security as well as the ability for people to cultivate the land. The Land Use Planning Unit was created to coordinate different actors in the process of land use planning at the district level. Those involved include the provincial departments of Rural Development, demining agencies, district governors, the military, police, and NGOs.

Research and Development

Research and development (R&D) programs are also a central part of the mine action initiatives. In order to eradicate the landmine problem there is a need for continued improvement of techniques, methods and procedures for mine clearance operations.

Research and development (R&D) programs are also a central part of the mine action initiatives. In order to eradicate the landmine problem there is a need for continued improvement of techniques, methods and procedures for mine clearance operations.

At the Second Meeting of State Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, it was recommended that measures should be taken in order to enhance the testing and evaluation of mine clearance equipment. On 17 July 2000, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the European Commission, Canada, the United States, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden in order to establish an International Test and Evaluation Program (ITEP). The objectives of ITEP are to promote the development of new technologies for humanitarian demining and to share information among different actors.

Belgium is involved in several projects related to mine clearance technology. In 2000, its support for R&D on new mine detection and clearance technologies amounted to US$1,275,697. One of the projects that came to an end in 2000 was the Airborne Minefield Detection Pilot Project coordinated by the European Commission, several EU states and other organizations. The results were not satisfactory and the project was criticized by many, both in terms of financial costs and feasibility for mine detection. Another project in Belgium is “PARADISE,” focusing on tools for demining based on satellite images. There are plans for evaluation missions of the project in Mozambique and Laos.

Denmark is another country involved in a number of research and development programs. Apart from chairing the Inter-Nordic working group for mine clearance equipment, and participating in the NATO engineer working party, the main Danish initiative is the Nordic Demining Research Forum.

In Croatia, CROMAC has several projects involving research and development. A site has been established for testing new methods of mine detection. The project, financed by the European Commission and managed by CROMAC’s deputy director, has tested 29 metal detectors. CROMAC also ran tests on several demining machines in 2000, including the Guzzler demining machine, Oracle, Hydrema–Weimar, a MFV–1000 flail machine, and the KMMCS–Kerber machine. The testing of the MV-3 machine – a three-ton remotely controlled flail – began in December and was to be completed by the end of January 2001.

In Cambodia several demining techniques have been tested and used in demining operations. Demining machines such as the Finnish flailing machines (SISU RA-14 DS) and the APS Command Vehicle (SISU XA-180), as well as the locally produced Tempest machine have been used in various areas with different results, also with increasing expectations for mechanically-run demining operations. Cambodia receives funding and technical assistance for the different test projects from the UNDP Trust Fund, Finland, Japan, and the Swedish Armed Forces, among others.

South Africa is becoming a leader in the mine clearance equipment field and continues to be involved in several R&D projects, with Mechem as the major mine action technology company. Mechem is also involved in several joint research programs with the US government, including comparative testing of the Mechem Explosive and Drug Detection System (MEDDS) and the “Fido” detection system. A closely related vapor detecting system is the REST, also originating from the MEDDS, which is currently used by NPA in Angola.

The Intersessional Standing Committee for Mine Clearance and Related Technologies

The Standing Committee for Mine Clearance and Related Technologies met in December 2000 and May 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Co-Chairs were Netherlands and Peru while Germany and Yemen acted as Co-Rapporteurs. The main themes have been the completion of the International Mine Action Standards developed by UNMAS; how to improve measures of impact and benefit of mine clearance operations; the coordination and planning of operations; and technologies for mine action.

Several outcomes from previous discussions were presented at the meeting in May 2001. These included the Information Management System for Mine Action currently used in thirteen mine action programs around the world. Moreover, the UNDP’s “Study of Socio-Economic Approaches to Mine Action” was presented with brief contributions from UNDP, the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), and the Survey Action Center. Under the agenda item on coordination, planning and prioritization at the May 2001 meeting, presentations were concentrated around the IMAS and the initial findings of Landmine Monitor Report 2001.

Funding for Mine Clearance

There are still many difficulties in tracking mine action funding numbers, but according to available information, Landmine Monitor estimates that mine action funding in 2000 totaled about US$224 million, compared to about $205 million in 1999. This continues the upward trend since 1993. Landmine Monitor estimates that since 1993, a total of more than $1 billion has been spent on global mine action.

Still, in 2000, a number of mine action programs experienced serious problems, even crises, in funding. A key problem is a lack of long-term commitments from the donor countries.

  • Afghanistan experienced a decrease in funding from $21.9 million in 1999 to $16.9 million in 2000. A severe shortage of funds in 2000 led to the laying off of a number of clearance teams.
  • In Angola, some mine clearance organizations have struggled with reduced funding, erratic funding and/or donor reluctance to commit long-term in Angola. A number of organizations had to suspend programs in 2000 or 2001 due to lack of funding.
  • Funding shortfalls in 2000 and 2001 have put the existence of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center at risk. Short-term funding was announced in April that will maintain the MAC structure until September 2001.
  • In Cambodia, nearly all demining operations were suspended in October 2000 due to funding problems.

Some positive developments in mine action funding are reflected in Lebanon where the United Arab Emirates pledged US$50 million for demining and reconstruction in South Lebanon, and in Kosovo, which received US$33 million in mine action funding in 2000.

<Banning APL | Casualties & Assistance>


[22] More broadly, the five pillars of mine action include mine survey/marking/clearance; mine awareness; mine victim assistance; stockpile destruction; and mine ban advocacy.
[23] Poland, which has a serious UXO and mine problem left over from World War II, was inadvertently left off of last year’s list of affected countries.
[24] “United Nations Mine Action and The Use of the Military,” at:
htpp://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/mine/military.html.
[25] “A Study of Socio-Economic Approaches to Mine Action,” UNDP and GICHD, Geneva, 2001, p. 3.
[26] Ibid, p. 12.