The Roots of Peace Demine~Replant~Rebuild® Model
Landmines are in many ways the perfect terrorists—they can wait almost indefinitely for their victims and require nothing to maintain them. Since 1862, when the first landmines were used in battle during the U.S. Civil War, these unseen enemies have claimed the lives, limbs, and land of millions of innocent people all over the world.Today there are an estimated 70 million landmines lying in wait beneath the earth’s surface in over 70 nations. Each year they maim or kill approximately 26,000 people, mostly women and children. The impact on victims, families, communities, and the land itself is devastating.
The Eradication of Landmines Is an Achievable Goal
Roots of Peace is working to implement a comprehensive and lasting solution—one that not only removes the landmines, but also restores the land and livelihood of the local community through sustainable agricultural use. Our struggle against landmines is being waged on four fronts:
- Awareness—educating the public on the devastation caused by landmines
- Removal—removing landmines that are already planted, while working to eliminate the production and planting of new landmines
- Treatment—providing victims with physical, psychological, and social treatment and rehabilitation
- Restoration—restoring the land to productive, environmentally responsible, and sustainable agricultural use
The successful removal of landmines is dangerous and expensive work. It costs only $3 to $30 to produce and plant a landmine, but up to $1,000 to remove one. Many landmines are made of non-metallic material, making them impossible to be located by metal detectors. Consequently, specially trained mine-sniffing dogs and other slow, costly methods are commonly used to map minefields.The actual removal of the landmines is done using large remote-controlled flail tractors that systematically cover every inch of ground and can withstand the blast when the landmine is detonated. In rocky areas, the removal is done by carefully probing and digging out the landmine by hand—an extremely painstaking and dangerous procedure.A new, sophisticated technology known as global identification systems (GIS) is currently in development, which has the potential to revolutionize the global demining effort. GIS uses software to identify and map minefields from space, eliminating the risk to human beings and dogs. Roots of Peace is partnered with Autodesk, a software company that is active in the development of GIS applications and committed to making them widely available for demining initiatives around the world.
Roots of Peace is dedicated to completing the healing process by returning the land to the people from whom it was robbed. We focus on farming because agriculture is integral to the traditional way of life in many landmine-afflicted areas around the world. We support the planting of indigenous crops and the employment of landmine victims in the cycle of planting, cultivating, and harvesting.