Since their widespread use during World War II, landmines have arguably become one of the most significant social, economic and environmental problems of the last half-century. Restricting access to land, roads and water supplies, landmines have been responsible for the displacement of persons and the stagnation of basic infrastructure development in every region of the world. They have also caused land and soil degradation, loss of biodiversity, and severe limitations to agricultural productivity. These issues, along with several others, were at the heart of the mine-action debate during creation of the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention in 1997.



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