"What has also happened over the last several decades is that many mangroves have been cleared to grow shrimp ponds so that we, here in Europe, can have cheap shrimp," he added. "The mangroves were all along the coasts where there are shallow waters. They offered protection against things like tsunamis. Over the last 20-30 years, "they were cleared by people who didn't have the long-term knowledge of why these mangroves should have been saved, by outsiders who get concessions from the governments and set up shrimp or prawn farms." The shrimps and prawns are sold to Europeans and other foreigners "at a price that does not include the environmental cost which is being paid today," McNeely said.
It looks still worse when you compare the cost of the war to the total foreign aid budget. The UK has spent almost twice as much on creating suffering in Iraq as it spends annually on relieving it elsewhere. The United States gives just over $16bn in foreign aid: less than one ninth of the money it has burnt so far in Iraq.