Joint statement on the potential role of a science-policy panel in addressing the health and ecological impact of conflict pollution and the toxic remnants of war.
Since 2009, there has been renewed international interest in efforts to enhance the weak legal framework intended to protect the environment in relation to armed conflicts (PERAC). The topic is currently under consideration by the UN’s International Law Commission, it is being addressed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and has also been the feature of resolutions at the UN Environment Assembly. Meanwhile, wider questions around environmental security are increasingly on the agenda of the UN Security Council.
On 25th October, CEOBS will be co-hosting an interactive dialogue on the International Law Commission’s principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts in New York.
For nearly a decade we have been publishing blog posts and reports on the emerging legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts, and monitoring and reporting on UN meetings, we’ve now brought our PERAC publications together into one place.
What are the PERAC principles and how will they reduce harm to the environment from war? Our FAQ explains what they are, how they were developed and the impact that they could have.
Facing Fallout identifies 19 principles for remediating the environment contaminated by nuclear weapons; it also includes a commentary that elaborates on the principles and provides legal and policy precedent for each.
The International Law Commission’s project to strengthen the law protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts concludes in 2022. This report analyses the written comments of 24 states as we approach second reading of the principles, ahead of their adoption.
UN General Assembly First Committee statement on the Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
16 NGOs urge states at the UN General Assembly to mainstream the environment in the work of its First Committee, and beyond.
A joint submission by Al Haq, Amnesty, CEOBS, Geneva Water Hub and Harvard University identifying opportunities to strengthen the ILC’s draft principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts before they are finalised in 2022.
Comments submitted to the government of Ireland’s March 2021 negotiations on a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, which identifies opportunities for addressing their environmental impact.
A joint position paper arguing that states should use the Fifth United Nations Environment Assembly to help promote the use of nature-based solutions before, during and after armed conflicts.
Report examining what steps states and private companies should take to reduce corporate environmental harm in areas affected by armed conflicts, exploring the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the ILC’s PERAC principles.
Report seeking to understand why Russia opposes measures to more effectively integrate the environment into international policymaking on peace and security. To do so it explores how and why the concept of environmental security features in Russian domestic, security and foreign policies.
States have formally adopted a set of 27 legal principles intended to enhance the protection of the environment throughout the cycle of armed conflicts, marking the end of a 10-year process and with it the most significant advance in the legal framework since the 1970s.
Lawyers and states have been working on the PERAC framework for more than a decade, this October it will be adopted at the UN General Assembly.
Bonnie Docherty of Harvard Law School introduces a new joint report with CEOBS on the principles that should guide environmental remediation as part of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Commentary arguing that conservation organisations urgently need to speak up about the impacts of armed conflicts on biodiversity in order to mainstream conflict-sensitive conservation in international policy making.
Our new analysis of government views on a UN project to enhance the legal protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts has found considerable reluctance to strengthen rules that would help protect people and ecosystems.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a stark reminder of the human and environmental costs of armed conflict. In this post, Rachel Killean examines the legal avenues that could be open for Ukraine in seeking accountability and redress for environmental damage.
States should support the establishment of an intergovernmental science-policy panel on chemicals, waste and pollution, argues Linsey Cottrell. Doing so could also help draw attention to conflict pollution.
When wars end without clear resolution, conflicts can become frozen. In this post, Clayton Payne examines how the frozen conflicts affecting Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have influenced their environment, and how it is managed.
This guest commentary from UNIDIR argues that we need to explore how climate change is influencing the trade, use and legacy of conventional weapons – and how arms flows will exacerbate climate insecurity.
Thousands of people have helped raise the profile of the environment causes and consequences of war over the last 20 years, this #EnvConflictDay post explores how they have done that, and encourages us to take a day to reflect on our collective achievements.
With so much focus on how climate change can influence security, have we neglected the question of how conflicts influence emissions? As Eoghan Darbyshire and Doug Weir explain, environmental and social changes in conflict-affected and post-conflict areas can mean significant changes in emissions.
Designating biodiversity hotspots as protected areas during conflicts could help reduce environmental harm but this must be done in non-violent, conflict-sensitive and inclusive ways if it is to secure biodiversity, not just from war, but also for peace. This post is part of a series on war, law and the environment co-hosted with the ICRC.
This post is part of a series on war, law and the environment co-hosted with the ICRC. It explores six complementary measures the international community should be implementing to more fully address the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts and insecurity.
The campaign to criminalise ‘ecocide’ has gained momentum in recent years. In this blog, Dr Rachel Killean explores the possibilities and challenges associated with introducing ecocide as a new international crime at the International Criminal Court.
Wild and domesticated animals have long-suffered abuse, injury or death in armed conflicts. In this blog, Janice Cox and Jackson Zee explore this history of harm and the reasons behind it, arguing that the animal victims of war require greater recognition and protection.
We explore a new CEOBS report that examines how states and the private sector could use international guidelines to reduce the environmental harm associated with corporate activities in fragile and conflict affected areas.
Why does Russia object to international processes aimed at integrating the environment into international policymaking on peace and security? Nina Lesikhina and Doug Weir summarise the findings of CEOBS’ major new report exploring how and why the concept of environmental security features in Russian domestic, security and foreign policies.
We reviewed Canada’s policies and practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts. We found some positives but issues like corporate conduct, Indigenous rights, nuclear weapons and occupation law need attention.
This #EnvConflictDay we argue that a new Environment, Peace and Security agenda is needed to ensure attention for the environment in the global peace and security discourse, to encourage transformative policymaking and to bring meaningful change to people and ecosystems in the world’s most fragile states.
Is environmental damage inevitable in war, or is it possible for it be afforded more protection? Might there be psychological barriers that have prevented governments developing more effective protection? Gabriela Kolpak and Klaudija Visockyte investigate.
Armed conflicts can have a devastating impact on habitats and wildlife, and historically biodiversity hotspots have been disproportionately affected by warfare. Stavros Pantazopoulos examines whether it is possible to designate such areas as off limits, using protected zones enshrined in law?
From nuclear weapons testing to oil well fires and sick veterans, new legal principles use the frameworks developed for assisting those harmed by land mines and cluster munitions to inform how we help the victims of conflict and military pollution.
Ever wondered what the environmental impacts of war are? Read our guide to the many different ways through which armed conflicts and militarism can damage the environment.
Geodiversity provides the habitat upon which biodiversity is dependant, and it often also underpins the livelihoods of those living in conflict zones. In this blog, Dr Kevin Kiernan argues that we need to do more to protect it before, during and after conflicts.
The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the vulnerability of people in conflict-affected areas without access to water. In this blog, Dr Mara Tignino and Tadesse Kebebew argue that strengthening the norms protecting water infrastructure is more vital than ever.
Could geoengineering technologies that can modify our climate pose a threat to peace and security? And could they join other environmentally risky civilian infrastructure in becoming a target or hostage during conflicts? Gabriela Kolpak investigates.
Armed conflicts pose a threat to biodiversity and hamper conservation efforts. New legal norms intended to protect the environment in relation to armed conflicts could provide greater protection for biodiversity hotspots and are the subject of a motion ahead of this year’s World Conservation Congress.
The International Law Commission has adopted legal principles on corporate due diligence and liability for companies operating in areas affected by armed conflicts. In this blog Dr Taygeti Michalakea examines how these principles compare to the standards established by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Joint civil society statement from 103 NGOs and experts to mark #EnvConflictDay 2019 calling for states to take urgent action to address the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts.
CEOBS has reviewed the UK’s policy and practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts and found considerable room for improvement in both practice and reporting.
2019 is a hugely symbolic year for the laws protecting the environment in conflict. The adoption of 28 legal principles by the UN’s International Law Commission this month is the first of two major milestones. Stavros Pantazopoulos Looks at what has been agreed, what’s missing and what happens next.
New UN legal report addresses the responsibility of states and corporations for environmental damage in conflict
Seven new draft principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts are being debated by the UN’s International Law Commission. Stavros Pantazopoulos examines the principles and finds that they are likely to be contested by governments.
Environmental risks and damage in conflicts have long been used for propaganda purposes but the growth of social media has turbocharged this in recent years. In this blog Doug Weir and Dr Nickolai Denisov untangle cases from Gaza, Ukraine and Yemen to explore how information becomes a weapon.
Satellite imagery and remote sensing are offering new ways to study the environment in areas affected by armed conflicts. Dr Lina Eklund provides examples of how they can be used to monitor changes in land use, what those changes can tell us, and offers tips on how you can try it at home.
The Global Environmental Outlook is UN Environment’s periodic assessment of the state of the world’s environment. The latest edition paints a bleak picture; Doug Weir and Leonie Nimmo take a look at what it has to say about the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts and security.
How did this year’s UN Environment Assembly address environmental security and the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts. Doug Weir reviews what was achieved and considers how future meetings could provide an important platform for the topic.
This year could be a significant one for how the international community interprets the law protecting the environment in non-international armed conflicts. Right now, protection is minimal and, as Jeanique Pretorius explains, addressing this is likely to require that we also look to human rights and environmental law for inspiration.
After two game changing resolutions at its second and third meetings, Doug Weir looks ahead to the Fourth UN Environment Assembly this month to gauge the level of interest in the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts, and finds that the concept of environmental security remains as contested as ever.
Our round up and analysis of the recent debate in the UN General Assembly’s Sixth Committee on the International Law Commission’s ongoing study into strengthening the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts. Progress is being made but fundamental differences of opinion remain.
Organisations and experts issue a joint statement to mark #EnvConflictDay 2018. The statement urges the international community to do far more to enhance the environmental security of communities before, during and after conflicts.
Over the summer, the International Law Commission has strengthened its draft principles on environmental protection in situations of occupation. In this blog, CEOBS teams up with Al-Haq to review the revised principles against current cases of occupation to identify any further improvements that could be made.
The latest report by the International Law Commission in its ongoing study into the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts deals with environmental protection in situations of occupation. This blog looks at the new draft principles, their basis and argues that they should be strengthened.
The Global Pact for the Environment and the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
It looks likely that an initiative to create a legally binding global agreement enshrining the principles of environmental law will go ahead. The draft text includes a principle on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts; this blog takes a look at how the Pact could influence the ongoing legal debate.
With a growing number of individuals and organisations working on environmental security, and on a range of international, regional and domestic initiatives, it’s a good time to examine whether we are working effectively. This blog considers why greater civil society collaboration on environmental security is not only timely but vital.
Since 2015, a number of different actors have published data on the environmental impact of the conflict in Ukraine. Doug Weir and Nickolai Denisov take a look at the different methodologies that have been used to monitor environmental harm, their findings, and what the studies tell us about how monitoring could be improved.
The plenary sessions of UNEA-3 saw a number of states highlight the environmental impact of armed conflicts and terrorism. These had been encouraged by the negotiations on a resolution on the topic at the assembly. The plenary statements were a reflection of national experiences and perspectives on conflict and the environment; Foeke Postma examines who said what, and why.
After months of negotiations, governments at the UN Environment Assembly have finally agreed a consensus resolution on conflict pollution that was tabled by Iraq. It’s the first UN resolution to focus on the health and environmental risks posed by toxic remnants of war, read our analysis.
After four months of consultations and negotiations, it’s decision time for governments over Iraq’s UN Environment Assembly resolution on conflict pollution. However with deep divisions on show between states on the role of the environment in matters of peace and security, Doug Weir suggests that it is still unclear what will happen when negotiations begin again tomorrow.
Governments at the UN General Assembly’s Sixth Committee have welcomed the continuation of the International Law Commission’s study into the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts. However, while there was near universal support for the study, its scope, priorities and eventual outcome are all still subject to debate.
33 NGOs and 12 experts mark the UN’s 6th November #EnvConflictDay 2017 by releasing a joint statement calling for progress on conflict and the environment.
To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor consider the environmental dimensions of the use of drone warfare. They find the literature to be largely absent of considerations over the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations, and so this blog, should be viewed as a starting point for efforts to assess the environmental consequences of the use of armed drones.
ISIL’s scorched earth policy in Iraq: options for its victims to be recognised under international law
With what has been called a ‘landmark’ resolution, the UN Security Council has established a team to investigate international crimes committed by ISIL in Iraq. Will the investigative team also seek accountability for the victims of its scorched earth policy and oil fires? On which criminal provisions could the team of experts rely to address conflict-related environmental harm?
The Iraqi government has tabled a draft resolution aimed at addressing pollution caused by armed conflicts and terrorist operations for this year’s meeting of the UN Environment Assembly. The overarching theme of UNEA3 is pollution, and the universal membership body is the UN’s primary decision-making body on the environment. Doug Weir takes a look at the scope of the initial text and looks ahead to the negotiations.
Next week, UN Environment will host the biennial Environment and Emergencies Forum (EEF) in Nairobi. The EEF seeks to showcase innovations in environmental emergency preparedness and response, and to highlight current efforts on integrating environmental risk in humanitarian action. Although it has been held since 1995, until this year it has never specifically focused on the human health and environmental threats caused by armed conflicts. Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir preview the event and consider some of the main challenges faced by humanitarian practitioners seeking to minimise the risks posed by toxic remnants of war.
Since 1989, the Basel Convention, and later the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, have played an important role in international efforts to minimise the health and environmental threats from chemicals and hazardous wastes. However, their implementation relies heavily on the ability of states to ensure robust domestic environmental governance. Armed conflicts and insecurity commonly disrupt the capacity of states to adequately respond to the pollution threats that may arise from them, and to oversee or implement environmental regulations.
We’re just over halfway through the negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons and, while some campaigners and states seem generally happy with the progress being made on the draft text, there are too few voicing concerns that its environmental dimensions have been neglected. This matters because the treaty is intended first and foremost as a humanitarian instrument, and yet protecting fundamental human rights requires that the environment that people depend upon is also protected.
Last year’s landmark UNEA-2 resolution on conflict and the environment, the most significant of its kind since 1992, was the product of tough negotiations. Fortunately however, a hard-fought reference on gender made the final version of the text. Alexandria Reid suggests that the reference itself is unquestionably a positive step. But to effectively incorporate this gender perspective in future policy to fully understand and clarify what gendered approaches mean in the context of conflict, peacebuilding and the environment.
The current diplomatic process towards a convention banning nuclear weapons is a remarkable breakthrough. It’s also an opportunity to reset the difficult historical relationship between nuclear weapons, and the international law intended to protect the environment in relation to armed conflicts. This blog analyses the environmental elements of the newly published draft ban treaty but in doing so it finds that there is room for improvement, if states and civil society hope to truly deliver on their humanitarian and environmental objectives.
Biodiversity hotspots cover just 1.4% of the planet’s surface, yet 80% of major armed conflicts between 1950 and 2000 occurred in these areas. With the recent release of a UN report stressing the direct relationship between biodiversity and human rights, Alex Reid asks whether it’s time for us to reassess our understanding of the links between armed conflict, human rights and conservation.
Everyone recognises the importance of environmental mainstreaming. It’s a problem that is particularly acute for conflict and the environment, where the environment is rarely prioritised before, during or after conflicts. In turn this influences how we frame the issues we work on, and it also influences how we work, often content with modest progress from one project to the next. The barriers we face are shared, and systemic, which begs the question – do we need to change the system, together?
Thirty governments spoke on the draft principles on environmental protection following conflicts proposed by the International Law Commission during a UN General Assembly Sixth Committee debate. This report covers who said what and why.
With new legal principles on the table governing obligations for the remediation of toxic remnants of war, and to ensure data sharing on environmental risks, we take a look at the case of depleted uranium use in Iraq. The US and UK were reluctant to accept responsibility for clearance, and differed markedly on data sharing and cooperation with the Iraqi authorities and UN system.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxics has presented the findings of his report on the effects of hazardous substances on the lives of children around the world to the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council. He argued that States should take responsibility for cleaning-up of the toxic remnants of war and provide medical aid to affected communities and individuals afterwards.
Nine new principles proposed by the UN’s International Law Commission on environmental protection after conflicts have been reviewed and modified by commission members. This blog takes a look at the revised draft principles and assesses their potential contribution to environmental and civilian protection.
The International Law Commission has just published its third report on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts (PERAC). Its Special Rapporteur is trying to distil state practice, and the norms from disparate bodies of law, into a set of draft principles that capture how States, their militaries and international organisations should address the environmental impact and legacy of armed conflict.
The passage of a wide-ranging resolution on the environmental and humanitarian consequences of armed conflicts at UNEA last month has helped to affirm that progress on this oft neglected issue may at last be possible. This blog explores why this is an auspicious time for work on conflict and the environment; how the resolution could bring together civil society, and what states and UNEP could do to facilitate this.
After five months of negotiations, a resolution from Ukraine on the protection of the environment in areas affected by armed conflict has been approved by consensus at the second meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in Nairobi. The resolution is a sign of growing international interest in conflict and the environment, read our analysis here.
What might reparations for the illegal exploitation of natural resources in armed conflict look like? This question may soon be answered by the International Court of Justice in the final episode of its long-running Armed Activities Case. Eliana Cusato considers the main legal findings of the ICJ in its landmark judgement.
The Sustainable Development Goals fail to fully articulate the linkages between armed conflict and the environment, this blog examines why and discusses the importance of addressing the environment throughout the cycle of conflicts if countries are to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.
Amidst the urgency of the humanitarian response to support those feeling Syria, the environmental footprint of these population surges has been less visible but, as Jordan is discovering, failing to address the impact of migration during response and recovery could have serious health, environmental and political consequences.
The United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) was established after the 1991 Gulf War. Its aim was to not only help neighbouring states recover from the personal and financial losses inflicted during the war, but also to help repair the environmental damage caused. With protection for the environment in armed conflict under increasing scrutiny, it seems useful to re-examine how this mechanism worked.
A global study on countries’ environmental performance suggests that those affected by armed conflicts are among the worst performers across a range of environmental benchmarks, this blog takes a look at the results for 2016.
The question of whether a healthy environment is a human right has been occupying the minds of legal experts and governments since the 1980s. Now it is increasingly a question of not whether this is a right but instead how these rights could be operationalised to better protect people and the environment they depend on.
Three resolutions on conflicts have been tabled ahead of the second meeting of the UN Environment Assembly but the negotiations so far have revealed major differences in opinion between states on the role of UN Environment.
If we want to strengthen the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts, we need to define what we mean by “the environment” – is it a natural thing, a human thing, a cultural thing or is it all these things and more? How do different entities and legal regimes tackle this question, and what we should take into account when trying to define what it is we want to protect?
Unless the international community does more to protect and restore the environment from the impact of armed conflict, many countries will fail to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. This blog considers some of the SDG targets that are affected by conflict.
For new and ongoing conflicts across the world, the need to document their impact on civilians and the environment upon which they depend is encouraging the development of new research tools and methodologies. With civilians increasingly able to access the Internet and mobile networks, new opportunities are being created for the collection of environmental data, by experts and civilians alike.
How do weapons damage the environment? Should we be thinking only in terms of their direct impact, or should we focus on how weapons are used? Or do we also need to take a more holistic approach, one that considers their impacts on the environment from production to disposal?
Environmental protection and non-state armed groups: setting a place at the table for the elephant in the room
In this blog, Jonathan Somer begins to explore the terra incognita of current efforts to strengthen legal protection for the environment in relation to armed conflicts – the role of non-state armed groups, their policies and doctrine and why they must be part of any solution – in spite of the objections of some states.
Last week, quite a lot of governments said quite a lot of things about 2015’s report from the International Law Commission on legal protection for the environment during armed conflicts. This blog takes a look at what was said, who said it, why it matters and what it tells us about the hopes for more effective protection for the environment from the impact of armed conflict.
The first tentative moves to strengthen legal protection for the environment before, during and after armed conflict are underway. We take a look at a scientifically unrepresentative sample of governments to see who’s progressive, and who would rather the international community stuck with a status quo that does little to protect the environment or the civilians who depend on it.
The deliberate or inadvertent damage or destruction of industrial facilities during conflict has the potential to cause severe environmental damage and create acute and long-term risks to civilians. Can such attacks ever be justified, particularly when the consequences of attacks may be difficult to anticipate with any degree of certainty?
The Vatican’s latest encyclical ‘Care for Our Common Home’ has triggered much rejoicing from the environmental movement, and justifiably so, coming as it does in the run up to the latest round of climate change negotiations. But in questioning the global economic order and its depredations on the planetary environment, Pope Francis has also sought to communicate a wide range of problems that have blocked progress on environmental protection.
Towards an integrated approach to the material legacies of war: landmines, explosive remnants of war and environmental contamination
This blog examines how mine action became decoupled from earlier, more holistic approaches to addressing the material legacies of wars, which included environmental harm, and whether it is time for this to be reappraised.
Syria’s oil industry has begun to be targeted by the US. Military policies indicate that the environmental consequences of the strategy are low on the agenda but the move looks set to have direct and indirect impacts on Syria’s environment and people.
This blog examines the health and environmental risks of the debris and pulverised building materials created by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and finds that very little research has been done into this ubiquitous form of conflict pollution.
In 2011, the 31st Conference of the Red Cross considered proposals to enhance the protection of people and the environment from the impact of conflict, the proposals were questioned by some governments but work began to follow up on the inadequate legal framework.
Green Without Borders, an NGO says it aims to protect Lebanon’s green areas and plant trees. But Israel, the United States and some in #Lebanon accuse the NGO of being an arm of #Hezbollah to hide its military activities. #PERAC
Lebanese environmental group accused of being Hezbollah arm
KFAR TIBNIT, Lebanon (AP) — On the outskirts of this southern Lebanese village, workers in a pickup truck parked...
Both #Armenia and #Azerbaijan have long weaponised environmental diplomacy in their disputes, it now looks like #biodiversity and the Bern convention is the latest battlefield in an arbitral tribunal. #PERAC #IntLaw 1/2
Azerbaijan sues Armenia for wartime environmental damage
Case brought under Bern convention on nature may set precedent for destruction of biodiversity in war
"In addition to the need to protect the environment in and of itself, protection of the environment is a humanitarian imperative because humans are utterly dependent on healthy water, air and soil." We spoke to @GeographicalMag for this piece: #PERAC
The cost of war in Ukraine
There is a rising awareness of the damage war inflicts on the environment. The Ukrainian government are pushing to...
2020 update to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s 1994 guidelines on international humanitarian law’s provisions for environmental protection during armed conflicts.
Webinar to launch a new report from the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic and CEOBS on a newly developed framework to assist victims of toxic remnants of war. September 30th 16:00-17:30 CEST, 10:00-11:30 EST – registration is now open.
Focusing on Syria and Ukraine, AOAV review four key areas of environmental concern to gain some understanding of the environmental consequences from the use of explosive weapons. These areas are unexploded ordnance, agriculture, infrastructural damage, and flora and fauna.
This report provides insights into the positions likely to be taken by the ICRC in its revised environmental guidelines for military manuals, which are expected to be published in 2020.
This report contains all 28 draft principles adopted by the ILC at First Reading in July 2019, together with their commentaries.
Gleick | Water as a weapon and casualty of armed conflict: A review of recent water-related violence in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen
Recent and ongoing conflicts in the MENA have seen the increasing use of water as a weapon and as a target, this paper by the Pacific Institute analyses this trend and considers ways to address it through enhancing protection during conflicts.
ILC | Text and titles of the draft principles provisionally adopted by the Drafting Committee on first reading
First look at the entire suite of draft legal principles that have been under development by the International Law Commission since 2013 and which are intended to enhance protection for the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
In late 2019, the ICRC will launch updated guidelines for militaries on environmental protection during armed conflicts, this blog and animation consider why they are needed.
ILC | Second report on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts by Marja Lehto, Special Rapporteur
The 5th report from the International Law Commission on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts proposes seven new draft principles and addresses a range of issues, include the responsibility of state and non state actors.
The first-ever global assessment of environmental rule of law finds weak enforcement to be a global trend that is exacerbating environmental threats, despite prolific growth in environmental laws and agencies worldwide over the last four decades.
A round up of the 7th November 2018 Arria Formula debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of the environment during armed conflict – the first time the topic has been discussed in the Council.
ILC | First report on protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts by Marja Lehto, Special Rapporteur
While previous reports by the ILC adopted a temporal approach, broadly addressing environmental protection before, during and after conflicts, the new report delves into the obligations on states to protect the environment during situations of occupation and proposes three new draft principles.
UNEA-3 | Resolution: Pollution mitigation and control in areas affected by armed conflict or terrorism
This resolution was triggered by the widespread pollution caused by Islamic State in Iraq, it sought to draw attention to wide range of factors that cause pollution in conflict and strengthen the response by states and UN Environment to the health and environmental risks posed by the toxic remnants of war.
Stahn et al | Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace: Clarifying Norms, Principles, and Practices
This open access book covers a range of environmental issues common to post-conflict settings and explores legal and policy principles relevant to enhancing environmental protection.
Report and recommendations from the High-Level Panel on Water and Peace on the ways to address water security throughout the cycle of conflicts.
With 2017’s UN Environment Assembly focusing on the theme of pollution, UN Environment’s Civil Society Unit invited the TRW Project to contribute an extended article on conflict pollution to its long-running Perspectives series.
Blog examining post-2011 efforts to strengthen the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
This UN Environment Assembly resolution helped reaffirm UN Environment’s mandate to work on conflicts and was a sign of the growing international interest in addressing the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts.
The third report of the ILC’s Special Rapporteur proposed a number of principles related to post-conflict environmental measures, by necessity these placed a greater reliance on the practice of states and international organisations than those proposed during conflicts.
A major multi-year project to document environmental policy and practice from conflict zones around the world in order to create a foundation for the field of environmental peacebuilding.
ILPI | Report: Expert Meeting on the Protection of the Environment in times of Armed Conflict, Helsinki 2015
This workshop reviewed the findings of the empirical study by ILPI into the environmental dimensions of international and non-international armed conflicts.
Based on 30 years of ICRC work in urban conflict zones, this report warns that unless humanitarian agencies adopt a different approach to assisting urban populations in conflict, the human and social cost could be catastrophic, with the deterioration of critical infrastructure leaving people without essential services.
The second report from the ILC’s Special Rapporteur proposed four draft principles aimed at minimising harm during conflict, and one on the agreement of protected areas before conflicts, or at their outset.
A report from Oslo’s International Law and Policy Institute commissioned by the Norwegian government as part of the ICRC Pledge 1290 from the 2011 Red Cross conference to: “highlight the relevance of the existing legal framework for the protection of the natural environment in contemporary armed conflicts”.
Report covers the initial phase of the work of the International Law Commission on the Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts, between 2011-2014.
Workshop report from one of a series of conferences held to review the state of legal protection for the environment following the 2011 ICRC conference.
2011 report submitted to the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent strengthening legal protection for victims of armed conflict. The report includes suggestions for new approaches to reducing civilian harm from conflict pollution and environmental damage.
UNEP | Protecting the environment during armed conflict: an inventory and analysis of international law
In 2009 UNEP, the ICRC and the Environmental Law Institute sought to catalogue and analyse the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflict.