How we work to reduce the harm to people and ecosystems from armed conflicts and military activities

CEOBS was launched in 2018 with the primary goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the environmental and derived humanitarian consequences of conflicts and military activities. In this, we seek to challenge the idea of the environment as a ‘silent victim of armed conflict’. Download our ‘About us‘ summary.

We are driven by the principle that access to reliable environmental information is vital in relation to armed conflicts. Indeed openness and transparency are critical when the environment becomes politicised.

CEOBS builds on six years of research and policy work by its predecessor the Toxic Remnants of War Project. The Project sought to identify new opportunities for collecting data on environmental harm and the human suffering it causes, and the means through which data could be used to inform greater protection for the environment, and for those who depend on it, before during and after armed conflicts. CEOBS’ work extends beyond the environmental consequences of war to also consider the role of environmental factors in triggering or driving insecurity.

We intend for this website, which aggregates information on multiple conflicts and topics, to be a resource for policy-makers, researchers, activists and journalists interested in the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts.

We work with international organisations, civil society, academia and communities to:

  • Monitor and publicise data on the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts;

  • Develop tools to improve data collection and sharing;

  • Monitor and scrutinise developments in law and policy that could contribute towards the reduction of humanitarian and environmental harm.

CEOBS’ overarching aim is to ensure that the environmental consequences of armed conflicts and military activities are properly documented and addressed, and that those affected are assisted.


CEOBS works in partnership with a range of organisations that share our aims, recent and current research partners include:

Harvard Law School, King’s College London, Norwegian People’s Aid, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds and Scientists for Global Responsibility.

Interested in collaboration, contact us to discuss potential opportunities.


We are grateful to the following current and past donors for supporting our work:

The OSCE, UNEP, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Minor Foundation for Major Challenges, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Knowledge Management Fund, the British Ecological Society and LUSH.

Our status and networks

CEOBS is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales – number 1174115. We have been in Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC since 2023, and accredited to the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the UN Environment Programme since 2018. CEOBS has observer status at the UNFCCC (2023) the IPCC (2024) and the CBD (2024).

We are a founding member of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association, a Participating Organisation of the Group on Earth Observations, and members of the European Citizen Science Association, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the International Network on Explosive Weapons, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Yorkshire Space Hub.

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