Pollution is killing more people in Afghanistan each year than armed violence. While efforts have been made to build environmental governance since 2003, addressing the health and environmental threats posed by pollution in the face of insecurity, high levels of corruption and with limited financial resources remains an enormous challenge.
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.
In March, the Yemeni government called for UN help in dealing with a potentially serious oil pollution threat in the Red Sea. The case has highlighted the wider threat from oil pollution in Yemen’s civil war and the risks it poses to the Red Sea’s ecology.
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.
A new PAX report, ‘Living under a black sky’, reveals how the conflict in Iraq has left a toxic trail of destruction,which could have severe health consequences for communities and reconstruction efforts.
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.
London conference highlights opportunities to improve environmental response to conflict pollution in Iraq
As the dust settles from the battle to recapture Mosul, and the urgent humanitarian crisis reaches its peak with millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in desperate need of medical help, shelter food and water, Iraq is beginning to reflect on the extent of the damage inflicted by the battle against the so-called Islamic State (IS). Beyond the immediate needs of IDPs, it is becoming clear that recovery and reconstruction will be a huge challenge, requiring billions of dollars to rebuild the country. One element that will need to be addressed writes Wim Zwijnenburg, but which is rarely prioritised in the reconstruction agenda, is the impact of conflict on the environment and its consequent health risks.