How does environmental governance function in areas that are governed by non-state actors during conflicts? Olga Shashkina has explored this question in eastern Ukraine, where two new republics declared themselves when the Ukrainian government lost control of the region.
This blog investigates a potential case of mine water flooding in eastern Ukraine, at a coal mine close to the location of an experimental nuclear detonation in the 1970s. Many mines have been closed during the conflict and with water pumping stopped there are widespread risks from pollution, methane leaks and subsidence.
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.
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.
With the Ukraine conflict’s environment risks again in the news, Zoï Environment Network has released new maps on the environmental consequences of the conflict. Both sides are increasingly conscious of the humanitarian and ecological impact of the war and plans to minimise risks and encourage sustainable reconstruction are being promoted. But without a comprehensive assessment of the damage, such proposals are of limited value.
The environmental costs of the ongoing Ukraine conflict are still to be fully quantified but an EU-UN-World Bank needs assessment has called for US$30m to fund urgent environmental recovery over the next two years. With UNEP still unable to assess or begin restoring the damage on the ground due to insecurity, this sum, which already far exceeds that for UXO management is only likely to grow.
Early indications suggest that the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region has resulted in a number of civilian health risks, and potentially long-term damage to its environment. In order to mitigate these long-term risks, international and domestic agencies will have to find ways to coordinate their efforts on documenting, assessing and addressing the damage.