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.

Collateral damage estimates and the acceptability of attacks on industrial sites

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?

WHO finds that Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic – implications for Plan Colombia

The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the world’s most widely used herbicide Roundup as probably carcinogenic in humans. Roundup is widely used in US supported efforts to destroy poppy and coca fields in Colombia’s long running internal conflict and the decision will add to existing concerns over the health impact of aerial spraying.

Military health surveillance – lessons for post-conflict civilian health monitoring

Military personnel may come across a number of natural and anthropogenic environmental health risks during training, domestic operations and overseas deployment. The response has been to seek to integrate data on environmental risks and exposures into health monitoring programmes. Could these systems help inform approaches aimed at monitoring the risks to civilians from toxic remnants of war?