Explore our PERAC publications
Published: September 2022 · Categories: Publications, Law and Policy
About our PERAC coverage
Since 2013, the UN’s International Law Commission (ILC) has been tasked with clarifying and developing the law protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts, or PERAC. We have been publishing analysis, reports and coverage of this emerging legal framework for nearly a decade, both as CEOBS and as our predecessor organisation.
Our publications have covered the work of the Commission itself, as well as the very wide range of topics that the PERAC project has touched upon. With the PERAC framework set to be adopted in autumn 2022, we have compiled our PERAC content into one accessible page.
We are deeply indebted to the many authors and collaborators who have worked with us over this time, whether external contributors, civil society partners or staff. Scroll on for our publications on the PERAC process itself, or skip to our thematic content.
PERAC process publications
Which states are progressive on conflict and the environment?
Recent UN debates on the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts have provided a first indication of national positions on the topic.
What states said on conflict and the environment at the UN last week and why it matters
Another UN debate has revealed significant differences in national positions over key principles of environmental protection in conflict settings.
UNEA-2 passes most significant UN resolution on conflict and the environment since 1992
Passage of wide-ranging UN Environment Assembly resolution sign of renewed interest in conflict and the environment.
UN legal experts consider principles guiding environmental protection after conflicts
Draft principles setting out legal obligations for environmental and civilian protection after conflict are a significant development.
UN lawyers present revised post-conflict environmental protection principles
What should parties to a conflict and international organisations do to help protect the environment and those who depend on it from the effects of war?
States back further progress on conflict and environment in UN legal debate
Conflict-affected states supportive of draft legal principles and there’s widespread support for the continuation of the ILC’s work on PERAC.
Momentum continues to grow in UN study on laws protecting environment in conflict
Positive engagement by states in the UN General Assembly debate but questions remain over the final destination.
UN passes first ever resolution on conflict pollution
The third meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly has passed the first ever United Nations resolution addressing conflict pollution, but how will it be implemented?
How should the environment be protected in situations of occupation?
The International Law Commission has proposed new draft legal principles that address the obligations to protect the environment in situations of occupation.
Joint briefing: Strengthening the International Law Commission’s draft principles on environmental protection in situations of occupation
This briefing seeks to identify areas where the Commission’s revised draft principles on occupation could be further strengthened, or where further clarification of terms is required in the commentaries.
States welcome principles on environmental protection in occupation during UN debate
Analysis of the latest stage of the International Law Commission’s study on the Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
New UN legal report addresses the responsibility of states and corporations for environmental damage in conflict
Fifth report from the International Law Commission proposes seven new draft principles as process to develop international law draws to a close.
UN lawyers approve 28 legal principles to reduce the environmental impact of war
The UN’s International Law Commission has just adopted 28 legal principles intended to better protect the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
Briefing paper: Strengthening the International Law Commission’s newly adopted draft principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
Briefing paper for states ahead of October 2019’s debate in the UN General Assembly’s Sixth Committee. The paper identifies opportunities to strengthen the most recent draft principles proposed by the ILC on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
Report: 2019’s UN General Assembly debate on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
Our round up and analysis of 2019’s UN General Assembly debate on proposals by the International law Commission to strengthen the laws protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
Report: Joint civil society submission to the International Law Commission’s PERAC study
This joint submission contains comments, observations, and suggestions pertaining to the draft principles and their commentaries on the topic of ‘Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflicts’, which the International Law Commission adopted on first reading in July 2019.
If not us, who? How States – with the help of civil society – can implement the legal framework protecting the environment from armed conflict
The ILC’s long-running project to codify and progressively develop the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts is nearing completion. But the process is unlikely to conclude in a treaty. Because of this, States, with the support of civil society and other actors, will have a vital role to play in ensuring the framework is implemented, and a decade’s gains are further solidified.
Report: State positions on the draft principles on the Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts after first reading
The ILC’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.
States to adopt new legal framework on war and the environment
With the global environment under more pressure than ever, the PERAC framework is urgently needed.
PERAC principles – frequently asked questions
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.
States adopt new legal framework on the environmental impact of war
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.
Holding private military contractors to account for toxic remnants of war
Poorly regulated private contractors are playing a growing role in conflicts, what will the consequences be for human health and the environment?
Environmental protection and non-state armed groups: setting a place at the table for the elephant in the room
Non-state armed groups continue to cause environmental damage in conflicts, yet states are reluctant to meaningfully address their conduct for fear of granting them legitimacy.
Lifecycle versus the law – defining the environmental impact of weapons
Focusing only on their use in conflict risks ignoring the lifecycle impact of weapons on the environment.
We need to define “the environment” to protect it from armed conflict
Defining what we mean by “the environment” is more complicated than it first appears.
A healthy environment must be a human right – especially in armed conflict
Rights-based approaches could help inform greater protection for people and their environment in relation to armed conflicts.
Natural resources, plunder and reparations in the DRC, how the ICJ is setting precedents
Are cases over the exploitation of natural resources in the DRC helping establish new norms over reparations?
Do the ILC’s draft principles on remnants and data sharing reflect state practice?
The case of depleted uranium use in Iraq shows just why the ILC’s draft principles on TRW clearance and data sharing are needed.
Reframing the Remnants of War: The Role of the International Law Commission, Governments, and Civil Society
This chapter explores the context of the ILC’s work on conflict and the environment; it analyses the lasting impact that civil society advocacy frames have had on the perception of and response to the remnants of war; and reviews the utility of the ILC’s draft principles for future efforts to address TRW.
Stress-testing the ILC’s draft principles on environmental protection during occupation
The revisions to the draft principles on environmental protection in situations of occupation have improved them considerably but gaps remain that should be addressed.
Environmental protection in non-international armed conflicts: finding the way forward
Protecting the environment in non-international armed conflicts means looking beyond international humanitarian law alone.
Report: The United Kingdom’s practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
In this report we analyse the UK’s practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts, using the draft principles on the topic that have been developed by the ILC.
Corporate responsibility for the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
How do the ILC’s draft principles on corporate conduct compare to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights?
Members urge states and the IUCN to address conflicts and biodiversity
An IUCN Congress motion is urging the IUCN and its members to support the developing legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts to reduce war’s toll on biodiversity.
Report: Confronting conflict pollution – principles for assisting victims of toxic remnants of war
Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic and CEOBS have adapted humanitarian disarmament’s norms of victim assistance to the context of toxic remnants of war, with 14 principles designed to establish a framework for assistance.
Conflicts and conservation – the promise and perils of protected zones
An overview of area-based environmental protection in relation to armed conflicts.
Report: Canada’s practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
This report reviews Canada’s state practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts, or PERAC. It uses draft legal principles developed by the ILC as benchmarks against which to measure Canadian conduct before, during and after armed conflicts, and in occupation.
Report: Enhancing corporate responsibility in areas affected by 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.
Could criminalising ecocide increase accountability for environmental harm in conflicts?
A Rome Statue crime of Ecocide would help – but it is neither straightforward, nor a panacea.
Protecting biodiversity, not just from war, but for peace
Conservation areas can themselves be a source of conflict and we must bear that in mind when advocating for their protection in war.
Legal accountability for environmental destruction in Ukraine
The conflict reveals the limits of state accountability for environmental harm in war.