Report found that the types of environmental damage vary widely between conflicts and that environmentally important areas were particularly prone to damage.
This report was written at the request of the Nordic Ministries for Foreign Affairs as part of their pledge from the 31st ICRC Conference to undertake a study “highlighting the relevance of the existing legal framework for the protection of the natural environment in contemporary armed conflicts”. In order to enable a study of the legal aspects of the environment and armed conflict, it is necessary to first examine how armed conflicts of our time affect the natural environment. This is the main focus of this report. It reviews four contemporary armed conflicts and outlines the different environmental consequences resulting from these conflicts. The international legal frameworks relevant to the cases analysed, including international humanitarian law, are not discussed. In addition to providing an empirical review of the effects of four armed conflicts, the report also examines to what extent specific regulatory frameworks for military operations in these conflicts have taken the natural environment into account.