Joint position from CEOBS, the Environmental Law Institute, Norwegian People’s Aid, PAX, Zoï Environment Network and the Zoological Society of London that urges states to use UNEA-5 to help catalyse global efforts to address the link between armed conflicts and biodiversity loss.
Since 2009, there has been renewed international interest in efforts to enhance the weak legal framework intended to protect the environment in relation to armed conflicts (PERAC). The topic is currently under consideration by the UN’s International Law Commission, it is being addressed by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and has also been the feature of resolutions at the UN Environment Assembly. Meanwhile, wider questions around environmental security are increasingly on the agenda of the UN Security Council.
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.
A brief overview of international legal and policy initiatives relating to conflict and the environment, with timeline and further suggested reading.
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: 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 UN’s International Law Commission.
CEOBS, PAX, Zoï | ‘Towards a Pollution-Free Planet’: Input on the implementation of UNEA resolution 3/1
Joint input for UN Environment’s consultation for its ‘Pollution Free Planet’ report that will be published at UNEA-4 in March 2019. The publication proposes a number of recommendations for measures that should be taken to minimise and address conflict pollution and the toxic remnants of war, and which should be pursued in the implementation of UNEA resolution 3/1.
CEOBS & Al Haq | Strengthening the International Law Commission’s draft principles on environmental protection in situations of occupation
A joint briefing paper by CEOBS and Al Haq with recommendations to states on how to strengthen the International Law Commission’s draft principles on the protection of the environment in situations of occupation.
Input submitted to UN Environment’s law division during a review meeting on the IV Montevideo Programme on the development of international environmental law, Geneva.
Recommendations for States and UN Environment for the implementation of UNEP/EA.3/Res.1: ‘Pollution mitigation and control in areas affected by armed conflict of terrorism’.
Environmental Mechanics explores how a more formalised system of post-conflict assistance could increase the protection of civilians and their environment, and help to create and strengthen norms against environmentally destructive military behaviours. In doing so it seeks to identify the legal principles and structures that could help such a system function, and examine the thematic areas where more focused legal and political debate would be important to achieve this goal.
Pollution Politics examines how the weakness of current international humanitarian law allows the generation of conflict pollution that can impact both civilian health and the environment for long after the cessation of hostilities. The report defines toxic remnants of war, explores how they are created and argues that a new mechanism is needed to prevent and remedy environmental damage, to increase accountability and improve post-conflict response and assistance.
Geodiversity provides the habitat upon which biodiversity is dependant, and it often also underpins the livelihoods of those living in conflict zones. In this blog, Dr Kevin Kiernan argues that we need to do more to protect it before, during and after conflicts.
The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the vulnerability of people in conflict-affected areas without access to water. In this blog, Dr Mara Tignino and Tadesse Kebebew argue that strengthening the norms protecting water infrastructure is more vital than ever.
Could geoengineering technologies that can modify our climate pose a threat to peace and security? And could they join other environmentally risky civilian infrastructure in becoming a target or hostage during conflicts? Gabriela Kolpak investigates.
Armed conflicts pose a threat to biodiversity and hamper conservation efforts. New legal norms intended to protect the environment in relation to armed conflicts could provide greater protection for biodiversity hotspots and are the subject of a motion ahead of this year’s World Conservation Congress.
The International Law Commission has adopted legal principles on corporate due diligence and liability for companies operating in areas affected by armed conflicts. In this blog Dr Taygeti Michalakea examines how these principles compare to the standards established by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Joint civil society statement from 103 NGOs and experts to mark #EnvConflictDay 2019 calling for states to take urgent action to address the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts.
CEOBS has reviewed the UK’s policy and practice on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts and found considerable room for improvement in both practice and reporting.
2019 is a hugely symbolic year for the laws protecting the environment in conflict. The adoption of 28 legal principles by the UN’s International Law Commission this month is the first of two major milestones. Stavros Pantazopoulos Looks at what has been agreed, what’s missing and what happens next.
New UN legal report addresses the responsibility of states and corporations for environmental damage in conflict
Seven new draft principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts are being debated by the UN’s International Law Commission. Stavros Pantazopoulos examines the principles and finds that they are likely to be contested by governments.
Environmental risks and damage in conflicts have long been used for propaganda purposes but the growth of social media has turbocharged this in recent years. In this blog Doug Weir and Dr Nickolai Denisov untangle cases from Gaza, Ukraine and Yemen to explore how information becomes a weapon.
Satellite imagery and remote sensing are offering new ways to study the environment in areas affected by armed conflicts. Dr Lina Eklund provides examples of how they can be used to monitor changes in land use, what those changes can tell us, and offers tips on how you can try it at home.
The Global Environmental Outlook is UN Environment’s periodic assessment of the state of the world’s environment. The latest edition paints a bleak picture; Doug Weir and Leonie Nimmo take a look at what it has to say about the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts and security.
2020s @UN SG report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict highlights the connection between #environmental and civilian harm in conflicts, and how they increase the vulnerability of populations to #climatechange
https://t.co/Rr2KY8gZT8 #LEAD2PROTECT #POCWEEK2020 #PERAC
This report provides insights into the positions likely to be taken by the ICRC in its revised environmental guidelines for military manuals, which are expected to be published in 2020.
This report contains all 28 draft principles adopted by the ILC at First Reading in July 2019, together with their commentaries.
Gleick | Water as a weapon and casualty of armed conflict: A review of recent water-related violence in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen
Recent and ongoing conflicts in the MENA have seen the increasing use of water as a weapon and as a target, this paper by the Pacific Institute analyses this trend and considers ways to address it through enhancing protection during conflicts.
ILC | Text and titles of the draft principles provisionally adopted by the Drafting Committee on first reading
First look at the entire suite of draft legal principles that have been under development by the International Law Commission since 2013 and which are intended to enhance protection for the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
In late 2019, the ICRC will launch updated guidelines for militaries on environmental protection during armed conflicts, this blog and animation consider why they are needed.
ILC | Second report on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts by Marja Lehto, Special Rapporteur
The 5th report from the International Law Commission on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts proposes seven new draft principles and addresses a range of issues, include the responsibility of state and non state actors.
The first-ever global assessment of environmental rule of law finds weak enforcement to be a global trend that is exacerbating environmental threats, despite prolific growth in environmental laws and agencies worldwide over the last four decades.
A round up of the 7th November 2018 Arria Formula debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of the environment during armed conflict – the first time the topic has been discussed in the Council.
ILC | First report on protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts by Marja Lehto, Special Rapporteur
While previous reports by the ILC adopted a temporal approach, broadly addressing environmental protection before, during and after conflicts, the new report delves into the obligations on states to protect the environment during situations of occupation and proposes three new draft principles.
UNEA-3 | Resolution: Pollution mitigation and control in areas affected by armed conflict or terrorism
This resolution was triggered by the widespread pollution caused by Islamic State in Iraq, it sought to draw attention to wide range of factors that cause pollution in conflict and strengthen the response by states and UN Environment to the health and environmental risks posed by the toxic remnants of war.
Stahn et al | Environmental Protection and Transitions from Conflict to Peace: Clarifying Norms, Principles, and Practices
This open access book covers a range of environmental issues common to post-conflict settings and explores legal and policy principles relevant to enhancing environmental protection.
Report and recommendations from the High-Level Panel on Water and Peace on the ways to address water security throughout the cycle of conflicts.
With 2017’s UN Environment Assembly focusing on the theme of pollution, UN Environment’s Civil Society Unit invited the TRW Project to contribute an extended article on conflict pollution to its long-running Perspectives series.
Blog examining post-2011 efforts to strengthen the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflicts.
This UN Environment Assembly resolution helped reaffirm UN Environment’s mandate to work on conflicts and was a sign of the growing international interest in addressing the environmental dimensions of armed conflicts.
The third report of the ILC’s Special Rapporteur proposed a number of principles related to post-conflict environmental measures, by necessity these placed a greater reliance on the practice of states and international organisations than those proposed during conflicts.
A major multi-year project to document environmental policy and practice from conflict zones around the world in order to create a foundation for the field of environmental peacebuilding.
ILPI | Report: Expert Meeting on the Protection of the Environment in times of Armed Conflict, Helsinki 2015
This workshop reviewed the findings of the empirical study by ILPI into the environmental dimensions of international and non-international armed conflicts.
Based on 30 years of ICRC work in urban conflict zones, this report warns that unless humanitarian agencies adopt a different approach to assisting urban populations in conflict, the human and social cost could be catastrophic, with the deterioration of critical infrastructure leaving people without essential services.
The second report from the ILC’s Special Rapporteur proposed four draft principles aimed at minimising harm during conflict, and one on the agreement of protected areas before conflicts, or at their outset.
A report from Oslo’s International Law and Policy Institute commissioned by the Norwegian government as part of the ICRC Pledge 1290 from the 2011 Red Cross conference to: “highlight the relevance of the existing legal framework for the protection of the natural environment in contemporary armed conflicts”.
Report covers the initial phase of the work of the International Law Commission on the Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts, between 2011-2014.
Workshop report from one of a series of conferences held to review the state of legal protection for the environment following the 2011 ICRC conference.
2011 report submitted to the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent strengthening legal protection for victims of armed conflict. The report includes suggestions for new approaches to reducing civilian harm from conflict pollution and environmental damage.
UNEP | Protecting the environment during armed conflict: an inventory and analysis of international law
In 2009 UNEP, the ICRC and the Environmental Law Institute sought to catalogue and analyse the legal framework protecting the environment in relation to armed conflict.