A Reconciliatory Approach to Environmental Protection in Armed Conflict
By: Britta Sjostedt
The environment suffers enormously during armed conflicts and, despite the increasing awareness of the pressing need to protect the planet, devastating environmental damage can occur legally at times of war. This book suggests that – apart from the protection offered under law of armed conflict – environmental treaties or multilateral agreements (MEAs) can complement and strengthen environmental protection when war occurs.
Previous research has focused on the protection offered under the law of armed conflict (in particular international humanitarian law) and customary international environmental law concerning wartime environmental damage, or whether environmental treaties remain applicable at times of armed conflict. This book, however, is the first in-depth scholarly examination of how environmental treaties can apply in wartime and how they can contribute to the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict. It also offers an updated study of environmental protection under the law of armed conflict, including the latest developments in the International Law Commission’s work on this underexplored topic.
1. Setting the Scene
II. Scope of the Book
III. Why Read this Book?
2. Wartime Environmental Damage
II. Categories of Wartime Environmental Damage
III. Why Protect the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict?
3. Special Protection under the Law of Armed Conflict
II. The Foundations of the Law of Armed Conflict
III. Adopting Special Environmental Protection in Warfare
IV. Prohibition on Environmental Modification Techniques: The ENMOD Convention
V. Absolute Environmental Protection in Protocol I
4. Special Environmental Protection under Customary International Law
II. ICRC Customary Law Study and the Draft Principles of the International Law Commission
III. Special Environmental Protection in Non-international Armed Conflicts
5. General Protection under the Law of Armed Conflict
II. Applying the General Rules of Protection to the Environment
III. Turning the Environment into a Military Target
IV. Understanding the Attacker
V. Proportionality Test
VI. Calculating the Unknown: The Principle of Precaution versus the Precautionary Approach
VII. ‘Greening’ the Martens Clause
VIII. Other Rules of Importance
IX. Protection under the Weapons Conventions
6. International Environmental Treaties: A Missed Opportunity
II. International Environmental Law at a Glance
III. Explaining the Missed Opportunity
IV. Applicability of MEAs During Armed Conflicts
V. The Lex Specialis Rule During Armed Conflicts
VI. Meaningless MEAs?
7. New Approach: Reconciling International Environmental Law and the Law of Armed Conflict
II. The World Heritage Convention and the Ramsar Convention
III. Potential Normative Tensions
IV. Adopting a Reconciliatory Approach
V. The Elements that Enable MEAs to Reconcile
VI. Reconciliation: Is it Possible?
VII. Role of Treaty Institutions
8. Protection of World Heritage in Relation to Armed Conflict: The Case of the DRC
II. The Armed Conflicts
III. The Impact of Armed Conflicts on World Heritage Sites
IV. The Application of the World Heritage Convention
V. Contribution of the World Heritage Convention
9. Protection of the Ramsar Sites in Relation to Armed Conflict: The Case of Mali
II. The Armed Conflict
III. Environmental Impacts and Rising Tensions in the Ramsar Sites
IV. Application of the Ramsar Convention
V. Contribution of the Ramsar Convention
10. The Way Forward
II. Shortcomings of the Law of Armed Conflict
III. Exploring Other Options
IV. New Outlook: From Lex Specialis to Reconciliation
V. Factors Contributing to the Operation of MEAs in Relation to Armed Conflict
VI. The Way Forward
Britta Sjöstedt is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law at Lund University, Sweden. She is also a co-founder of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association.