Armed conflict always destroys and pollutes the environment. Left unattended, the environmental impact of warfare will extend far beyond the end of a conflict, harming public health, ecosystems, livelihoods, and the security of people for decades.
While the environment has often been ignored as a victim of conflict, in recent years, several international processes have made progress in addressing wartime environmental damage. At the United Nations, the International Law Commission (ILC) will finalize its work on new principles for the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict (PERAC principles) in 2022. Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) published an updated iteration of its Guidelines on the Protection of the Natural Environment in Armed Conflict in 2020.
States will need to put these principles and guidelines in practice. While these new principles and guidelines have contributed to momentum surrounding the environment in conflict, how can the ICRC, UN, civil society actors, and states improve the implementation of these principles and guidelines? This webinar will reflect on the development of the principles and guidelines on environmental protection in and in relation to armed conflicts, what challenges need to be overcome and actions can be taken to disseminate them, and what mechanisms will need to be developed for states to put the protection of the environment in practice.