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10 Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflicts

Michael Bothe

From: The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (4th Edition)

Edited By: Dieter Fleck

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 May 2021

Subject(s):
International environmental law — Armed conflict — Treaty provisions — Law of treaties

This chapter describes the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict. Armed conflicts have had serious consequences on the environment which may last a long time after a conflict has ended. Starting in the 1970s, the matter of the protection of the environment during times of armed conflict became the object of political initiatives and controversy. In recent years, efforts to develop, or at least codify, international law concerning the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict were revived. In 2011, the International Law Commission (ILC) decided to include the topic ‘Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflict’ to its work programme. The formulation of the subject means that the ILC is not only concerned with environmental damage caused during armed conflict, but also with measures that might be taken in peacetime and with environmental consequences of an armed conflict after the end of the conflict, for example toxic remnants of war.

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