The Oxford handbook of international law in armed conflict
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014
This chapter seeks to give an overview of the existing legal protection for the natural environment during armed conflict. Part 1 focuses on general rules of international humanitarian law, ie rules that were not adopted specifically with that end in mind, but which do in fact provide protection for the natural environment. These include: (a) the rules protecting enemy property from wanton destruction, (b) the prohibition against pillage, (c) the rules protecting civilian objects during hostilities, (d) the rules protecting objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and (e) the rules regulating the use of weapons during armed conflict. Part 2 focuses on those rules that specifically provide such protection. As far as treaty law is concerned, the only two provisions in this category are Articles 35 and 55 of AP I, both of which protect the environment only against ‘widespread, long-term and severe damage. Part 3 identifies some of the gaps and deficiencies in the law and presents possible remedies, including efforts currently under way.
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