The environment and armed conflict : employing general principles to protect the environment
Environmental protection and transitions from conflict to peace
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2017
Armed conflict is inherently destructive of the environment. It can cause serious and irreversible damage and threaten the health and livelihoods of individuals and the planet as a whole. International environmental law (IEL) cannot and is not relegated to peacetime, but continues to apply and interact with international humanitarian law (IHL). Therefore, principles of IEL must play a role before, during, and after conflict. This chapter focuses on general principles of IEL, specifically intergenerational equity and the precautionary principle. It demonstrates that these principles can and should be used to interpret and apply existing IHL for civilian and environmental protection. It concludes with a look at peace agreements and truth commissions, arguing that despite limitations of their past use they can provide fertile ground for building sustainable peace.