The Oxford guide to international humanitarian law
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2020
International Humanitarian Law (IHL) establishes limitations on warfare to protect the natural environment from extremely serious damage and to prevent unnecessary or wanton harm. IHL protection of the environment developed from the principle of protection of civilians, and it has similar motives and goals. This chapter describes a legal regime that is undergoing development. All three temporal branches of international law relating to armed conflict—the laws governing resort to armed force (jus ad bellum), the conduct of armed conflict (jus in bello, or IHL), and activities in the post-conflict period (jus post bellum)—address the natural environment. Protection of the environment in relation to land wars and the terrestrial environment is the most fully addressed, the marine environment less so. The International Law Commission (ILC) termed the overall topic ‘Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict’ (PERAC).