Environmental Protection, Security and Armed Conflict

Environmental Protection, Security and Armed Conflict

A Sustainable Development Perspective

Onita Das

This book explores environmental protection relevant to security and armed conflict from a sustainable development perspective. The author details how at each stage of the armed conflict life cycle, policy, law and enforcement have fallen short of the sustainable development model and concludes with a set of suggestions for how to address this pressing concern.

Chapter 5: Post-conflict: breaking the cycle fora better future - sustainable development and environmental protection relevant to security andarmed conflict

Onita Das

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, public international law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


Despite the protection afforded by several important legal instruments, the environment continues to be the silent victim of armed conflicts worldwide… armed conflict causes significant harm to the environment and the com- munities that depend on natural resources. Direct and indirect environmental damage, coupled with the collapse of institutions, lead to environmental risks that can threaten people's health, livelihoods and security, and ultimately undermine post-conflict peacebuilding.1 The preceding chapter reviews environmental protection during armed conflict, coming to the conclusion that the environment is directly or indirectly harmed by warfare and that war inexorably halts sustainable development in its tracks. Regrettably, as the law stands, little can be done to protect the environment in a sustainable way during an armed conflict.2 This makes the post-conflict stage even more vital to not only mitigate and restore the war damaged environment but as following on from Chapter 3, to also alleviate and manage environmental pressures. Environmental pressures, that have to be considered together with other socio-economic and development factors, which in combination have triggered and fuelled armed conflicts. Therefore, it is important to integrate environmental and natural resource issues into the post-conflict peacebuilding stage. Prospects of peace and post-conflict reconstruction can be undermined if environmental and natural resource issues are not properly managed at this stage.3 The UNEP Conflict to Peacebuilding Report aptly highlights the importance of sustainable development and effective environmental and natural resource management (NRM) in post-conflict situations: The recognition that environmental issues can contribute to violent conflict underscores their potential significance as pathways for cooperation,

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information