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 6: Conclusions and challenges

Onita Das

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


Today we cannot secure security for one state at the expense of the other. Security can only be universal, but security cannot only be political or military, it must be as well ecological, economical, and social. It must ensure the fulfilment of the aspirations of humanity as a whole.1 The environment functions well without humanity but humanity cannot survive without the environment. This book argues that legal and policy responses to environmental protection in security and armed conflict situations must be formulated with the guiding principles of sustainable development - an integrated consideration of the environment in the context of other social, economic and development issues. The key question of 'how consistent is international policy and law in relation to protection of the environment in security and armed conflict from a sustainable development perspective?' is answered by considering three other specific questions representing the three stages of the life cycle of security and armed conflict (pre-conflict, in-conflict and post- conflict): First, are the laws or practices preventive in respect of environmental-induced conflicts? Second, are the controls and limitations on unnecessary and unsustainable environmental harm during actual armed conflict adequate? Third, how effectively is responsibility attached, reparations awarded or funding obtained for the restoration of conflict-related environmental damages and the management of post- conflict environmental issues to prevent re-conflict? In considering the primary and the ensuing sub-questions, this study leads to an emphasis on the vicious and virtuous circle of sustainable development, the environment, security and armed conflict.

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