A Sustainable Development Perspective
Chapter 6: Conclusions and challenges
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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