Research Handbook on International Law and Peace
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Research Handbook on International Law and Peace

Edited by Cecilia M. Bailliet

Peace is an elusive concept, especially within the field of international law, varying according to historical era and between contextual applications within different cultures, institutions, societies, and academic traditions. This Research Handbook responds to the gap created by the neglect of peace in international law scholarship. Explaining the normative evolution of peace from the principles of peaceful co-existence to the UN declaration on the right to peace, this Research Handbook calls for the fortification of international institutions to facilitate the pursuit of sustainable peace as a public good.
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Chapter 10: Environmentally sustainable development and peace: the role of international law

Christina Voigt


This chapter describes how the protection and preservation of the natural environment, integrity of ecological systems, and the survival of species are positive conditions for peace and human security. Given the interdependent and complex nature of the global environment, no state alone can effectively protect it. Rather, global cooperative efforts to reach significant concessions on states’ sovereignty to exploit their natural resources are necessary in order to halt, reverse, and prevent environmental degradation. At the same time, environmental protection in order to be a foundation for peace should be aligned with eco-sensitive development needs as aptly expressed in the principle of sustainable development. This chapter gives an overview over the inter-linkages between environmental protection, sustainable development, and peace. It looks at the tools and means of international environmental law in this context and highlights the importance of multilateralism and global cooperation to address these issues. It further looks at the particular example of climate change and the multilateral efforts under the UN to establish a collaborative climate effort—based on global equity and sustainable development.

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