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The Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources in Armed Conflict

Abstract

The environment and natural resources play a significant role in contemporary armed conflict. This chapter first briefly traces the history of the environmental consequences of armed conflict before examining relevant treaty-based laws of armed conflict and significant jurisprudence related to the protection of the environment and natural resources in both international and non-international armed conflict.

Keywords

  • Armed conflict
  • environment
  • international armed conflict
  • natural resources
  • non-international armed conflict
  • protection

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Notes

  1. 1.

    De Jong et al 2007, p. 18.

  2. 2.

    See Ross 1992, p. 516 for more examples.

  3. 3.

    See for example Schmitt 1999-2000, p. 268; Cohan 20022003, p. 487.

  4. 4.

    Low and Hodgkinson 19941995, p. 411.

  5. 5.

    DuBarry Huston 2002, p. 909.

  6. 6.

    Jacoby 2000, p. 298.

  7. 7.

    Schwabach 2000, p. 120.

  8. 8.

    Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda), Judgment, ICJ Reports 2005, p. 168. This case is discussed in greater detail below.

  9. 9.

    Glassborow 2007.

  10. 10.

    Bloomfield and Butler 2008.

  11. 11.

    Stewart 2007; Takshe 2010; Tranquillo 2007.

  12. 12.

    Hulme 2004, p. 205.

  13. 13.

    The Independent 2010.

  14. 14.

    Von Mittelstaedt 2010.

  15. 15.

    De Jong et al 2007; see also Drumbl 2000.

  16. 16.

    Lawrence and Heller 2007, p. 85; see also Bruch 20002001.

  17. 17.

    Austin and Bruch 2003, 165.

  18. 18.

    Austin and Bruch 2003, 164.

  19. 19.

    Austin and Bruch 2003, 166.

  20. 20.

    Weinstein 20042005, 700.

  21. 21.

    Lawrence and Heller 2007, 85.

  22. 22.

    Drumbl 2000, 644.

  23. 23.

    Drumbl 2000, 644.

  24. 24.

    De Jong et al 2007; see also Drumbl 2000, p. 631.

  25. 25.

    Austin and Bruch 2003, pp. 162–163.

  26. 26.

    De Jong et al 2007, p. 1.

  27. 27.

    African Wildlife Foundation 2012.

  28. 28.

    Draulans and Van Krunkelsven 2002, p. 35.

  29. 29.

    Dudley et al 2002.

  30. 30.

    Adam 2006; see also Draulans and Van Krunkelsven 2002, pp. 36–37.

  31. 31.

    See, for example, Humphreys 2005; Lujala 2010; Lujala et al 2005; Ross 2004; Schwartz and Singh 1999; Schwartz et al 2000; Weinstein 2005; Le Billon 2001; Binningsbo et al 2006; Collier and Hoeffler 2005; Percival and Homer-Dixon 1998.

  32. 32.

    De Jong et al 2007, p. 2.

  33. 33.

    Buhaug et al 2009, p. 544.

  34. 34.

    Buhaug et al 2009, p. 555.

  35. 35.

    Buhaug et al 2009, p. 558.

  36. 36.

    At which time prohibitions on environmental damage were included in Additional Protocol I in articles 35(3) and 55. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977, 1125 UNTS 3.

  37. 37.

    Article 8(2)(b)(iv), Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. A/CONF. 183/9; 37 ILM 1002 (1998); 2187 UNTS 90.

  38. 38.

    United Nations Environment Programme 2009, p. 10.

  39. 39.

    US War Department, Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, General Orders No 100 (Apr. 24, 1863).

  40. 40.

    US War Department, Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, General Orders No 100 (Apr. 24, 1863) Article 16.

  41. 41.

    US War Department, Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, General Orders No 100 (Apr. 24, 1863) Article 44.

  42. 42.

    Bruch 2000-2001, pp. 695–697.

  43. 43.

    Discussed below in the section on international jurisprudence (Sect. 20.4).

  44. 44.

    See Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (First Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31; Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea (Second Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 85; Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 135; Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 287.

  45. 45.

    See, for example, Hulme 1997, p. 45; Schmitt 2000, pp. 87–88.

  46. 46.

    United Nations Environment Programme 2009, p. 10.

  47. 47.

    Additional Protocol I Article 35(3).

  48. 48.

    Additional Protocol I Article 55.

  49. 49.

    Schmitt 2011.

  50. 50.

    Additional Protocol I Article 35(3).

  51. 51.

    Additional Protocol I Article 35(3).

  52. 52.

    Additional Protocol I Article 55.

  53. 53.

    Hulme 2004.

  54. 54.

    Meron 1996, p. 356.

  55. 55.

    Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 10 December 1976, 1108 UNTS 151.

  56. 56.

    Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 10 December 1976, 1108 UNTS 151 Article 1.

  57. 57.

    Koppe 2008, 263.

  58. 58.

    Hulme 2007, p. 235.

  59. 59.

    Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. A/CONF. 183/9; 37 ILM 1002 (1998); 2187 UNTS 90.

  60. 60.

    Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. A/CONF. 183/9; 37 ILM 1002 (1998); 2187 UNTS 90 Article 8(2)(b)(iv).

  61. 61.

    United Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome 15 June-17 July 1998, A/CONF.183/13 (Vol. III), Official Records Vol III–Reports and Other Documents, 20.

  62. 62.

    Common Article 3 refers to Article 3 which is common to all four of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. See Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (First Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31, Article 3; Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea (Second Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 85, Article 3; Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 135, Article 3; Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 287, Article 3.

  63. 63.

    See for example Elder 1979; Lysaght 19831984; Pejic 2011.

  64. 64.

    See for example Lopez 2006-2007, p. 240.

  65. 65.

    Cullen 2010, p. 59.

  66. 66.

    Bruch 2000-2001, p. 709–710.

  67. 67.

    As the drafters of the Commentary to the Additional Protocols maintain in 1987, ‘Respect for the environment, even in peacetime, has only recently become a matter of concern’—Sandoz et al 1987, p. 662.

  68. 68.

    Common Article 3(1)(a).

  69. 69.

    Common Article 3(1)(a).

  70. 70.

    Common Article 3(1)(c).

  71. 71.

    Common Article 3(1)(c).

  72. 72.

    Report of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 'Minimum Humanitarian Standards', Analytical report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/21, UN Doc E/CN.4/1998/87 5 January 1998, para. 77.

  73. 73.

    Report of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, 'Minimum Humanitarian Standards', Analytical report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/21, UN Doc E/CN.4/1998/87 5 January 1998 para. 77.

  74. 74.

    Meron 1996, p. 357.

  75. 75.

    United Nations Environment Programme 2009, p. 16.

  76. 76.

    Additional Protocol II, Article 4(2)(g).

  77. 77.

    Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda) Judgment, ICJ Reports 2005 168. Discussed in detail below in the section on relevant international jurisprudence (Sect. 20.4).

  78. 78.

    Lundberg 2007-2008, p. 502.

  79. 79.

    Dam-de Jong 2009.

  80. 80.

    Dam-de Jong 2009.

  81. 81.

    Van den Herik and Dam-de Jong 2011, p. 273.

  82. 82.

    Additional Protocol II, Article 15.

  83. 83.

    Bruch and Austin 2000.

  84. 84.

    Takshe et al 2010.

  85. 85.

    United Nations Environment Programme 2009, p. 18.

  86. 86.

    See generally Keane 2004.

  87. 87.

    United Nations Environment Programme 2009, p. 18.

  88. 88.

    United Nations Environment Programme 2009, p. 51.

  89. 89.

    Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1037 UNTS 151; 27 UST 37; 11 ILM 1358 (1972).

  90. 90.

    ‘UNESCO World Heritage List’ <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/> accessed 3 January 2013.

  91. 91.

    ‘UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger’ <http://whc.unesco.org/en/danger> accessed 3 January 2013.

  92. 92.

    Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907.

  93. 93.

    Wilhelm List and Others (The Hostages Trial) (1949) Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals Selected and Prepared by the United Nations War Crimes Committee Vol VIII 34, 45.

  94. 94.

    Wilhelm List and Others (The Hostages Trial) (1949) Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals Selected and Prepared by the United Nations War Crimes Committee Vol VIII 34 69.

  95. 95.

    Wilhelm List and Others (The Hostages Trial) (1949) Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals Selected and Prepared by the United Nations War Crimes Committee Vol VIII 34 67–69.

  96. 96.

    Wilhelm List and Others (The Hostages Trial) (1949) Law Reports of Trials of War Criminals Selected and Prepared by the United Nations War Crimes Committee Vol VIII 34 76.

  97. 97.

    Trial of Alfred Jodl (1948) Trial of the Major War Criminals before The International Military Tribunal “Blue Series” Vol XXII, 463.

  98. 98.

    Trial of Alfred Jodl (1948) Trial of the Major War Criminals before The International Military Tribunal “Blue Series” Vol XXII, 571.

  99. 99.

    Trial of Alfred Jodl (1948) Trial of the Major War Criminals before The International Military Tribunal “Blue Series” Vol XXII 570–571.

  100. 100.

    Weinstein 2004-2005, p. 704.

  101. 101.

    Weinstein 2004-2005, p. 704.

  102. 102.

    Okawa 2006, p. 743.

  103. 103.

    Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda) para. 245.

  104. 104.

    Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, ICJ Reports 1996 p 226, para. 30 at p. 242.

  105. 105.

    Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda) para. 242.

  106. 106.

    Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda) para. 246.

  107. 107.

    Arguments of Professor Sands in Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (DRC v Uganda), CR 2005/9 , 18 para. 8.

  108. 108.

    Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda) para. 248.

  109. 109.

    Okowa 2006, p. 752.

  110. 110.

    Okowa 2006, p. 752.

  111. 111.

    Formally created by S.C. Res. 692, UN SCOR, 46th Sess., 2987th mtg., para. 3, U.N. Doc. S/RES/692 (1991).

  112. 112.

    Klee 2005, p. 598.

  113. 113.

    S.C. Res. 687, UN SCOR, 46th Sess., 2981st mtg., para. 16, U.N. Doc. S/RES/687 (1991).

  114. 114.

    Pursuant to Article 39 which ‘grants the Security Council the power to decide what measures to take pursuant to Articles 41 (sanctions) and Article 42 (use of force) “to maintain or restore international peace and security”—Libera 2001, p. 294.

  115. 115.

    Low and Hodgkinson 19941995, p. 412.

  116. 116.

    Klee 2005, p. 600.

  117. 117.

    S.C. Res. 687, UN SCOR, 46th Sess., 2981st mtg., para. 18, U.N. Doc. S/RES/687 (1991).

  118. 118.

    Low and Hodgkinson 19941995, p. 406.

  119. 119.

    Juni 2000, p. 66.

  120. 120.

    Juni 2000, p. 66.

  121. 121.

    Decision taken by the Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission, S/AC.26/1991/7/Rev.1, 17 March 1992–Criteria for Expedited Processing of Urgent Claims, para. 35.

  122. 122.

    All monetary statistics are taken from regular updates posted on the United Nations Compensation Commission website: < https://uncc.ch/home> accessed 26 September 2018.

  123. 123.

    Report Submitted by the ICRC at the 48th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Protection of the Environment in Time of Armed Conflict, 29 July 1993 <http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/5deesv.htm> accessed 2 January 2013, Annex.

  124. 124.

    Bothe et al 2010, p. 573 footnotes omitted.

  125. 125.

    International Law Commission, ‘Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict’ <http://legal.un.org/ilc/guide/8_7.shtml> accessed 30 August 2018.

  126. 126.

    International Law Commission 2014.

  127. 127.

    International Law Commission 2015.

  128. 128.

    International Law Commission 2016.

  129. 129.

    Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court 2016, paras. 7, 40, 41.

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Smith, T. (2022). The Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources in Armed Conflict. In: Sayapin, S., Atadjanov, R., Kadam, U., Kemp, G., Zambrana-Tévar, N., Quénivet, N. (eds) International Conflict and Security Law. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6265-515-7_20

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