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June 04 , 2010

Armed Conflict and Environmental Damage


Armed conflict and military activities have serious adverse impacts on the environment. Modern weaponry, troop movements, landmines, hazardous military waste, and the destruction of forests for military use are a few sources of harm to the environment both during armed conflict and peacetime military activities. Ecological assaults in combat areas are often kept a secret by the government, resulting in even greater humanitarian and environmental harm. Environmental degradation is increasingly being recognized as one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century and its effects are being felt worldwide. Both domestic and international legislations have been inadequate in mitigating the impact of military activities.

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This book provides details of the environmental destruction wreaked during international and non-international armed conflicts and argues that the existing legal regime for the protection of the environment during armed conflict requires substantial modification. It puts forward the view that though it is inconceivable to impose an absolute ban on environmental damage during military operations, strengthening and clarifying the existing laws protecting the environment in times of conflict, and enforcing environment-friendly practices among military forces could go a long way in protecting natural assets of our earth.

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