An Appraisal of the Legal Framework for International Environmental Protection Under the Law of Armed Conflict

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Abstract

The effect of the war has far gone beyond human suffering. Armed conflict has devastating effects on the environment. It is on record that some World War I and II battlefields are still unfit for human habitation and cultivation. Consequently, the environmental law of war exists to provide protection to the environment during armed conflicts. This thesis examines the adequacy or otherwise of the legal framework for the protection of the environment during wartime. It equally investigates the mechanisms for the enforcement of the legal regime on the protection of the environment.

The main objectives of this thesis are to identify the legal framework for environmental protection during armed conflict, examine problems in enforcing the environmental law of war, and enhance access to information on the consequences of armed conflict on the environment.

The thesis observes that some treaty provisions that afford protection to the environment during armed conflict are vague and imprecise. It also found that most of the international legal framework protecting the environment during armed conflict was designed for international armed conflict and does not apply to non-international armed conflict.

Consequently, the thesis recommends, amongst other things, the establishment of a new legal regime specifically for the protection of the environment during armed conflict.

Similarly, countries must develop the necessary political commitment and popular support to implement full laws and policies that enhance environmental protection during wartime.

References

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3. Aust. A. Handbook of International Law Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005.

4. Austin, J.E. and Bruch, C.E. (eds.) The Environmental Consequences of War: Legal, Economic and Scientific Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, 2000.

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7. Bothe, M et al., New Rule of Victims of Armed Conflict- Commentary on the Two 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions 1949 Martinus Nijhoff Publishers The Hague, 1982.

8. Bruch, Carl. Et al., Constitutional Environmental Law-Giving Force to Fundamental Principles in Africa, 2nd ed. Environmental Law Institute Washington DC, 2007.

An Appraisal of the Legal Framework for International Environmental Protection Under the Law of Armed Conflict