How armed conflicts impact the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

How armed conflicts impact the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions

Since 1989, the Basel Convention, and later the Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, have played an important role in international efforts to minimise the health and environmental threats from chemicals and hazardous wastes. However, their implementation relies heavily on the ability of states to ensure robust domestic environmental governance. Armed conflicts and insecurity commonly disrupt the capacity of states to adequately respond to the pollution threats that may arise from them, and to oversee or implement environmental regulations. This blog examines how conflicts interact with the conventions, and how they challenge […]

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Armed conflict harms countries’ environmental performance

Armed conflict harms countries’ environmental performance

Improvements in global environmental monitoring are continuing to provide evidence showing that conflicts and insecurity have a persistent and negative impact on environmental governance. With governments now committed to the SDGs, these findings are reinforcing the urgency of addressing the environmental dimensions of armed conflict. Since 2006, Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has been ranking the performance of national environmental policies using an increasingly detailed range of indicators. The index is split into environmental factors relating to human health, and those relating to what Yale calls ecosystem vitality. The […]

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Military health surveillance – lessons for post-conflict civilian health monitoring

Military health surveillance – lessons for post-conflict civilian health monitoring

Military personnel may come across a number of natural and anthropogenic environmental health risks during training, domestic operations and overseas deployment. Veterans groups and politicians have placed militaries under significant political pressure when exposures have been linked to negative health outcomes. The response has been to seek to integrate data on environmental risks and exposures into health monitoring programmes. Could these systems, and the data they contain, help inform approaches aimed at monitoring the risks to civilians from toxic remnants of war? Vietnam to Kuwait, recording environmental health risks Maintaining […]

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ISAF’s environmental legacy in Afghanistan requires greater scrutiny

ISAF’s environmental legacy in Afghanistan requires greater scrutiny

Since 2001, Afghanistan has seen intensive military activities from a number of countries that have contributed to the ISAF stabilisation force. With the drawdown of ISAF forces and a number of base closures under way, Aneaka Kellay investigates the toxic remnants of ISAF’s operations and who is currently liable for the clean-up. Introduction ISAF has been deployed in Afghanistan since 2001. In August 2003, NATO assumed command of the operation and its mandate has been repeatedly extended by the UN Security Council. During the 2010 Lisbon Summit, NATO agreed to […]

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Report: Pollution Politics – power, accountability and toxic remnants of war

Report: Pollution Politics – power, accountability and toxic remnants of war

In the first of two major reports, Aneaka Kellay examines how the weakness of current international humanitarian law allows the generation of conflict pollution that can impact both civilian health and the environment for long after the cessation of hostilities. The report argues that a new mechanism is needed to prevent and remedy environmental damage, to increase accountability and improve post-conflict response and assistance.  The executive summary and recommendations are presented below, and the full text can be downloaded from here. Executive summary and recommendations Introduction Humanity’s dependency on the […]

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Holding private military contractors to account for toxic remnants of war

Holding private military contractors to account for toxic remnants of war

The rapid expansion of the role of the private military security industry during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan poses fundamental questions for the regulation of future wars, and for efforts to strengthen the protection of the environment during and after conflict. While the context of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars differs from much contemporary warfare, the Private Military Security Company (PMSC) industry has grown to such an extent that it would be unwise to ignore its role in future conflicts. The 2003 Iraq War saw the most significant use […]

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