The environment and conflict in 2016: a year in review

The environment and conflict in 2016: a year in review

Marking the UN’s international day on conflict and the environment in November, the Special Rapporteur tasked with reviewing and developing the law protecting the environment before, during and after conflict argued that 2016 was “…set to be a milestone in global efforts to protect the environment in connection with armed conflict.” But it has also been a year where such efforts have seemed more vital and urgent than ever. This blog takes a look back at conflict and the environment in 2016, at the progress made and considers what should […]

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UNEA-2 passes most significant UN resolution on conflict and the environment since 1992

UNEA-2 passes most significant UN resolution on conflict and the environment since 1992

After five months of negotiations, a resolution from Ukraine on the protection of the environment in areas affected by armed conflict has been approved by consensus at the second meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in Nairobi. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by Jordan, the DRC, Iraq, South Sudan, Norway and Lebanon, is the most significant UN resolution of its kind since 1992. As the text was submitted to the plenary for final approval, Canada, and the EU and its Member States unexpectedly joined Ukraine as co-sponsors. Back in […]

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Calculating the environmental benefits of peace in Colombia

Calculating the environmental benefits of peace in Colombia

Colombia’s environment has suffered widespread and severe damage as a result of half a century of armed conflict. With a peace agreement with FARC on the table, the government has been reviewing the financial costs of the damage – and the economic and environmental benefits of peace. By its own calculations, an end to the conflict could see the government saving US$2.2bn a year in addressing avoidable environmental damage. But a sustainable environment will first require a sustainable peace. The instability that led to Colombia’s 50-year conflict has its roots […]

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Colombia halts aerial coca eradication after WHO Glyphosate cancer ruling

Colombia halts aerial coca eradication after WHO Glyphosate cancer ruling

As predicted on this blog in March, the classification of the commonly used herbicide Glyphosate as a Group 2A carcinogen by the WHO’s International Agency for Cancer (IARC) has placed pressure on the Colombian government to end aerial coca eradication. In a ruling by Colombia’s National Narcotics Council on May 14th, the government elected to end the long running and controversial programme. The council, which oversees national drug policy, had been considering a recommendation from the health minister made in response to IARC’s decision. A previous precautionary ruling from Colombia’s […]

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WHO finds that Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic – implications for Plan Colombia

WHO finds that Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic – implications for Plan Colombia

On the 20th March 2015, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the world’s most widely used herbicide Roundup as probably carcinogenic in humans. Roundup is widely used in US supported efforts to destroy poppy and coca fields in Colombia’s long running internal conflict and the decision will add to existing concerns over the health impact of aerial spraying. Based in Lyon, IARC conducts regular reviews of the peer-reviewed literature on chemicals and occupational practices to examine whether they are carcinogenic or can lead to […]

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