State practice in the observance of environmental norms in implementing disarmament and arms control regimes

State practice in the observance of environmental norms in implementing disarmament and arms control regimes

Through reports submitted to the UN, Laurence Menhinick reviews state practice on the disposal and destruction of military materials and considers how well they reflect established environmental norms and the extent to which the environmental and health risks from military materials are recognised. The UN General Assembly resolution ‘Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control’ was first introduced by Colombia, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1995. Originally inspired by two conventions that were already in force –the chemical and […]

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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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TRW – Discussion paper – Toxic Harm: Humanitarian and Environmental Concerns From Military Origin Contamination by Dr Mohamed Ghalaieny

TRW – Discussion paper – Toxic  Harm: Humanitarian and Environmental Concerns From Military Origin Contamination by Dr Mohamed Ghalaieny

This paper is the outcome of research done by the TRW Project into the scope of the problem from military-origin contamination. The paper overviews current health and environmental problems resulting from conflict and military activities before presenting limitations on the study of such problems and discussing existing legal and practical measures for environmental protection. The work also presents a methodology developed to study military-origin contamination in the appendix, this includes examples of problematic substances.

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UNEP – Assessment of environmental hotspots in Iraq

UNEP – Assessment of environmental hotspots in Iraq

The report of the initial UNEP assessment of sites that pose environmental concern following the 2003 Iraq War. The report gives a detailed assessment of five industrial sites that are an environmental risk due to conflict related damage, looting and bad environmental management. Bad environmental management predates the war, but is exacerbated due to the power vacuum created by confict. The report makes some conclusions on the number of sites of environmental concern (20-100), recommendations for corrective action to be taken in addition to details of required capacity building and […]

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UNEP – The Kosovo conflict: consequences for the environment and human settlements, 1999.

UNEP – The Kosovo conflict: consequences for the environment and human settlements, 1999.

A UNEP report on the state of the environment in the Former Yugoslav Republics before and after the 1999 Kosovo conflict. Attention is drawn to the environmental impact of large releases of toxic chemicals (e.g. dioxins) and heavy metals (e.g. mercury) from the bombardment of industrial sites in Pancevo, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Bor, an issue with particular relevance to the TRW project. A main finding of the Balkan Task Force (BTF) preparing the report was the hot spots of pollution in the areas surrounding the industrial sites above and […]

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UNEP – Ground contamination assessment report, military waste storage site, Astana, Afghanistan

UNEP – Ground contamination assessment report, military waste storage site, Astana, Afghanistan

A UNEP investigation into a military waste storage site near Astana, a small village in north east Afghanistan. The Astana site was used to store missiles and warheads, rocket fuel, warhead casings, rocket fuel, nitric acid and aircraft instrument display panels. The fieldwork conducted found the substances of environmental concern to be hydrazine, nitric acid, unexploded ordinance and radioactivity from tritium and radium within the aircraft instrument display panels. The general conclusion was that while there was an environmental risk, this would be dependant on the nature of any prospective […]

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