Toxicremnantsofwar.info is a research hub that aims to consider, and quantify, the detrimental impact of military activities and materials on the environment and human health. The site is intended to act as a resource for policy makers, humanitarian organisations and members of the public concerned with mitigating the effects of war on victims and communities.
There is a growing acceptance that certain military materials and practices have the potential to cause environmental damage, with the potential to affect civilian health and interfere with post-conflict recovery. While the impact of explosive remnants of war is comparatively well documented and increasingly well managed, less attention has been focused on toxic materials released during military activities.
As a first step towards exploring the generation and impact of toxic remnants of war, and analysing possible solutions, the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) and IKV Pax Christi have launched the Toxic Remnants of War Project. With the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we will be developing this site as a research hub for data on the issue. The hub will aim to consider and quantify the detrimental impact of war, military operations and munitions on the environment and human health.
There will be a particular focus on artificial substances that are introduced into the environment as a result of war, either in a direct forms through the chemical constituents of munitions, or indirectly as a result of the bombardment of industrial and civilian infrastructure or the environmental impact of peacetime military operations. Throughout this process we will seek to explore the responsibility of states and non-state actors for environmental contamination resulting from military activities.
As awareness of the interplay between environmental health and development is increasing, gaps are being exposed in the legal frameworks for the protection of the environment during conflict. However it is clear that there is much that can be learned, and potentially applied, from existing standards of environmental law. It therefore seemed timely to seek to introduce the concept of toxic remnants of war, initially as a means of defining the extent of the problem and to identify gaps in policy or practice.
toxicremnantsofwar.info will host resources from governmental and non-governmental sources on conflict and the environment. It will also host research papers written by experts in environmental science, law, toxicology and other fields. Developments in the project can be followed via our TRW Blog or via Twitter @detoxconflict
We welcome the input of individuals or organisations into the project, should you be interested in contributing material to this site please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org