Protecting the environment during armed conflict: an inventory and analysis of international law

United Nations Environment Programme (2009)

Findings from these assessments shows that the exploitation and illegal trade of natural resources frequently fuel and prolong armed conflict, particularly in countries where laws and institutions have been weakened or have collapsed. As peacebuilding often addresses the allocation, access and ownership of natural resources, there is an urgent need to strengthen their protection during armed conflict. There can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods are damaged, degraded, and destroyed. The existing international legal framework contains many provisions that either directly or indirectly protect the environment and govern the use of natural resources during armed conflict.