Juridical Tribune Volume 8, Special Issue, October 2018 175
environment had also been a great concern to the Rio Declaration on Environment
and Development of 1992 and thus adopted principles conferring responsibility to
individual States to be obliged by international laws protecting the environment.3
Frankly speaking, the two different words ‘environment’ and ‘armed
conflict’ are inextricably wired both in subjective and objective angles.4 The
ratiocination behind this statement is also genuine and obvious. On the one hand, the
environment is always being the immediate casualty of every kinds of armed
conflicts, while, on the other hand, decayed environment and ‘unsustainable use of
natural resources’ sometimes play as leavening role in yielding and aggravating
international armed conflict between States.5 A third possible dimensional cause for
constituting relationship between the two is that, environment sometimes become
the motivator or extender for prolonging armed conflicts and this situation becomes
explicit when extortion, extraction and commercialization of natural resources are
the central and conspicuous to the conflicts.6 Be that as it may, regardless of the
purposes for constituting any armed conflict, it always have direct and immediate
vicious impacts on the environment over the targeted or conflicted places, as well as,
indirect long term effects on the global climate system.
Pondering upon the gravity and mass destructions of warfare during the
conflict or aftermath, the means and methods of warfare are being modernized
tremendously with the simultaneous advancement of science and technology
nowadays. In this upshot, unlike the 17th or 18th centuries of conventional warfare
and their aftermaths, the totality of contemporary armed conflicts does not confine
into human miseries only; mass destructions of home, infrastructures and forests are
just some usual and unavoidable ensuing victims of the warfare. Not only that, armed
conflict compels both civilians and combatants to undergo expatriation or
deportation and this has evidenced many a times in the recent history of war.7
Alarming to note that, armed conflicts always have parallel immediate and
in most of the cases, long-term dreadful effects and degradations on environment. In
some recent past cases, the armed conflicts of international character have been
occurred by exercising sophisticated atomic ammunitions and the effects of these
conflicts are so gruesome in the point that, the aftermaths of the attacks stretched out
beyond the territory of the targeted zones and caused sudden annihilation of all the
3 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, ‘Rio Declaration on Environment and
Development’ UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26 (vol. I); 31 ILM 874 (1992) ((Rio de Janeiro, 3 -14 June
1992), Principle- 24.
4 Michael N. Schmitt, ‘Green War: An Assessment of the Environmental Law of International Armed
Conflict’ (1997) 22(1) Yale Journal of International Law 1.
5 Santosh Upadhyay, ‘Armed Conflict and the Environment’ (2013) 23(1) Yearbook of International
Environmental Law 217-224.
6 Philippe Le Billon, ‘The Political Ecology of War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts’ (2001)
20 Political Geography 561-584. See also: Philippe Le Billon, Fuelling War: Natura l Resources and
Armed Conflict (Routledge 2005) 29-50.
7 David Jensen and Silja Halle (ed.) Protecting the Environment During Armed Conﬂict, An Inventory
and Analysis of International Law (United Nations Environment Programme 2009) 8.