Post-Conflict Reconstruction and the Problems of Preexisting Hazardous Waste in Palestine
Itzchak E. Kornfeld
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law
September 4, 2009
Post-conflict societies are burdened by a slew of concerns and problems. One critical but generally overlooked issue in the reconstruction of post-societies is the generation of waste both from demolished structures as well as trash – some of which may be hazardous, either from remaining weapons and other war material or from other sources. The quantities of this waste are immense. But where does one put the tons and tons of this waste? That is one of the difficult questions that confront planners, international institutions, and NGOs when they sit down to map-out new construction. The movement and/or dumping of waste generated in reconstruction zones has aspects of the “race to bottom.” Some waste is taken from where construction is taking place and is dumped elsewhere. Consequently, those moving into the area where the dumping occurred are confronted by difficult environmental choices. They must face the possibility that ground and surface water will be contaminated; that soils may be polluted with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”); and other health threatening substances. The race to the bottom exists across the “green-line” between Israel and the Palestinian territories located in the West Bank(hereinafter “Palestine”). The problem there involves the transfer of solid waste from Israel to the Palestinian territories on the West Bank of the Jordan River. Dumping fees of the solid or munitions waste are either higher or lower in unregulated Palestine than they are in regulated Israel, due to criminals and other illegal actions. This paper is a draft of a chapter in a book entitled Strengthening Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Through Natural Resource Management, to be jointly published by the Washington, D.C. based Environmental Law Institute, UNEP, IUCN and the Commission on Environmental Law. It addresses some of the issues raised by the movement of solid waste both in East Jerusalem and in Palestine.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: post conflict reconstruction, hazardous waste, landfills, contamination, aquifers, Palestine, Israel, race to the bottom
JEL Classification: K10, K11, K32, K33, K40, K42, K49working papers series
Date posted: September 7, 2009
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