Armed Conflicts and the Environment: An Assessment of Principle 24 of the Rio Declaration Thirty Years on

21 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2022

See all articles by Riccardo Pavoni

Riccardo Pavoni

University of Siena - Department of Law

Dario Piselli

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); European Environment Agency (EEA)

Date Written: March 1, 2022

Abstract

This paper assesses the history and significance of Principle 24 of the Rio Declaration, which in 1992 called upon States to respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and to cooperate in its further development. In particular, the paper explores how the key elements of the principle have influenced subsequent law- and policy-making processes led by institutions such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN Environment Programme, and the International Law Commission. The paper argues that while Principle 24 does not contain specific normative prescriptions, it has translated over the years into a significant and vibrant international law standard. However, in the light of the gaps and shortcomings that continue to characterize the protection afforded to the environment under international humanitarian law, the paper emphasizes the need to develop a comprehensive multilateral convention on armed conflict and the environment, with the aim of bringing the vision of Principle 24 into completion.

Keywords: Rio Declaration, Principle 24, Environment and Armed Conflict, International Humanitarian Law, International Environmental Law, International Law Commission, ICRC

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Pavoni, Riccardo and Piselli, Dario, Armed Conflicts and the Environment: An Assessment of Principle 24 of the Rio Declaration Thirty Years on (March 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4071106 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4071106

Riccardo Pavoni

University of Siena - Department of Law ( email )

Via P.A. Mattioli 10
Siena, 53100
Italy

Dario Piselli (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

Case postale 136
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

European Environment Agency (EEA) ( email )

Kongens Nytorv 6
Kopenhagen K, DK - 1050
Denmark

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