Symposium on the Law for Security and Sustainable Development, 30 May 2022
Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre held the Symposium on the Law for Security and Sustainable Development, organised in relation to the UN Stockholm+50 Meeting, 30 May 2022.
When: 30 May 2022, at 13.00-18.00 CET
Where: At Stockholm University, Aula magna and via zoom
This event was organised by:
- Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, at Stockholm University,
- Faculty of Law, Lund University,
- Environmental Law Institute, and
- Environmental Peacebuilding Association.
The UN meeting Stockholm+50 provided a unique opportunity to reflect on the many advancements in law for security and sustainable development since the first UN Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm 1972, and chart a path forward.
The Symposium on the Law for Security and Sustainable Development, associated with the UN Stockholm+50 Meeting, therefore addressed the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts under international law, and the integration of the environment and security in the law.
About the symposium
While the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm launched the modern environmental movement, it did not effectively address armed conflicts or environmental concerns as matters of security. Since then, environmental law has grown and matured at both the international and national levels, so as also to address the environmental dimensions armed conflicts. This is evident in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which boldly sets out that:
“Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflicts and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.”
Sustainable development was conceived and it elaborated to comprise the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of development. The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals confirm that peace is an essential element of sustainable development.
Even as the law on environmental protection and sustainable development has grown, the international community has struggled with the environmental dimensions of armed conflict – in international and domestic contexts. From defoliation in the Viet Nam War to burning oil wells of the 1990-91 Gulf War, to conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone and conflict bananas in Somalia, to concerns about climate wars and water wars, to the central role of natural resources in rebuilding countries after conflict, the international community had to address many linkages between environment, conflict, and peace. And the body of international law, institutions, and practices on specific linkages has grown. To assist with codifying and progressively advancing these legal developments, the UN International Law Commission has developed Draft Principles on Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict. Even with the development of international and domestic law, though, implementation and enforcement lags, as witnessed by the ongoing wars in Ukraine, Yemen, and Syria (among others).
Stockholm+50 provided a unique opportunity to reflect on the many advancements in law for security and sustainable development and chart a path forward.
Opening and welcome
- Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Professor and Stockholm University President, Welcome Address
- Jonas Ebbesson, Professor and Director of Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, Welcome and Presentation of the Symposium
- Michael Bothe, Professor Emeritus, Universität Frankfurt am Main: “Environmental Protection in Relation to Armed Conflict – Fifty Years of Effort, and No End in Sight”
Panel 1: Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflicts under International Law
- Moderator: Britta Sjöstedt, Senior Lecturer, Lund University
- Marie Jacobsson, Ambassador, Principal Legal Adviser on International Law at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, and Former ILC Special Rapporteur on Protection of the Environment: “Environmental War Crimes in Russia’s War against Ukraine”
- Doug Weir, Research and Policy Director, Conflict and Environment Observatory: ”So You've Adopted Legal Principles, How Are You Going to Implement Them?”
- Richard Pearshouse, Director of Environment & Human Rights Division, Human Rights Watch: “The International Humanitarian and Human Rights Legal Framework for Protecting the Environment in the Context of Armed Conflict: The Need for Accountability”
- Antonio Martínez and Gisela Paredes, members of the Colombian Colectivo de GuardaParques Del Sistema de Parques Nacionales: ”Territory, Nature, Park Rangers and Defenders of the Environment: Legal Means for Not Forgetting, Recognition, Repair and Non-Repetition in Peaceful Scenarios”
Panel 2: Integrating Environment and Security in the Law
- Moderator: Jonas Ebbesson, Professor and Director of Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, Stockholm University
- Carl Bruch, Director of International Programs, Environmental Law Institute and President, Environmental Peacebuilding Association: “Integrating Conflict and Conflict Sensitivity into Environmental Law”
- Patricia Kameri-Mbote, Director, Law Division, United Nations Environment Programme: “The Right to a Healthy Environment and Conflicts”
- Daniella Dam-De Jong, Associate Professor, Leiden University: “Integration of Environmental Security Risks in Peace Operations”
Concluding Reflections: Charting a Path Forward
This event is organised by:
Last updated: September 27, 2023
Source: Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre