Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict

Wednesday 8 November 2019 at 2 - 6 PM, in Conference Room 8, UNHQ.


Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflict:

A First Evaluation of the ILC’s Draft Principles


Jointly organized by the Mission of Finland and the University of Hamburg, in collaboration with Lund University and the Environmental Peacebuilding Association

And sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden


During its 71st session this summer, the UN International Law Commission has provisionally adopted 28 draft principles in a first reading addressing the pre-, during and post-conflict phase concerning environmental protection. The States in the Sixth Committee will have the opportunity to comment on the draft principles during its 74th session.

The seminar provides a forum for those interested in the topic of “Protection of the Environment in Relation to Armed Conflicts” and its future. The ILC Special Rapporteur for the topic, Marja Lehto, addresses the work of the ILC as well as the reaction of States in the 6th Committee right in the aftermath of the Sixth Committee's session. Practitioners share their experiences from the field and relate them to the draft principles. Scholars evaluate the draft principles and go beyond the ILC’s work.

The questions that will be discussed at the seminar include: Is the implementation of the draft principles feasible in the field?  What is missing? And what is next?



2:00 pm: Words of Welcome

  • Anne Dienelt, University of Hamburg / University of Bremen
  • Britta Sjöstedt, Lund University / Environmental Peacebuilding Association


2:10 pm: The ILC’s Work and the Responses from the 6th Committee

  • Marja Lehto, Special Rapporteur 


2:45-4:15 pm: Session 1: New and Old Challenges In and Outside the UN

  • UN Security Council and Climate Change
    • Marc Levy, Columbia University (tbc)
  • Extraction of Natural Resources – Actors, Stakeholders, Legal Implications
    • Daniella Dam-de Jong, Leiden University
  • How to Protect the Environment While Peacebuilding?
    • Carl Bruch, Environmental Law Institute/ Environmental Peacebuilding Association 
  • Protected Areas and Empowering Local Communities
    • Britta Sjöstedt, Lund University/ Environmental Peacebuilding Association


4:15– 5:45 pm: Session 2: Implications of the ILC Draft Principles In and Outside the UN

  • The New ICRC Guidelines
    • David Silverlid, ICRC
  • Law and Policies in Armed Conflicts – Protecting the Environment?
    • Steven Hill, NATO


3. UN Peacekeeping Practices – How Green are the Blue Helmets?  

  • Lara Larsen, UN Department of Operational Support


4. Connecting the Dots? - Consolidating the Laws of Armed Conflict, International Environmental Law and Human Rights Law

  • Anne Dienelt, University of Hamburg / University of Bremen


5:45 pm: Concluding remarks


RSVP by Thursday, 31 October at seminar registration


Conference Room 8