Environmental governance in armed conflicts: A case study in eastern Ukraine

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för Riskhantering och Samhällssäkerhet

Abstract: Environmental damage during armed conflicts can create significant risks to the civilian population. It is associated with acute and long-term threats to public health and livelihoods, limited access to such resources as water. On top of direct impact (e.g. physical destruction), secondary impact (e.g. resulting from coping strategies of populations), armed conflicts also weaken environmental governance or lead to its collapse. The consequences of environmental governance collapse are long-term, persistent, and affecting larger territories than directly military operations. The thesis explores knowledge available in the academic and grey literature about environmental governance in conflicts, with a focus on the impact of armed conflicts on governance capabilities, methods for assessing environmental governance in conflicts, key governance actors, external support and international instruments for the protection of the environment in armed conflict. Additionally, the research brings together recommendations for improving environmental governance in armed conflicts. The case study focusing on examining environmental governance in the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine allows to compare the results of the literature review with the findings of an actual case. It serves to support the development of general knowledge about environmental governance in conflict areas. The lack of neutrality of the sources was acknowledged as an intrinsic part of the context and the research in conflict settings.

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