Understanding the Relationship between Conflict, Security and the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment

Started in May 2023

Context

Last year, in a landmark resolution, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly recognized the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. This development sat in parallel with a growing consensus that environmental rights abrogation can drive conflict and threaten peace and security.

Such evidence has evolved rapidly. Food and water insecurity for example have a particularly strong causal relationship with diminutions in safety and security and conflict protraction. Protection against climate change, environmental good governance and the promotion of the right to a healthy environment should thus be seen both as a tool of conflict prevention and key to conflict resolution and non-recidivism. Such causal relationships, however, have not been sufficiently integrated into multilateral policy debates and decision-making processes.

Objective

This project will develop guidance to inform security, human rights and environmental debates on the linkages between environmental rights and conflict, and how their better management can serve as a tool in conflict prevention, resilience and early warning.

Homing in on six country hotspots for environmental conflict spillovers, we will also identify entry points for engaging at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council, as well as strategies to overcome challenges to policy uptake.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

drought in Kenya News

Latest Research Brief Examines How Climate Impacts Place Kenyan Livelihoods Under Pressure

24 April 2024

This new Research Brief sets out how climate impacts are placing pastoralist livelihoods under increasing pressure in drought-affected areas of Kenya.

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food in a graph shape News

New Paper Examines How Environmental Damage Caused by Conflict Effects the Global Food System

18 April 2024

Our latest Research Brief examines the myriad consequences that accompany damage rendered upon food systems during armed conflict.

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dry marshland southern Iraq News

New Paper Explores How Climate Change, Violations of Environmental Human Rights and Conflict Coalesce

27 March 2024

Our latest Research Brief discusses the varied ways that climate change, violations of environmental human rights and conflict can coalesce and work in a mutually reinforcing manner.

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Publications

Cover Page of Research Brief

Unpacking the Climate Migration Extremism Nexus Mapping the Coping Strategies of Kenyan Pastorialists

April 2024

Erica Harper, Yosuke Nagai

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

Unpacking the Burgeoning Challenge of Environmental Protection and the Right to Food in the Context of Armed Conflict

April 2024

Erica Harper, Junli Lim

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

Navigating the Nexus: Climate Insecurity, Environmental Rights Violations and Conflict in Fragile Settings

March 2024

Erica Harper

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

The Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment: Understanding its Scope, States Obligations and Links with Other Human Rights

March 2024

Christophe Golay, Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention The Role of the Human Rights Council

January 2024

Erica Harper, Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover Page of Research Brief

Policy Brief - Environmental Human Rights as a Tool in Early Warning and Conflict Prevention

January 2024

Baïna Ubushieva

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Cover page of the research brief

Climate Change in the Security Council: Obstacles, Opportunities, and Options

May 2023

Erica Harper, Adam Day

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the United Nations University

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