Armed conflicts, wars and military aggression are a source of significant environmental harm not only in the area where they are concentrated. Adverse environmental impact is almost always felt far beyond the conflict-affected area and even beyond the territory of the State or States concerned.
Armed conflicts contribute to the global climate change crisis. Wars also cause significant depletion of natural resources, which in turn leads to humanitarian catastrophes and food crises. Such circumstances significantly contribute to the rise of the number of refugees in the world.
The existing international legal framework contains many provisions that either directly or indirectly protect the environment and govern the use of natural resources during armed conflict. In practice, however, these provisions have not always been effectively implemented or enforced. International rules governing responsibility for transboundary environmental damage are vague and do not provide necessary redress.
With wars and conflicts in at least seven countries in the European region, the Parliamentary Assembly should address the issue of transboundary environmental damage resulting from armed conflicts and draft a report on the issue.