Armed conflicts have disastrous consequences for the environment:
destruction of infrastructure, pollution of water supplies, poisoning
of soils and fields, destruction of crops and forests, and over-exploitation
of natural resources. In this way, the environment can be used as
a formidable weapon in military operations.
In order to preserve the environment, it is essential to prevent
the emergence of a vicious circle linking armed conflict, environmental
damage and poverty.
The governments of Council of Europe member and observer states
are called on to comply scrupulously with the legal instruments
on the relationship between armed conflicts and the environment
and to organise awareness-raising programmes aimed in particular
at those in charge of military planning.
Following an analysis of the consequences of armed conflicts
on the environment in different parts of the world, the report puts
forward a number of recommendations for improving the protection
of the environment in times of war and encourages states to draft
legislation relating more specifically to ecological crime.