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Humanitarian Plea: Environmental Destruction Tapped as War Crime

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Twenty-four scientists from around the world published a letter entitled, “Stop Military Conflicts From Trashing Environment,” in the journal Nature, urging the United Nations International Law Commission to create protections for the environment in armed conflicts. It reads, “We call on governments to incorporate explicit safeguards for biodiversity, and to use the commission’s recommendations to finally deliver a Fifth Geneva Convention to uphold environmental protection during such confrontations.” The four existing Geneva Conventions and their three additional protocols are globally recognized treaties that establish standards under international humanitarian law for the treatment of wounded military personnel, shipwrecked sailors, prisoners of war and civilians during armed conflicts. Violating the treaties amounts to a war crime.
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