Resolving environmental conflicts

Settling environmental disputes
Avoiding conflicts in the field of sustainable development
Improving methods for resolving environmental disputes
Considering mechanisms for peaceful means of settling resource disputes
Broadening methods for avoiding sustainable development disputes
Resolving disputes with bearing on sustainable development

International environmental disputes can be placed into two different categories: (1) violent conflicts caused by environmental problems, or, in other words, traditional military confrontations caused by environmental factors, and (2) disputes among states with regard to noncompliance with international treaty obligations.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.


In the area of avoidance and settlement of disputes, Agenda 21 recommends that states should further study and consider methods to broaden and make more effective the range of techniques available at present, taking into account, inter alia, relevant experience under existing international agreements, instruments or institutions and, where appropriate, their implementing mechanisms such as modalities for dispute avoidance and settlement. This may include mechanisms and procedures for the exchange of data and information, notification and consultation regarding situations that might lead to disputes with other states in the field of sustainable development and for effective peaceful means of dispute settlement in accordance with the Charter of the UN, including, where appropriate, recourse to the International Court of Justice, and their inclusion in treaties relating to sustainable development.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions