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Environmental Emergencies In Failed States

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Chapter Summary

It is estimated that every three weeks a disaster happens that exceeds the response capacities of the most affected country. This chapter analyzes the means available, to States and to the international community as a whole, when an environmental calamity of international magnitude occurs in a failed State. It assesses three types of instruments developed by the international community to address a situation of environmental emergency. First, the general principles of international law applicable to emergency situations were assessed. Second, several environmental treaties contain provisions that are applicable to emergency situations. Four relevant obligations have been identified and analyzed in the chapter: the obligation to provide information, the obligation to prepare contingency plans for environmental emergencies, the obligation to assist States experiencing environmental emergencies upon their request, and the obligation to act unilaterally in certain environmental emergencies.

Keywords: environmental emergencies; failed States; international community; international law



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