The Webinar “Ecocide and Offences against the Environment in Armed Conflict: a Need for New Lawfare?”

19August 2021
The Webinar “Ecocide and Offences against the Environment in Armed Conflict: a Need for New Lawfare?”.
It took the world the horrors of World War II to introduce the notions of “crimes against humanity” and “genocide” into international and domestic legal frameworks to ensure individual criminal responsibility for the gravest crimes under international law. With climate change, extinction of species, disappearance of islands and many more unparalleled worrying tendencies escalating, what threshold should – or should not? – be reached to catalyse international legal action on the most detrimental practices affecting our shared habitat – the environment? Should any international court be entitled to consider such cases, name those responsible and decide upon reparations?
The Independent Expert Panel has been convened to attempt to define a new crime of ecocide and start the lengthy advocacy process to get it included into the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The environmental impact of the Russia-Ukraine armed conflict, even if it has not reached the ecocide level yet, has been nevertheless devastating. The flooding of the mines with the subsequent poisoning of underground waters in Donbas or the rushed grand infrastructure projects implemented without proper environmental impact assessments in occupied Crimea are just a few examples of the grave environmental damage caused by Russia’s warfare.
During this webinar, we will discuss the shifting of our environmental consciousness and how ready we are, as the international community and individual nations, to ensure stronger accountability for violations against the environment.
  • Andriy Andrusevych, Senior Policy Expert, Society and Environment;
  • Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Director, Bangladesh Environmental Law Association; Member, global expert drafting panel on the crime of ecocide.
  • Maria Tomak, Coordinator, Media Initiative for Human Rights;
  • Dr Kateryna Busol, Lawyer, Centre for Defence Strategies.
The event will be held in English and through the Zoom platform, simultaneous translation into Ukrainian will be provided.
If you would like to participate in the discussion and/or send your questions and comments to the Zoom chat, please register here:
You can also follow the webinar on other platforms. The original English discussion will be broadcasted on the YouTube page of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union: The Ukrainian translation of the discussion will be broadcasted on the Facebook pages of the organisers:,
Media Initiative for Human Rights
USAID Human Rights in Action Program
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
This event is a part of #InternationalLawTalks – a series of webinars aimed to facilitate qualitative, interesting and accessible discussions on the topical issues of international law in Ukraine.
For each session, the webinars bring together distinguished professionals from Ukraine and abroad. They contextualise the armed conflict, peace and transitional justice issues in Ukraine within the larger dynamics of international law and international relations.
The aim of the project is twofold: to help Ukrainian legal professionals and the general public see the wider horizons of their native context and to provide more local and regional insight to international colleagues.
A series of webinars #InternationalLawTalks is made possible thanks to USAID Human Rights in Action Program.

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