#4 – Young researchers meet peacekeepers with the Earth

Meeting with Charlotte Touzot-Fadel

This meeting is organized as part of the cycle Young researchers: peacekeepers with the earth. It will take place on June 18 at 9:30 am.

Charlotte TOUZOT-FADEL, Doctor of Public Law, specialized in environmental law

Military activities and environmental protection

There are clearly military activities that are carried out to the detriment of the environment. From a legal point of view, there is an almost automatic movement of exclusion of military activities from the field of common law of environmental protection. This exclusion is manifested by the multiplication of exemptions for military activities, which are justified by exceptional circumstances (war, emergency) and by the purpose of military activities (general interest, higher interests of the Nation). This movement is also manifested by the extension of exceptions for military activities, mainly linked to the imperative nature of military defense activities. However, a progressive environmentalization of these activities should be noted, notably due to the implementation of the concept of sustainable development within the various public institutions. This environmentalization of the Armed Forces pursues ethical, political, economic and strategic ends. This thesis aims to give a legal account of the transition from “khaki green” to “ecological green”, which is manifested by the development of military activities in the service of the environment.

This transition cannot avoid a phase of adaptation of military activities to environmental issues, which is made possible by the integration of the environment in the management of military assets, both in terms of infrastructure and military property. It also finds a consecration in the development of the environmental security of the national territory. Moreover, the Armed Forces have not only adapted their activities to environmental issues, but have also turned them into a new activity whose scope is expanding more and more. This recycling of the Army is illustrated, for example, by the military assistance in case of disasters, as well as by the existence of military activities of environmental protection, linked to the mission of territorial surveillance. Finally, the outcome of this approach could be a military intervention for the environment of the ecological interference type, similar to humanitarian interference.

The Dutch poet Lucebert wrote that “everything of value is defenseless” [1]. It is now possible to provide environmental protection with a real defense strategy, through military activities.


[1] Unofficial translation of the Dutch “Alles van waarde is weerloos”.

Thesis directed by Jessica MAKOWIAK, Faculty of Law and Economics, University of Limoges Meeting moderated by Émilie Gaillard, general coordinator of the Normandy Chair of Excellence for Peace

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