Contractualization of Environmental Protection: Prospects for Post-conflict Recovery of the Formerly Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan

Since the outbreak of the First Karabakh War back in the early 1990s, numerous instances of environmental damage have been committed by Armenia and by private companies operating under its sovereignty throughout the formerly occupied territory of Azerbaijan. This article aims at providing an overview of the wrongful acts committed by Armenia that have caused severe harm to the natural environment of Azerbaijan, and covers a period from the First and the Second Karabakh wars up to the present. The article further intends to outline the corporate accountability framework in international law for preventing private companies’ illicit environmental conduct. The ultimate objective of this article lies in the proposal of a contractual approach to environmental protection, to be applied both to corporate activities and during the reconstruction of the liberated territories of Azerbaijan. This legal solution is characterized as both a means of compensating for the weakness of the international law framework regarding corporate accountability for environmental harm, and as an approach to prevent future environmental hazard committed by multinational corporations operating in the territory of Azerbaijan. It is possible that the contractualization approach could be applied to additional areas of the world affected by corporate environmental damage.

Authors: Valentina Chabert