Recent growing environmental concerns have induced a considerable part of the international community to ponder whether it is opportune to introduce stricter criminal regulations.
In fact, at the moment, the environment is mostly protected through administrative instruments, as criminal provisions encompassed in some Conventions are sporadic and absolutely insufficient; however that is not all: the use of human rights law, humanitarian law and international criminal law is also serving the purpose of indirectly addressing environmental issues.
The sum of these different legal instruments, administrative regulations, individual criminal provisions, human rights law, humanitarian law and international criminal law by way of core crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) could afford some kind of protection to the environment; however it is far from being adequate and complete.
As far as international criminal law is concerned, in particular, the acknowledgement of ecocide as a core crime at the international level should be considered for acts with international or transboundary character that cause significant harm.
Furthermore other considerations aside from criminal law are in order: it must be clear that criminal law has to be supported by other norms of social, economic and scientific nature: consumption, overpopulation, technology and science must be taken into account, as it is impossible to address environmental problems by ignoring or neglecting the root causes of the problems themselves, as those exact root causes may be the key to solve -or at least address- them.
With this thesis, thus, the author wanted to provide an overview on international environmental law and international criminal law, to introduce some innovative aspects and to connect to the main topic also matters of social and political nature.