End Ecocide by 2020 – A Global Citizens Initiative
I today got an e-mail informing about a global initiative to eradicate ecocide. For me this is very timely and urgent.
On their website they write: “Ecocide law is known as a ‘law for life’ – a law that puts people and planet first, a law that says ‘enough, no more mass damage and destruction.’ When we do that, humanity places the health and well-being of all beings both now and in the future at the forefront of our decision-making. It is a law that affirms humanity’s right to life, nature’s right to life and future generations right to life.”
The initiative was launched by Polly Higgins, an Ecocide law expert: “I am someone who cares deeply about the Earth. I’m also a lawyer who loves the Earth. It’s not often lawyers talk about love – and it can feel strange to do so. However, I believe love and law can be brought together and when the two meet, the potential to create new laws that put people and planet first is born. I’m rethinking law; my vision is a world that works from one simple overriding principle: ‘first do no harm.’ That is a world where people are thriving in harmony with nature. I believe in well-being for all beings.”
“Today large scale habitat destruction, massive soil depletion, extensive deforestation lead to worldwide disruption of natural cycles and the irreversibility of extinction. Today instances of mass extinction occur with greater frequency, greater rapidity and greater impact than at any other time. This destruction, damage and loss comes at an enormous cost.” There is a map showing the global ecocide hotspots but also a map for the growing global support to create a law against ecocide, which, according to Polly, is the missing 5th International Crime Against Peace. In April 2010 a fully drafted proposal was submitted into the United Nations. Already in 1972, after the Vietnam war, there had been UN attempts to make ecocide a crime against peace. For years, there had been fruitless debates, and it needs more public and political pressure.
In 2011 a “Mock Trial” was held in the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Two fictional Chief Executive Officers were put on trial for causing ecocide due to their destructive practices in the Athabasca tar sands and found guilty. This demonstrated that a law of Ecocide can work in practice, and garnered international media coverage.
Here are some proposals what you can do to promote the Ecocide law. First of all you can sign an Avaaz-petition to make Ecocide an international crime against peace and like it on Facebook. There are a number of information tools, also translated into other languages.
You find an interview with Polly in “Positive News“.