Peace Palace Library – Special topic: Ecocide law. An excellent resource for reference works, books, leading articles, documents, publications on Ecocide law and related areas.
The Human Rights Consortium, University of London, England has launched The Ecocide Project to draw attention to the links between environmental destruction and human rights abuses. HRC is a unique academic forum that provides a national focal point for leading, facilitating and promoting research into human rights issues.
The Human Rights Consortium‘s Ecocide Project seeks to: integrate the shared interests of scholars, practitioners and activists in the environmental and human rights fields; stimulate discussion and collaboration between academics and non-academics; and enhance relevant policy impact at the national and international level.
The Ecocide Project’s first report “Ecocide the fifth Crime Against Peace” details how Ecocide was examined within the UN for decades to be the fifth Crime Against Peace, before being shelved in the 1990s, despite objections from a number of countries. The Ecocide project hosts conferences, workshops, seminars, short courses and other events to promote and facilitate research on the problem of ecocide and the potential solutions. It leads and manages policy impact research and training projects, and carries out consultancy work on ecocide law development.
International Peace Initiatives is a Kenya and U.S. based organization that is dedicated to supporting and funding initiatives that mitigate the effects of poverty, disease, discrimination and violence. IPI provides Homes for orphans and vulnerable children, supports African grassroots organizations and community leaders, and provides trainings in peace education and conflict resolution. The IPI tools are education, enterprise and empowerment.
Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth international and Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action. “I fully believe in this cause. Making ecocide a recognised law will place a cap on the irresponsible actions of fat cats who hide behind corporate shields to destroy lives and harm the planet.”
Jane Goodall, Primatologist, founder Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace. “The concept of Ecocide is long overdue. It could lead to an important change in the way people perceive – and respond to – the current environmental crisis.”
Vandana Shiva, author and physicist. “The Ecocide trial is a very important step in waking us up to the violence which is the foundation of the current economy. The ideal of limitless growth is leading to limitless violations of the rights of the Earth and of the rights of nature. This is ecocide.”
Pablo Solón Romero, Bolivia’s former chief climate change negotiator. “Think on the people not on business. You are responsible for what can be the biggest genocide and ecocide of the 21st Century.”
Francesca de Gasparis, Green Belt Movement, former Director of the European Office. “We have reached the point in history where it is impossible to ignore the widespread damage we, the human race, are causing the Earth. Establishing Ecocide as a crime is an essential and timely step which will allow the international community to hold to account those who undertake the most environmentally-destructive acts.”
Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture Magazine, co-founder of The UK Sustainability Centre. “Polly Higgins’ work to make Ecocide an international crime holds the key for humanity to change direction and invest in a more stable, equitable future that will benefit us all. Business as usual is no longer a viable option for us or the planet. It is now critical that we adopt Ecocide as an international law.”
Maude Barlow, author and former senior advisor on water to the UN General Assembly. “Unlimited growth assumes unlimited resources, and this is the genesis of Ecocide. The move to commodify all of nature is the next step in its destruction. The earth is not ours to plunder. Nature has rights as surely as any that exist.”
Jon Love, Programme Director Pachamama Alliance. “The proposed ecocide legal framework that comes from Polly Higgins can be a critical step toward a just, sustainable and thriving way of life for all. It is clearly a moral crime to destroy Earth’s life-generating capacity and eliminate the diverse life-forms with whom we share this planet. It should be a legally recognised crime as well.”
Jonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future. “Once upon a time people did grievous harm to the environment without fully understanding the consequences of their actions. That defence is no longer available, and that sure knowledge we now have entails equally sure moral obligations. In this context, the idea of establishing the crime of Ecocide is both timely and compelling.”
Daryl Hannah, actress. “Ecocide is a crime against ALL life! Big respect & love.”
Vijay Mehta, chair of Uniting for Peace. “The catastrophic degradation of environment, destruction, damage or loss of ecosystems is happening on a mass scale everyday as more and more carbon emissions are emitted by the ever increasing industrial output in our world. The best way to overcome it is to adopt Polly Higgins proposed Law of Ecocide for the safety of future generations.”
Dick Hazlehurst, Rotary Peace Fellows co-ordinator UK. “We wish you every success in your call for the Law of Ecocide to be recognized as a crime against peace. We share your concern and fear for the future of humanity and for all life on our planet.”
World Peace Prayer Society European Division. “The World Peace Prayer Society welcomes the Law of Ecocide to be recognised as a crime against peace. One of our activitites is to pray for the peace of nature and we therefore support her efforts to stop the severe damage to our environment and wonderful planet. May Peace Prevail with Nature – May Peace Prevail on Earth.”
Michael Mansfield QC, leading human rights lawyer. “The problem in the past is that if you hold a company responsible [for environmental destruction], who sits in the dock? Who is responsible? There are real people in the company and the object of the Ecocide act is not just aimed at companies it is aimed at individuals… individual responsibility is the only way there will be any change.”
Andrew Waite, environmental lawyer, former Vice Chair for Western Europe of the World Conservation Union Commission (IUCN) and former President of the European Environmental Law Association. “I think it’s a good idea to make Ecocide a crime, it’s a good idea of the very highest level of crimes, the most serious crimes, and also it should be imposed as a crime in cases where people have been negligent or were at fault in some way.”
David Hart QC, environmental lawyer and barrister. “Ecocide law is an idea that just has to come. It’s turning something which humans as a whole regard as a crime into something which is internationally recognised.”
Michael Stewart SC, former President of the Australian Bar Association. “The injustice of companies being recognised as a ‘legal person’ seems to be exacerbated in my mind by the fact that what seems to be the major right of the corporation to make profit at a cost to everything else. The major principle, the first principle, the one to which all others bow, is the accepted obligation of the company and it’s directors to profit. Ecocide law reverses that.”
Judge Christopher Weeramantry, former vice-president of the International Court of Justice and WFC councillor. “If people of the Stone Age had been able to cause damage to the environment and to our generation, we would have condemned them as savages, brutes and barbarians. Our generation and particularly those who are specially entrusted with the care of the environment will have to answer before the bar of history for our default and abuse of trust.”
Simon Hamilton, Co-Founder and Director of The Hamilton Group. “Having devised and organised the Ecocide Mock Trial at The Supreme Court of the UK, I have got to know the arguments for and against Ecocide. I am convinced that making Ecocide a Crime against Peace will make Heads of State and those who run corporations think very carefully about authorising activities which might lead to major environmental damage. Building Restorative Justice into the proposed Ecocide Act as part of the sentencing process can only help to bring greater understanding and awareness of the need to change thinking and raise awareness of the damage done to humans and non-humans in the pursuit on non-sustainable extractive processes.”
Caroline Lucas, UK MP and former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. “Establishing the law of ecocide would signal a major breakthrough in the way we deal with crimes against the natural world. Polly Higgins’ groundbreaking proposal to list ecocide as the fifth global crime against peace would go a long way towards deterring and holding to account CEOs, companies and nations. Whether it’s oil drilling in the Arctic, deforestation in the Amazon, or over-fishing in the Atlantic, activities which impact severely on global ecosystems would be brought under far closer scrutiny. It could also play a significant role in encouraging companies to drop the dirty, polluting industries of old, and invest in the clean technologies and renewable energy solutions of the future.”
Kennedy Graham, New Zealand parliamentarian. “There is a gathering movement to make ecocide – the mass destruction of the natural environment – a crime in international law. Friends of the Earth have suggested that ‘ecocide law may be the only way to make climate criminals rethink crimes of commission and omission’ after the lawyer, Polly Higgins toured New Zealand earlier this year.”
The late Michael Meacher, former MP and UK Environment Minister. “There are some things we simply should not do; leave quite a lot of oil deep in the ocean or destroy vast quantities of boreal forest or pristine wilderness… in order to extract that increment of oil. There is a red line in politics, it has not yet been applied to the environment. This is what an Ecocide law will do.”
Keith Taylor, UK MEP. “We see destruction and devastation of our planet on a daily basis. These are crimes against the environment, against nature, and in turn against humanity. It is time for these to be recognised as crimes in law, which is why I support Polly Higgins and her Law of Ecocide.”
Kriton Arsenis, Greek MEP. “Ecocide is the missing fifth Crime Against Peace.”
Ervin Laszlo, President of the Club of Budapest. “In these days when the human impact on the environment is becoming everyday more evident and proves to be not only damaging to our surroundings but a serious threat to human life and survival, it is imperative that we should declare Ecocide a Crime Against Peace.”
Deepak Chopra. “I’m supporting Polly Higgins on her big big idea of making Ecocide a Crime Against Peace. It should be a crime because what we call the environment is our universal body; the trees are our lungs, the rivers our circulation. If our trees didn’t breathe we wouldn’t breathe; the air is our breath. It’s our body that we are killing and that’s why we need to make it a crime.”
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