What is missing to prevent severe contamination of & damage to marine ecosystems? Existing environmental protections are often not adhered to or are poorly enforced. Many states and sectors of civil society are speaking out in support of stronger legal frameworks & accountability. The legal recognition of “ecocide” (severe & either widespread or long-term harm to ecosystems) as a crime at the international level could go a long way to shifting attitudes & guiding behaviour with regard to threats of severe pollution to the Earth’s primary life support system – the ocean.
The farming community and landworkers are on the front line in the effort to conserve the natural world and see at first hand the damage being done. This webinar examines how a new crime of ecocide can strengthen existing environmental laws and safeguards, help create a level playing field for our food producers and preserve the soil and land for future generations.
This lunchtime panel event held alongside the World Economic Forum meetings on 19th January 2023 explains how legal recognition of “ecocide” (severe and either widespread or long-term harm to nature) at the international level can create an outer-boundary guardrail, to safeguard the living world by deterring and preventing the worst harms, while leveling the playing field, stimulating innovation and stabilizing financial, operational and reputational risk.
By recognising ecocide at the International Criminal Court, key decision makers can be held to account. Acting as a powerful deterrent against mass destruction of the environment, such a law could create lasting protection for vital ecosystems and life on earth as well as justice for those most threatened. At the same time it would raise business standards, levelling the playing field and stabilising operational and reputational risk, rebalancing demand and accelerating corporate practice toward strategic positive change.
Recognizing “ecocide” – severe and either widespread or long-term harm to nature – as a crime at the international level could provide a protective and preventive legal guardrail that is currently missing. It would set an outer boundary to deter and sanction the worst threats and harms to the environment, while reframing and supporting the guardianship of nature.
Official side event of the 21st Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, The Hague.
Mass damage and destruction of vital ecosystems through human activity now constitutes precisely such a threat on a global scale. Now increasingly referred to as “ecocide”, not only has this direct and devastating consequences for communities and nations now, but also the severest of implications for the future of human civilisation as a whole, as well as for the wider community of species with whom we share our planetary home.
Making “ecocide” – severe and either widespread or long-term harm to nature – a crime at the could provide a legal guardrail to steer us back from the precipice by setting an outer boundary to deter, prevent and sanction the worst threats to ecosystems which are a root cause of climate change. Meanwhile, a clear legal advisory opinion on the responsibilities of states with respect to climate change could set out what citizens should expect from their policy-makers and why. Learn about how these avenues can frame the duties and responsibilities that could bridge to a liveable world for the children of all species, including our own.
A growing global movement across all sectors of society is demanding creation of a new international crime of ecocide – making it a crime to threaten severe and either widespread or long-term damage to ecosystems. This damage is a root cause of the climate crisis. If enough countries support it, ecocide can be added to the list of international crimes alongside genocide and crimes against humanity. This will act as a powerful brake on harmful extractive practices and a much-needed incentive for strategic change and innovation. Thus, together, the islands can be a powerful global force for the protection of each other, and of all life on Earth.
The Earth is experiencing massive environmental damage which is exacerbating the climate crisis and threatening lives, livelihoods and biodiversity. Some of this destruction falls under existing environmental crimes, but much is “collateral damage” on a large scale caused by corporations in pursuit of profit. An international crime of ecocide could criminalise “unlawful or wanton” acts threatening the most severe environmental harms, thus strengthening and underpinning existing regulatory measures being undertaken globally to protect the environment. This session looks at the progress of this legal initiative and how it can deter reckless destruction, acting as a guide rail to foster healthier and more sustainable practices.
A conversation between special guests Ralph Chami, Steven Donziger and Jojo Mehta, with a pre-recorded intervention by Lynne Twist. Moderated by: Katie Surma, Journalist, Inside Climate News Featuring a filmed intervention from Chief Raoni Metuktire (Kayapo people, Brazil), Nobel Peace Prize nominee, introduced by Gert Bruch, Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians / Planete Amazone and a high level audience discussion initiated by President Tarja Halonen, former president of Finland.
Momentum is growing around the world towards criminalising severe and either widespread or long-term damage to ecosystems (increasingly known as “ecocide”) at the international level, which could create a desperately needed legal safety rail for commercial activity, deterring the worst harms, strengthening existing laws and, importantly, creating the enabling framework for strategic change and innovation. Find out how this powerful legal initiative can protect key marine ecosystems into the future, deterring severe threats, transforming our relationship with the oceans and protecting our own place on our planetary home.
Stop Ecocide Foundation’s statement to the 20th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, December 2021, written and delivered here by Jojo Mehta, Chair of the Stop Ecocide Foundation and Co-founder & Executive Director of Stop Ecocide International.
The statement was also delivered in person during the General Debate of the Assembly on 8th December in The Hague by Katy Olivia van Tergouw, our Netherlands director.
The written version has been officially submitted and can be viewed on the Assembly’s website here.
Promise Institute Executive Director Kate Mackintosh spoke about ecocide while joined by Oscar® nominated filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky and others. The panel discussed Pope Francis’ approach to climate change as part of Afineevsky’s discovery documentary, FRANCESCO. (May 2021)
The Stop Ecocide Foundation’s statement to the 19th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, December 2020, delivered by Jojo Mehta, Chair of the Stop Ecocide Foundation and Co-founder of Stop Ecocide International. (Dec 2020)
NB This is a recording of the Foundation’s official written statement which can be found on the website of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.
David Lammy, Member of Parliament for Tottenham, England. In a stirring talk about building a new movement to care for the planet, Lammy calls for inclusion and support of Black and minority leadership on climate issues and a global recognition that we can’t solve climate change without racial, social and intergenerational justice. He also calls for an international law of ecocide. (Oct 2020)
A committed group of lawyers, diplomats, NGO representatives and campaigners met to discuss the possibility of ECOCIDE becoming an international crime. The event followed the call – by sovereign states Vanuatu and the Maldives – for serious consideration of the addition of such a crime to the Rome Statute, the governing document of the International Criminal Court. (Dec 2019)