Polly Higgins – Lawyer for the Earth. Taking Ecocide to the ICC
Polly is on the course of making environmental destruction history – through law. While this idea may seem a hopeless dream to most, Polly’s proposition is already on its way to the International criminal court, adding to their list of … genocide, human rights abuses… and … the magical word: Ecocide.
Ecocide – the destruction of entire life systems, a direct threat to human survival and peace – has been around in the United Nations since the Seventies. The term is well known throughout Latin America, and already, some nations have partially implemented the idea not only in the constitution but even in law. Inspired by the movement in the United Nations – generate by : Polly.
At the World Peace Festival in Berlin, late Aug 2011, YL’s Eric meets one of the most lovely human beings who may turn our dearest hopes real. Join us in our casual exchange and learn what you can do about this – to make it real, also in your home town.
By Eric Schneider, Youth-Leader Magazine
Meet Polly for real – it’s a joy!
Interview part 1/2: Ecocide Explained
After an informal encounter around a dinner table with friends the evening before, I run into Polly at the Conference. There are good people around, some good topic sessions, but, as so often, I feel the most profound encounters are made with people around coffee tables in the breaks. After all, I’m not here to listen to basics, but to connect for cooperation. Since she’s close to some veteran changemaker-friends, I want to know more about her work, and join her at a coffee table.
Eric: „Hey, Polly.“
Polly: „Hi Eric. Nice meeting you again.“
Eric: „Yep. (smiles) So – what are you doing, exactly?“
Polly: „I am bringing Ecocide into Law.“
Eric: „Before we get into it, isn’t Ecocide too strong a word that the legal and political public will put up with? I remember PETA ad campaigns comparing battery hen suffering to concentration camps; and, as usual, some groups complained, so the campaign was pulled off the media.“
Polly: „Actually, not at all. The term has been around the United Nations since the Seventies. No one ever questioned it.“
Eric: „Wow, that’s great. I’m relieved. “
Polly: „And it is well known throughout Latin America. While it may difficult to start with in European countries, it resonates very well with the culture and worldview of the people of Latin America. Bolivia has already adopted it to their set of laws.“
Eric: „And Ecuador has it in its constitution – as Rights of Pachamama, Mother Earth.“
Polly: „That’s correct. It differs technically. While the constitution is more of an ethical framework, a law is more concrete. This is why the Bolivian representatives at the United Nations were delighted to learn about the legal definition of Ecocide being on its way to the ICC, the International Criminal Court, and applied it in their country.“
Eric: „Oh“ I thought it was their idea, in the first place… so, they learned about it from the UN. This is great. I like this example, since the general ethos is already available in the indigenous worlds, but learning the technicalities of putting it into the White Man’s legal system – is a different matter. I think this is wonderful, since it shows how beautifully people from the different worlds, when sharing the care for Mother Earth, can work together to overcome the wrongs done by earlier generations.“
Polly: „Precisely. Yes. It has been very beautiful to meet with indigenous elders and wisdom keepers, also at the United Nations Climate Summit in Cancun. There has been a lot of shared deep understanding between us.“
Eric: “And in the ICC?“
Polly: „Oh, there’s a lot of interest in it, there, of course. Sure. See, the good thing is – we don’t have to built anything new. No new council. No new court. No big international program requiring a lot of finance and agreements. We have the court. We have the major crimes against humanity to be dealt with there. We only have to add one more topic.“
Eric: „And the direct relation between environmental destruction, unsustainability and conflict is well understood. Wangaari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize for this, just a few years ago.“
Polly:“Exactly. There are already four international Crimes Against Peace. They are: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, and Crimes of Aggression. There is a missing 5th Crime Against Peace: that crime is Ecocide.“
Eric: „Wow. This gives me a rush of hope. Ha! I like this feeling.“
Eric: „So – Ecocide. From what I know from the International Criminal Court and Den Hague, it seems rather weak, lengthy procedures and only a few human rights abusers are tried there. And it seems to make a big difference whether some big states like them or not.“
Polly.“ Well, there’s a lot going on in Den Hague that’s invisible to the public. And it is not only about the big cases of presidents and genocide in Rwanda. The special thing about the ICC is that also individual citizens can bring in reports about human rights abuses, and the ICC will start making investigations. Indeed, the past 4 cases, were hand-written letters from African tribes. So, there’s a lot going on that can make significant change, the more people understand how to use this new system for the people. Last year, 4,000 cases were brought in, and 2,000 were investigated.“
Eric: “Oh, I didn’t know this. This is excellent. So, we people really have to understand and learn what the ICC is all about. We are all new to this. It reminds me of when I tell teachers that we are only alphabetised in democracy, but not literate in practising ‚co-creative decision-making for the common, greater good, also beyond humans and for the coming generations’… and using its tools. Just like citizens can really shape the laws of their country, if they simply start using the inbuilt tools and processes of petitions… built by democracy-literate creators of the constitution who took care we could overcome monarchy of a few, – if we simply learn to take care of it. There’s some way to go. Let’s see that we can make a difference with Youth-Leader.
OK, so let’s focus on this super big thing for the planet – what’s Ecocide and in how far does its place in the ICC make a difference for the world?“
Polly: „You see, so far, environmental destruction is sort of a bi-product, and the companies pay some money to clean up afterwards. No one goes to jail.“
Eric: „Right. And often the managers and CEOs of the time aren’t even there, any more, have changed companies. Then, – a CEO doesn’t even have that much power because there are hundreds, or thousands of invisible share-holders who are unaccountable and don’t give a damn.“
Polly: „That’s it. Let me share on example. A few years ago, the Bank of Scotland, a private bank, broke down in the financial crisis. It was bailed out with tax money, to avoid greater economic loss for the nation, and now belongs to 84% to citizens. At one shareholder meeting, a huge ecocidal project was addressed, financed by the bank. I said ‚but you can’t do that. You are destroying the entire region. That’s ecocide!’ And the CEO laughed back, almost surprised at my outrage ‚Well, what are you upset about? It’s not a crime!’ And half of the shareholders were also laughing.“
Eric: „This sucks.“
Polly: „This will be different when Ecocide is part of the ICC. Then, – it IS a crime. And the CEOs and the people financing it will be in court and face jail.“
Eric: „Do you think it will make a difference this fast?“
Polly: „We have a good example. When slavery was still legal in the United States, everyone was perfectly OK with it. Because the authorities and ethical values justified and allowed it. The moment it was forbidden, it became a crime overnight. Everyone involved in it, took their fingers off, instantly, and the slave traders changed to shipping consumer goods, – which turned out to be a much better business, by the way. So, it does happen, quickly.”
Eric: „This sounds plausible. And exciting!“
Polly: “It is good that we are touching the bigger picture about this matter. Let me share three more important aspects.“
Eric: „Yes, please.“
Polly:“ Germany. After World War II, the Nuremberg Trials were the first ones ever to directly put on trial state leaders. For the genocide. And along the decision-makers were put on trial those that made it possible. For example the head sof the company that built the trains transporting jews to the extermination camps.“
Eric: „This means the people financing Ecocide will just as much be held accountable on trial.“
Polly: „Correct. And while the Nuremberg trials were a one time thing, the ICC is for good, now. There is an important thing about what happened in Germany back then. And that is that the people were disempowered to deal with the matter of genocide happening. They did not even have a word for it: Genocide.“
Eric: „Nor was it sanctioned. Just like war was an acceptat means of politics.“
Polly: „A similar situation of disempowerment is faced all over the world by indigenous people. And by outraged environmentalists. This is now changing.“
Eric: „I see. This is very deep and important. And powerful.“
Polly: „The third aspect is that these are crimes come under Trusteeship Law, which implies „Direct Liability“. Let me take a step back to explain this. Today’s dilemma roots in the fact that the Earth is considered, in law, a thing. On an inert thing, you can impose a value, in Dollars, make it a commodity. It falls under Property Law. A Living Being, on the other hand, be it a human or the Earth, has intrinsic value. This implies Responsibility, and places it under Trusteeship Law. And Ecocide is placed under Trusteeship Law.
This makes a big difference, because of ‚Direct Liability’. You cannot buy yourself out of it, and a court case does not address an entity, like a company. It addresses the person responsible for decisions that led to the crime. This already exists, we’re not inventing anything new. These are cases when the CEOs are held personally accountable. Or they face jail. So,this is why they put everything in line to make sure it damn well won’t happen.“
Eric: „I understand. OK. So, they are well used to this, and it will simply be applied to an additional sphere. When they mess up ‚places elsewhere’.“
Polly: „Right. And when someone proposes another random oil drilling or gold mining in the Amazon, they will say ‚I leave my hands off that. Are you crazy? That’s a crime.“
Eric: „Polly… wow“
All shining eyes and smiles, my vision is opening for a world where devastation is a thing of the past. I see a web of protection flung around the Earth. Do you see and feel it, too?
“By making ecocide an international crime on par with genocide it creates a powerful pre-emptive obligation and preventative measure that would render those in a superior position of responsibility – CEO’s, heads of state and heads of financial institutions – at risk of incarceration where they are responsible for taking decisions that lead to, support or finance mass damage, destruction or loss of ecosystems.”
Is there hope that this initiative will make? Oh, yes!
“If this all seems utter fantasy to you, it is worth noting that Bolivia has already passed laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. Furthermore, ecocide could become an international crime by amendment of the ICC’s Statute of Rome, which would need 86 nations to back it. Are there 86 states backing the ICC who feel climate change, the crisis in the oceans and other environmental problems are trashing their “peaceful enjoyment” of the Earth’s bounty? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were.” The Guardian.
Join the Campaign at www.thisisecocide.com!
UPDATE! The mock trial was held and it was an exciting venture!
The CEO’s of companies involved in Tar Sand Oil Etxraction have been found guilty and convicted! View a summary video, read the Guardian Newspaper’s coverage here and, if you are a law student, follow the full trial is available for viewing in this youtube playlist.
Interview part 2/2: Ecocide in Education
You know that I care about Action. And empowering people for Action. Our conversation, flew on to extraordinary opportunities for connecting the powerful concept of Ecocide to the people, civil society, education – and best, all combined! It’s been a great coffee table talk, well spent, while the official session went their ways next door. Here’s How to Spreading the Idea to humankind / Students in Higher Education / Students in Schools / Civil Society Organisations
Eric: „Polly, my big question always is – how do we take this to scale? How tell and involve and empower the people? Many students participate in Model United Nations exercises. Little known so far are the Model International Criminal Court simulations held with law in school student. What do you think about making Ecocide another matter treated by university students in their ‚Model International Criminal Court’ meetings? “
Polly: „Of course. That’s an excellent idea! I am going to contact them, right away, since we are holding a mock trial in the Supreme Court, with very prominent UK barristers, in the end of September 2011. It will be live streamed on the internet. A must-see for everyone interested in the matter of global laws for protecting the Earth.“
Eric: „This is exciting. This should be promoted to universities and activists around the globe. Do you have a press release that our thousands of members and readers can use to promote it in their law schools, hubs and other places?“
Polly: „I can sure provide you with that. The Ecocide website offers good, clear information to study the topic before the trial. I am off to New Zealand for observing a major ecocide, so please give me a few days.“
Eric: „New Zealand? I know of Australia being the country with the fastest rainforest destruction in terms of %age.“
Polly: „Oh, New Zealand is having its own stunning story, right now. In order to get rid of possums, the government is littering the country from the sky with pellets – containing poison. So the possums die when eating them.“
Eric: “And – it is only the possums eating them? This sounds – very stupid.“
Polly: “Of course, even horses are dying. And it goes into waterways… everything is being posioned. This is real, large-scale ecocide.“
Polly:“The Maori actually offered taking care of the possums. They have ways for controlling them. They have done so in the past.“
Eric: “My fantasy film coined imagination sees hundreds of Maori warriors hunting possums cross country, showing up their government’s special agent possum hunting passes. I guess it’s different. How is this happening?“
Polly: „I don’t know, yet. Give me two weeks, and I’ll let you know.“
Eric: „It would be awesome to have a case study of whatever district, where the studies show numbers have dropped after the Maori did whatever they do. That should pretty much clear the way.“
Polly: „We’ll see in two weeks.“
Eric: „Ok. An idea comes to mind how to connect Ecocide already in schools. They have tolerance, human rights, ethics, ecology, and I see a great way for sonftly entering Ecocide, also.
Polly: “I can’t wait to hear it.“
Eric: „See, many schools have classroom rules. Others have school gardens and green learnscapes. In all cases, they include sanctions, what happens when people break the rules. This includes collective and human rights, so to say, in the classroom, – and it includes environmental matters on the school grounds. Since those beautiful gardens make possible and enhance the collective harmony, well-being and community as a ‚spectrum of peace’, its destruction for sure diminishes and disturbs peace. From this point of view, it relates directly with what the United Nations’s priority goal of peace is about.”
Polly: “Yes, I also see the point. It is indeed a transfer of the same principle.“
Eric: „Since such activities are already in place in many schools, adding a single item of discussion and reflection – ‚the relevance of an intact ecological environment for maintaining peace’ – is easy to do. It is just like adding another topic circle to their core curriculum, like you do at the ICC. This additional aspect takes the mind and what they do on a small scale to the bigger, global arena, – which everybody is aware of at times, and suffers from feeling disempowered. We can use both the recent Nobel Prize and Ecocide as a reference for the bigger picture. This has high educational value, and connects to the bigger picture outside the school fence.“
Polly: „Excellent. Also the trial will be available via the web and dvds. Our videos explaining Ecocide are also well received. This law is easily understood.“
Eric: „Wonderful, it is all in place. I love that. Can people connect with you, so you join, in case they produce mock trials at other law schools in the world? It’s really the best and a very exciting training they can do.“
Polly: „University students can have their own trials, yes. They don’t need me joining in to do it. That’s the good thing about it. It can be spread, scaled and replicated by other people. I have tried everything from my side to make this possible.“
Eric: „I would like to see university students do soemthing relevant, something real ‚out there’. For example, they could come with the banner of Ecocide and seek a regional issue of ecocide. They can connect with civil society organisations and really add new momentum and recognition to their campaign. New juice for the media. It reminds me of when our team members connect with authorities in their countries. UNESCO-project; this opens doors.“
Polly: “Good idea, indeed. The United Nations can make a real difference.“
Eric: „I already see school children addressing local environmental issues with big banners in their hands claiming this is Ecocide. Politicians and adults laughing at them, and the kids saying „Mr. Mayor, watch out, it’s already coming into the picture.“
Polly: „Yes, nice. I’d like to see this, too.“
Eric: „Polly, speaking of the bigger picture, this is really about The Global Commons.“
Polly: „Exactly. Protecting the Global Commons is what it is about.“
Eric: „This is beautiful. The issue of Global Commons, likewise an issue of ‚lack of terminology’ are yet not in the education sector. But Ecocide offers a great way of adding it with ease, and just a few sentences. Rules, sanctions around the school garden, for example. This is awesome. It offers great ways for many people to bring avantgarde thinking into schools.“
Polly: „Yes, I am happy to hear this.“
Eric: „I usually apply a simple example of the Commons that resonates well with people. Oceans, forests, public space etc sort of belong to no one, or everyone, and therefore no one respects them, dumps their garbage etc. While it should be the other way round, really. You can decide how to or not to tidy up your own room, but you have to respect the shared living room.“
Polly: „That’s a good, simple way of putting it. Fit for school kids, adults, – and Ecocide helps transfer this to larger scale.“
Eric: „Even the old sanction of ‚You’ll stay in your room’ is equivalent to a jail sentence. I am sure they understand the concept.“
Eric: „May I include your interview in our series of Youth-Leaders and Adult Changemakers for school use? We have everything it needs: Portrait, interview, videos, action, school activities…
Polly: „Oh, I’ll be honoured.“
Eric: „Great. Polly, thank you so much. I feel deeply uplifted and inspired with hope that such large scale change is in sight.“
Polly: „Same, Eric. Thank you for the inspiring avenues for taking Ecocide into education. Your wide spectrum way of thinking is very rare. Let’s stay in touch.“
Eric: “We sure will.”
We had some more fun, chatting, exchanging high value links, sharing about our paths as a changemaker. I’ll keep those things between us, and may share share them around a fire-place. Maybe some day joining Polly on a home treck following ancient trails in the magnificient Highlands of Scotland?
You can view Polly answer viewer questions live on aljazeera’s Earthrise Series, from Thursday, 20 October 2011.
Polly has been voted as one of the “Worlds Top 10 Visionary Thinkers,” been named “The Planet’s Lawyer”, was identified as one of the top “unreasonable people” in the world and hailed as Green Heroine working for the right kind of environmental change… and I think she’s more than that
You can read more about the proposal in Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet, available to buy in bookshops and on Amazon from the 9th September 2010.
Join the campaign: thisisecocide.com, and promote the Trial Streaming Date to all friends on fb and in Law Schools! Simply create a quick poster using info and images on the website, print and put up. If you are not allowed to do so, get back to us, we’ll do a poster and add our support to it.
Share this article with everyone – serious , despite my awful writing, the thoughts make sense, there’s beautiful pictures of Polly, and a window seat to the future.
Promote The Grand Changemaker Poster Series at schools.
Ecocide. Does using the term feel a little awkward to you?
Sit and think. 70 years back, not a single German could think the word Genocide. Nor the outrageous ethical and legal implications. (** The same is true for Rome, where people who lived by the peaceful ethics of Jesus Christ (men, women and children) were thrown into the arena to be devoured alive by Lions – to the cheerful delight of a raging crowd of the people so hallowed in history books, today. ** The same was true in the United States about slaves Until 1861. ** It took one hundred more years for the dominant white culture to give them full citizen rights: ** Sound sick, doesn’t it? Well, those patterns of mind are still widely spread. Basically all violent conflict areas are fueled by the same.
NOW – Ecocide is a new term that is on the road to become a simple, normal, clear ethical and legal reality. To change history! While it takes very difficult procedures to determine the intangible matters around human rights abuses, knowledge of it, racism and genocide, the ‚destruction of ecosystems’ it very easy to measure by scientific means and has a huge lobby, worldwide.
It will be normal to you in a matter of years, and to the children to come! Upgrade your thinking and include it in your vocabulary. It is going to make waves in your environments and spread this new, important consciousness, – with as much impact as the abolition of slavery. And institutionalised racism.
Ecocide: “The extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”
This is why once established and applicable, it can have massive immediate effect! And this is why you are Right Now, Reading This on the tipping point to a new era that can make true our dearest dreams and urgent hopes that the devastation of lifesystems may stop! It will empower millions of activists, organisations and lawyers, even individual citizens(!) to take action for publishing, campaigning, taking to court!
What it takes now – just like ‚back then’ is to spread this knowledge to evryone and go through practical exercises for solidifying this knowledge and training its application. This is exciting stuff, and it is a win-win for all committed people in education and civil society.
Ecocide and the Law
Non-ascertainable Ecocide: where the consequence, or potential consequence, is destruction, damage or loss to the territory per se, but without specific identification of cause as being that which has been created by specific human activity.
Examples of non-ascertainable ecocide affecting sizeable territories include:
*rising sea levels
Ascertainable Ecocide: where the consequence, or potential consequence, is destruction, damage or loss to the territory, and liability of the legal person(s) can be determined.
The destruction of large areas of the environment and ecosystems can be caused directly or indirectly by various activities, such as nuclear testing, exploitation of resources, extractive practices, dumping of harmful chemicals, use of defoliants, emission of pollutants or war.
Examples of ascertainable ecocide affecting sizeable territories include:
* the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada
* the deforestation of the Amazonian rainforest
* water pollution
Ascertainable ecocide is a crime of consequence, primarily arising out of corporate damaging and destructive activity which is primarily governed by ineffectual and nominal civil legislation. In the case of non-ascertainable ecocide (other causes – eg. tsunami, rising sea levels – climate change driven) there is currently no coherent international mechanism in place to help territories that are rendered unable to self-govern and are in need of emergency assistance. Instead, we deal with each disaster on a ‘case by case’ basis after the event.
By legally defining Ecocide two aspects can be addressed:
Firstly, to halt the flow of destruction at source, create a pre-emptive duty on corporate activity to prohibit the mass damage and destruction to ecosystems from the outset. By making ecocide an international crime on par with genocide it creates a powerful pre-emptive obligation and preventative measure that would render those in a superior position of responsibility – CEO’s, heads of state and heads of financial institutions – at risk of incarceration where they are responsible for taking decisions that lead to, support or finance mass damage, destruction or loss of ecosystems. By leveraging a criminal sanction of imprisonment against natural persons, not legal fictional entities, the cycle of destruction and accrual of silent rights (the right to pollute, the right to destroy habitat etc) by corporations can be broken. In so doing, the protection of interests shifts, from those few who have ownership/contractual rights to a given territory to the protection of the interests of the many who are suffering the loss of their peaceful right to enjoyment of their territory that has been subjected to or is at risk of ecocide.
Secondly, the issue of what mechanisms can be used to implement a duty of care for communities at risk of ecocide, such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Maldives etc: By legally defining ecocide, the currently defunct UN Trusteeship Council can be restored to impose a legal duty of care on all Member states for those territories adversely affected by ecocide (whether it be ascertainable or non-ascertainable) which in turn has rendered them non-self-governing.
Find out more about Polly’s proposal to the United Nations for the Crime of Ecocide at thisisecocide.com
Each day 100 living species become extinct, 1,000 acres of peat bogs are excavated and 150,000 acres of tropical rainforest are destroyed. Each day, 2 million tons of toxic waste is dumped in to our rivers and seas, 22 million tons of oil are extracted and 100 million tons of greenhouse gases are released.
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.
Proposal for Ecocide to be the 5th International Crime Against Peace
The International Criminal Court was formed in 2002 to prosecute individuals for breaches of 4 Crimes Against Peace. They are: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes and Crimes of Aggression. Ecocide has been proposed by Polly Higgins to the UN Law Commission as:
Ecocide the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.
The Crime of Ecocide
Ecocide can arise out of human intervention: Heavy extraction, toxic dumping, mining and deforestation are all examples of mass ecocide.
The Law of Ecocide will stop damaging and destructive activity. Voluntary corporate governance, market trading and offset mechanisms have failed. By creating a Law of Ecocide we will create specific legally binding duties and responsibilities.
Ecocide is a crime of consequence. e.g where an energy company procures its energy by extracting fossil fuel, as opposed to creation from renewable energy, that would result in ecocide.
Ecocide is not a crime of intent. CEO’s do not sit in their offices plotting to destroy the Earth. It is a consequence of the pursuit of profit which arises out of destructive activity.
Ecocide creates a pre-emptive obligation. It stops the damage before it happens. A duty of reasonable care is put in place, ensuring that individual and collective (corporate, governmental and armies) responsibility is taken by those who have contractual rights over a given territory before damage or destruction of a given territory takes place.
Ecocide is preventative. It is a crime focused on preventing harm, rather than focusing on blame. This means that standards of conduct and care will be punishable in criminal court of law if and when breached.
Ecocide protects the people’s interests. The emphasis shifts from the protection of the few (corporate) to the protection of the wider Earth community – that means both people and planet gain.
Ecocide is a tool to enforce restorative justice. Instead of paying fines, restoration becomes the name of the game. Extensive restoration by those who have committed Ecocide will ensure that appropriate remedy is put in place, not merely the payment of a fine which is all too easily factored in as an external cost by those evading their responsibilities.
Ecocide creates responsibilities at international and national level. Primary responsibility to prevent, investigate and punish the crime of Ecocide sits first and foremost with the country where the activity takes place. Where a crime of Ecocide has taken place on a given territory, and that country is unwilling or unable to take action, then the crime will come under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. By implementing Ecocide as a crime at international level, the pressure is immediately created for the crime to be speedily implemented at national level. It’s a very effective top-down approach.
Ecocide sends a powerful global message to the world, not just to those involved in business or during war, to take responsibility for the well being of all life.
Ecocide is a Crime Against Peace.
10 reasons why
1. Stop ecocide and we stop the mass destruction of the planet;
2. ecocide is proposed as an international law which applies to all people and all nations;
3. which will rapidly become a national duty of care as well when each country has to put in place parallel laws;
4. governments, corporations, organisations, and any person who has rights over a territory will have an over-riding legally binding obligation to ensure their actions do not give rise to damage, destruction or loss of ecosystems;
5. action can be taken against any human person, not the fictional person (the corporation). As an international crime against peace, no-one escapes liability;
6. we already have the international court structure in place to prosecute ecocide. The International Criminal Court was created in 2002;
7. ecocide creates a strong legal burden of responsibility to ensure prevention;
8. restoration will take precedence over simple payment of fines;
9. the Law of Ecocide will ensure a shift from personal interest to public, environmental and society interests;
Eric Schneider loves this planet, and serves the highest spirit in saving the rich treasures of nature and humankind – its cultures! He says ‘Give young people the best knowledge, thinking, solutions and human examples of the global changemaking movement. Do so in lively format, shining wiht the genuine spirit of the movement. And format it for easy use in schools. Then they will create the world that’s deep in all our Hearts and Dreams.’ And he thinks, YL is doing fine.