Ecocide is the destruction, damage and loss of ecosystems. It is happening on a mass scale, every day and it is getting worse. But we can change this – by making it a crime.
An international law of Ecocide would make CEOs and our Heads of State legally responsible for the Earth. People and planet would become the number one priority.
Ecocide is part of Earth law – a new body of law we need to protect the Earth.
Polly Higgins submitted to the United Nations in April 2010 the written proposal for Ecocide to be made the 5th Crime Against Peace, alongside Genocide. She set out a legal definition of the word ecocide and has created a provision that will impose a legal duty of care on all companies to place environmental considerations first.
Implementation of the crime of Ecocide will stop the flow of destruction at source and create a pre-emptive duty on corporate activity to prohibit the mass damage and destruction to ecosystems from the outset. This will create a powerful preventative measure to govern those in a superior position of responsibility – CEO’s, heads of state and heads of financial institutions – and make them responsible for the decisions that lead to, support or finance mass damage and destruction.
By levying responsibility on persons, not legal fictional entities (ie, a corporation), the cycle of destruction and accrual of silent rights (the right to pollute, the right to destroy) will end. In so doing, the protection of interests shifts from those few who have ownership to protection of all those who are at risk of Ecocide. Moreover, by legally defining Ecocide, we can re-open the currently defunct mechanism within the UN – the UN Trusteeship Council – to put in place an international mechanism based on trusteeship principles and obligations for communities most adversely affected by ecocide which in turn has rendered them non-self-governing.
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 as the missing 5th Crime Against Peace.
Guatam Dutta, a lawyer, has just filed the papers into federal court on the case of challenging California's new "Top-Two Primary" rule, Proposition 14, before it has a chance to affect the results of the 2012 election.
Dutta explains the case and why, as a Democrat, he's against Prop. 14.
Javier Sicilia is a Mexican father, poet, and citizen who lost his son in a drug war massacre on March 28, 2011. Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega was murdered along with six friends in an act of violence that Morelos state authorities immediately dismissed as a settling of accounts. Juan Francisco and his friends murders took place in the context of more than 38,000 mostly nameless victims of this cruel and unnecessary war.
Rather than retreat to the shadows of shock or fear, Sicilia has turned the pain of his searing loss into a tool for peace by convening marches and building a movement to free Mexico from the dogmas, dark alliances, impunity, and political expediency that fuel this tragic war.
On June 1, 2011 Mr. Sicilia was honored by Global Exchange (http://www.globalexchange.org) at the 9th Annual Human Rights Awards. Watch his speech here: vimeo.com/25114103
Global Exchange is a global human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice since 1988.
Weâ€™re changing the rules across the globe from a profit-centered global economy to thriving people-centered local economies; from the politics of greed to a living democracy that respects the rights of workers and nature; and from currency to community.
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International Honoree, Pablo Solon, is the Bolivian Ambassador to the United Nations. Ambassador Solon in his role as Ambassador to the UN has boldly confronted the reality of climate change with principled approaches that often put him at odds with the rubber stamp diplomats of other nations. Global Exchange was present in Cancun this past December at the UN Climate Change Conference when Bolivia refused to sign on to the toothless government agreement, and stood with civil society to champion the Rights of Mother Earth. Mr. Solon makes a clear call to tackle the root causes of the climate change crisis systemically, with scale, and once and for all.
Having worked with indigenous people' movements, workers, unions, student associations and human rights organizations, Ambassador Solon recently took his activist heart to the global stage of the UN and introduced the draft text for a Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth, a companion piece to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, this past Earth Day, April 22nd.
On June 1, 2011 Mr. Solon was honored by Global Exchange (globalexchange.org) at the 9th Annual Human Rights Awards. Watch his speech here: vimeo.com/25078382