ECOCIDE is mass damage and destruction of ecosystems – harm to nature which is widespread, severe or systematic.
ECOCIDE, committed repeatedly over decades, has created the climate and ecological emergency that we now face.
The Stop Ecocide campaign was founded in 2017 by visionary UK lawyer the late Polly Higgins and environmental campaigner Jojo Mehta. Our mission is to support the establishment of ecocide as an international crime, in order to forbid and prevent further devastation to life on Earth. We are the only global campaign with this exclusive focus.
Our NGO, the Stop Ecocide Foundation is based in the Netherlands and has charitable (ANBI) status.
Definition drafting & consultation
In January the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide had its first full meeting and drafting is now under way. The panel session was supported around the globe with ceremony held by Elders of the Mother Earth Delegation of United Original Nations, “lighting our sacred fires, standing with Mother Earth so Her voice can inform this panel of Her laws of nature.” (Grandmother Jyoti Ma)
A public consultation was launched in January to encourage diverse input to the panel. Reports and background considerations have also been sought from respected scientific, indigenous, youth, corporate, faith and climate policy voices. The closing date on the consultation has been extended to Sunday 21st Feb.
EU: taking ecocide seriously
In an amendment to its report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2019, the European Parliament voted to urge “the EU and the Member States to promote the recognition of ecocide as an international crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC)”.
And In its opinion on the liability of corporations for environmental damage, the European Parliament’s ENVI (environmental) Committee echoed that vote – and also asked “the Commission to study its relevance for EU law and EU diplomacy”.
UK Treasury landmark report
The UK Treasury’s Dasgupta report marks a sea-change in economic thinking in the government context. While still using the financial language of “natural capital” and “ecosystem services”, there is nonetheless a genuine shift towards acknowledging our interconnectedness with, and responsibility towards, the natural world. A highly significant step.
Canada & Luxembourg to follow ecocide law developments
In its official response to a parliamentary petition submitted last November, the Canadian government has stated that it is “committed to be a world leader for climate… and will continue to follow closely the discussions on ecocide at the international level.”
Luxembourg’s Ministers of Foregn Affairs and of the Environment have meanwhile promised that the government is “ready to support the recognition of ecocide in European and international law when the time comes.”