Creating a crime of Ecocide
Guest Blog: Change international law to give the Earth rights
By Antony Melville: UK co-ordinator for the European Citizens' Initiative to End Ecocide in Europe
Last year a group of citizens from 8 EU countries came together to set up a European Citizens’ Initiative to End Ecocide in Europe. Our Initiative is one of the first examples of a new official instrument of direct democracy in the EU.
Far from just a petition, when we reach our target of 1 million names by 21st January 2014, the European Commission is obliged to consider the Initiative’s draft directive, and the European Parliament to hold a public hearing.
The Initiative calls for Ecocide to be made a criminal offence throughout the European Union whether on land or sea. It would also help hold European citizens or European companies to account if they are involved in acts of Ecocide anywhere in the world. It also calls for a Europe wide ban on the sale of any product derived from Ecocide.
The proposed law of Ecocide defines the crime as follows:
Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of 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 or will be severely diminished.
The scale of destructive industrial practices has continued to grow alarmingly in the first 12 years of the 21st Century. Many current mining practices scar the planet with a scale of ecological destruction equivalent to the devastation of war. When we think about it most of us will say this is wrong! This is doing too much damage to our life systems. So why not make this activity criminal.
This is a big change, which has the potential to drive investment away from destructive practices and into the clean technologies so many of which are ready to use but remain underfunded.
Be one of a million European citizens standing up for the rights of the Earth. Sign an Initiative to end ecocide in Europe.
For more information see www.endecocide.eu
On twitter use the hashtag - #ecocide