ECO 18-17 ECOCIDE. Be a Legal Earth Protector with Polly Higgins

ECO Solutions with Sara Troy and Polly Higgins, on air from April 24th

Let’s Get SYNC’D! series

ECOCIDE is: “loss or damage to, or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory(ies), such that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished.”  

A law prohibiting ecocide is not yet in place – but with your help as a legal Earth Protector, it can be.

Ecocide Law sits at the heart of an emerging body of law called Earth Law. Earth law puts people and planet first and ensures the well-being of the whole Earth community. Earth Law recognizes that the Earth has natural limits and boundaries, and it is for us to ensure the welfare of the entire Earth Community by putting in place laws that protect future generations.

One-day Ecocide will be a crime. All of humanity depends on healthy ecosystems, so humanity has a choice: to either consciously prevent the extensive destruction of ecosystems or wait for the consequences to impact us directly. Either way, the status quo where Ecocide remains profitable and legal cannot continue forever, so a law preventing it is inevitable and will be with us soon.

However, the Law of Ecocide is more than a peace agenda. It will also trigger the ‘Green Economy’ and create millions of jobs, which will be good for people, societies, governments and shareholders everywhere.

It is happening, and we need to get behind it now and support Polly’s legacy. ( Polly passed away in 2019 but her work is ever expanding.)


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Identifying ecocide as a crime is not new – Sweden’s prime minister Olaf Palme highlighted it at the time of the Stockholm Declaration in 1972, and it was further discussed in the decades preceding the drafting of the Rome Statute in the 1990s, though it did not make the final draft (except as applied specifically to wartime environmental harm).

It was researched in depth from 2009 by UK barrister Polly Higgins, who proposed it into the United Nations International Law Commission in 2010 as a fifth Crime Against Peace (as the Rome Statute crimes were called).  She has advocated its crucial importance ever since.  Polly Higgins has familiarised the world with the term “ecocide” in contexts ranging from international diplomatic circles to NGOs and cultural forums to journalists and grassroots activists, inspiring a worldwide awareness of the potential of a law of ecocide.

Mission LifeForce came into existence in 2017 to enable the next stage of putting that law in place by financing those States who can take it forward, while simultaneously creating the opportunity for

  • conscientious protectors standing up for frontline communities to be heard in a court of law
  • judiciary to recognise ecocide as a missing crime

You can read more about Polly, and about ecocide law and its history HERE.



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