This Saturday there will be a talk on the implementation of an international ecocide law as a proposed solution to the climate crisis, starting at 4:30 p.m. in St. Saviour’s Anglican Church. I am a member of local youth climate action group, Fridays for Future: Nelson. But I also go by another title that has been gaining more media traction in recent months, that of an Earth Protector.
This movement of Earth Protectors has been growing significantly over the past year, with endorsement from public figures as wide ranging as British model Cara DeLaveingne to environmental activist George Monbiot to the Pope of the Catholic Church.
But what does it mean to be an Earth Protector? Earth protectors are backing an international campaign called Stop Ecocide. Ecocide is the serious loss, damage or destruction of ecosystems, and includes climate and cultural damage. Right now, committing ecocide is completely legal.
There is a major missing law that allows for acts of ecocide to happen daily, without any real repercussions. The Stop Ecocide campaign is working towards having ecocide recognized as an atrocity crime at the International Criminal Court — alongside genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
There are many movements happening now to give the land rights (such as river rights in New Zealand). But these rights hold little weight unless they are protected by criminal law. Just as our right to life is protected by the criminal law of murder.
Earth Protectors are proposing the implementation of a criminal ecocide law to hold corporations, governments and others who commit daily acts of ecocide accountable for their actions.
Not only would this lead to a significant decrease in reckless ecocidal activity, it would shift the entire societal narrative around what is deemed acceptable industrial behaviour and environmental policy development. Giving us the basis from which to build a society founded on ecological integrity, rather than profit-driven exploitation. The money, resources and people power exist to solve the climate crisis and create a better world for ourselves. The only thing missing is incentive.
An ecocide law would provide that incentive. It’s bold, revolutionary, and it’s already underway. To learn more about this campaign and how you can support it, come to this informational talk followed by a Q&A.
Fridays for Future: Nelson