Ecocide as crime: it’s now an international movement

Kate MacDonald writes

In October Bath Quakers agreed that they supported the concern expressed by Bristol Area Meeting to add Quaker voices to the international movement seeking to create a legal framework for environmental protection by making ecocide a crime.

While Bath Friends consider what more they can do to help this campaign, this article in The Guardian gives an update on the moves in international legal circles to develop it.

International lawyers are drafting plans for a legally enforceable crime of ecocide – criminalising destruction of the world’s ecosystems – that is already attracting support from European countries and island nations at risk from rising sea levels.

The panel coordinating the initiative is chaired by Prof Philippe Sands QC, of University College London, and Florence Mumba, a former judge at the international criminal court (ICC).

The aim is to draw up a legal definition of “ecocide” that would complement other existing international offences such as crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

The project, convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation at the request of Swedish parliamentarians, has been launched this month to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Nuremberg war crimes…

A Somerset meadow: photo by SomersetPollinators via Twitter

Lin Paterson adds:

The small Bath Quaker group leading the concern for the meeting on Ecocide were delighted with the Guardian report of significant progress. New steps have been taken in moving towards international legislation outlawing vast destruction of the environment.

They were also grateful for the reiteration of whole meeting support at the last Business Meeting on Thurs 26 Nov. The next move is to contact local religious groups in the name of Bath Quaker Meeting to raise awareness of the issue. This is needed because although leaders of other nations are advocating the new law, the UK Prime Minister or Parliament have so far not done so.

Any Friends who would like to be involved with this task – tailored for purposeful lockdown activity – are asked to email Lin Patterson or Rhian Llewlyn.

Meanwhile Bath & NE Somerset Council declared ecological emergency in July 2020 pledging to resist habitat destruction and work on habitat restoration.

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