Catching up on emails marked ‘to do’ today I realized I really needed to take a look at the work of one Polly Higgins, barrister, author and activist. Just peek at her website: THIS IS ECOCIDE. Looks like I have another book to read but for now here’s (some of?) her YouTube videos:
Polly Higgins wrote a guest article at TreeHugger: COP16: Cancun – Corporate and Complicit and The Ecologist helped her kick-start her campaign earlier 2010: Ecocide: making environmental destruction a criminal offence.
Ecocide she defines as “the extensive destruction, damage to 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 severely diminished” – which initially looks like just a call for tighter pollution control and doesn’t connect to conflict. But throughout the videos above that link is mentioned several times.
Examples of ecocide are cases such as the destruction from tar sands oil extraction, Amazonian logging, oceanic plastic pollution, damage from oil extraction in the Niger Delta, the Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah which Higgins claims “account for the death of more people than all forms of violence including war”. A fifth chapter could be added to the Crimes Against Peace currently handled by The International Criminal Court (ICC) right after Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes and Crimes of Aggression: Ecocide.