European environmentalists call to equate ecocide to crimes against peace and humanity

The list of recognized international felonies such as genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes now might be extended in the European Union with a new crime, an ecocide— and this is what the EU citizens’ initiative End Ecocide in Europe stands for. By ecocide the initiators mean “extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystems of a given territory”.

The project aims to make big corporations put nature before profits and stop irresponsible behavior under penalties of the anti-ecocide European law. To make this law a reality, the activists have created an online public petition calling the European Commission to “adopt legislation to prohibit, prevent and pre-empt Ecocide, the extensive damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems.” The objective of the petition is to collect at least 1 million signatures of EU residents by January 21 to help bring the proposal before the European leaders.

The effort has been supported by the 50 recognized environmentalists and activists from across the globe, such as fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, executive director of Greenpeace International Kumi Naidoo, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire, and many more. To promote the initiative, Vivienne Westwood held a conference where she discussed the issue (watch the video below).

On the dedicated website, the supporters of the campaign share their views on the consequences of environmental disasters and how major corporations contribute to them.

“Our financial rulers and the politicians who help them are playing a giant game of Monopoly with the world’s finite resources — completely abstract from reality—even though they accept the facts of Climate Change. And yet, you can’t play Monopoly when everybody’s dead. They imagine they’ll be the last people. They don’t care so long as they win,” commented Mrs, Westwood.

*image on the homepage: British designer Vivienne Westwood calling people to join in the “End Ecocide in Europe” initiative. Photo by Andy Rain/EPA,