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For an International Recognition of The Crime of Ecocide

  • Proposed by:  Europe Écologie Les Verts (France) and Les Verts Fraternels Mauritius
  • Adopted by the 4th Global Greens Congress, Liverpool 2017

The Global Greens:

  1. Recognize and will define environmental destruction internationally described as Crime of Ecocide with a starting definition being that of a serious and/or lasting harm to natural ecosystems and their biogeochemical cycles and/or to an ecological system vital to the Earth ecosystem as necessary to maintain the current condition of life; or other definition for the most serious environmental crimes including their links with human rights violations.

  2. In the short run, we support the aim of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to assess existing offences, such as crimes against humanity, in a broader context. For this, serious cases of environmental destruction, the health damage they cause, and the threat to the safety of the planet they represent - must be recognized as crimes. We welcome and urge the ICC to send a clear warning and to declare to give particular consideration to prosecuting Rome statute crimes that are committed by means of, or that result in the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land. This would make it possible to try in peacetime the perpetrators of the most serious environmental crimes and thus engage the responsibility of the leaders of transnational corporations, heads of state or directors of partner organizations.

  3. In the longer run, we commit to work on a proposal for a unifying and overarching Code of principles to bring coherence between all international environmental treaties - on oceans, coasts, forests, mountains, etc. – so as to create a binding and universal framework including "planetary boundaries". We will foster this vision within our countries and the United Nations as a basis for the creation of an International Environmental Court (IEC) in charge of the most serious violations of international environmental law. So as to avoid ICC drawbacks including lack of cooperation by various states, the IEC should depend directly on the UN and thus should be universal; its legal orders should be mandatory and should prevail on national jurisdictions. The IEC and its founding statute would be the core of a binding international environmental law architecture designed to punish and most of all to prevent further destruction of nature.

We ask the Conveners and the Coordination of the Global Greens to organize a working process to precise these proposals of a binding international environmental law architecture and present a first draft prior to the next Global Greens Congress.

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