We have international laws against genocide, stating that you cannot systematically kill other human beings. But why not have a law against ecocide, meaning the severe destruction of our ecosystem? Bernhard Lenger launches a public awareness campaign about introducing ecocide as the fifth crime against peace. “This is Ecocide” is a public awareness campaign about ecocide as the 5th crime against peace and make extensive damage of the environment internationally illegal. It is a physical and digital designed stage to invite speakers to speak out and inform about an international ecocide law to create one united voice against ecocide.
“Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of 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 or will be severely diminished.”
It was first mentioned because of the chemical warfare during the Vietnam War and has been one of the 12 crimes, which were proposed at the international Criminal Court as International Crimes against peace in 1992. Allegedly it was removed because of lobbying from the draft of the Rome Statute, the founding document of the International Criminal Court. In 2010 Polly Higgins an English Barrister proposed an amendment to the Rome Statute to incorporate Ecocide as the 5th Crime against Peace. This Proposal raised the interest of several organisations and groups, which are nowadays supporting the amendment of the Rome Statute. “This is Ecocide” creates a physical and a digital stage for ecocide law for the public to get informed, involved and demand a change in international
law. The physical stage becomes a place for specialists to inform and emphasise on the importance of ecocide law. These talks are represented as movies on www.thisisecocide.org, which should become a place to unite those speakers and create awareness about the topic. The website also generates evidence of existing ecocide due to the possibility of sending in pictures and other evidence about ecocides happening. Through this an archive of evidence starts to exist which could be used in future trials.