The Earth Charter and Eradicating Ecocide

On January 21st and 23rd, the Earth Charter International Secretariat hosted two back-to-back webinars with Polly Higgins and Joe Hall of the Eradicating Ecocide Campaign. Eradicating Ecocide is a movement to have the 2002 Rome Statute, which establishes the International Criminal Court and its four crimes, amended to include the fifth crime of Ecocide.

The collaboration between the Eradicating Ecocide team and ECI illustrates the Earth Charter’s value  as a soft law document and as an inspiration and source of ethical principles for legal reform and progressive legal advocacy such as Eradicating Ecocide’s efforts to include Ecocide as an international Crime Against Peace. Polly Higgins, environmental lawyer and barrister and founder of the Eradicating Ecocide Campaign, has been working on Earth rights for several years and has proposed Ecocide to the UN. Polly has recognized the Earth Charter’s contribution to these aspects of her work. “For me, the Earth Charter is a very important document, which paved the way to giving birth to Earth Rights and Ecocide.”

The Earth Charter Initiative has been raising awareness about the Earth Charter and bringing it to the attention of policy makers as an ethical foundation for strong sustainability. Much in the same way that the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights led to the establishment of a multitude of international and national laws, the Earth Charter sets out an ethical framework that can provide the basis on which to build new environmental and sustainability law.

The Earth Charter and Eradicating Ecocide Campaign are both contributing in complementary ways to the Rio+20 process; the synergies in these efforts arise from the shared goal as expressed in the Earth Charter preamble: “…a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.”

Find out more about the Eradicating Ecocide Campaign.

Watch a recording of the webinar here.