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A groundbreaking discovery

Dear friend

“Exciting” and “law” are two words I rarely associate with each other.  However, when Polly came to me last week and told me about a major discovery I was thrilled and truly excited!

Polly recently discovered that there are ten countries which have already made Ecocide a crime during peacetime. These countries are Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Belarus, Republic of Moldova, Russia and Vietnam. These laws were all put in place around the same time that the Rome Statute (which established the four Crimes Against Peace) was being negotiated. In all these countries’ penal codes, the crime of Ecocide sits alongside the other Crimes Against Peace. We've also discovered that attempts to draw up Ecocide as an extension of Genocide date back to 1978.

Moreover, I have been researching the details of the crimes and have discovered, for instance, that the Georgian penal code advocates that the aim of punishment is “the restoration of justice” and that offenders for the less serious crimes may be “released from criminal liability if he/she reconciled with the victim”. 

However I also found out that the Georgian Green Party is calling on other European greens to join in the fight against laws which are encroaching on this strict protection.  Read more about this here.  

This discovery is hugely significant and timely for us.  There is now less than a month to go until the Rio+20 Earth Summit, where our world leaders can commit to making Ecocide an international crime.  The fact that several countries already have Ecocide law in place highlights that an international law of Ecocide is realistic and achievable. 

If you are a lawyer or know a lawyer from any of the countries with Ecocide law in place, and can help with research please get in touch.

Youth matter!

There are two forthcoming significant events for youth being held in Rio.  The World Youth Congress (4th – 13th June) brings together thousands of youth from all over the world to establish 20 solutions for a sustainable future.  We think making Ecocide a crime should be one of them. If you are a youth please  vote for my proposal that Ecocide is a solution to reach a sustainable future, or alternatively submit your own.

Youth Blast  (7th -12th June) is the official event of the Major Group for Children and Youth and will allow young people to develop lobbying points to take forward into the Earth Summit.  If you are or know any youths (under 30) who would be interested in taking Ecocide law forward at Youth Blast please register here and email me for more information. 

With hope and faith

Louise

The Avaaz petition to end ecocide at the Earth Summit now has over 2000 signatures! But we need more. Please sign the petition and share it via facebook with your friends and networks.

Help us in our search for a business leader to call on our world leaders to end this era of Ecocide. Read more about Ecocide and business in this report. 

Aiko Stevenson recently wrote about the law of Ecocide in the Huffington Post. Read more about how Rio+20 represents an opportunity to be wise and take responsibility of Our Future here 

We need your help

In the run up to Rio we are in desperate need of volunteers! If you can gift some time to come into the office and help us we would be incredibly grateful and could provide you with some interesting and exciting tasks. Please get in touch here.

Coming up: Women speaking for the Earth

Come and join us this evening from 6-9pm at the Islington Hub, London and hear five inspiring women including Polly speaking about changing the world for the better. For more information click here. 

Thank you....

We have a huge thanks to all those who have helped us, we couldn't do our work without you amazing people.  Apologies if we have missed you out  - our list would span pages if we named you all, so here's a few special thanks:

Julika Werner, Eleonora Gatti, Clancy, Doug Grant, Jay from Australia, Francesca de Gasparis from the Green Belt Movement, The Gaia Foundation team, Tim Morton, Gordon Chamberlain, Nick Robson, Dave Hampton, Sjoerd Aardema, Mexican Ecocide team, Ashley Cooper, Raven Courtney, Zhehan Fan, Chris le Breton, Rosie Much, Coral Vinsen, Ela Gandhi, Marion Weber, Bill Twist, Paul Hawken, Tracy Gary, Mark and Celia Kitchell, A Fierce Green Fire, Verona Fonte, Iris Arts and Education Group, Nick Hart Williams, Brad Nye,  333, Patricia and Dan Ellsberg, Claire Greensfelder, Osprey Orielle Lake, Linda Sheehan, Shannon Biggs, Robin Milam, James Hanusa, Joe Guth, Bruse Demartini, Thoreau Center, Victor Menotti, International Forum on Globalization, Eliza Pearson, Chad Balester, Kath Delaney, Claire Hedin, Diana Marquand, Melanie Strickland, Liz Rivers