Of course it’s not just what happens inside the confines of the official conferences that counts - what happens outside is equally important. Sarah took Ecocide into the People's Summit and met with many who are putting people and planet first.
Rio was a success for the people who went there to meet, mobilise and to seed out their ideas and build support. A palpable groundswell is building and now we can harness that wonderful energy of good-will and belief in what we are doing and make it into something truly great. I believe we can do that. I believe this is our moment to fill the leadership gap with something bigger and better, something that does not rely on UN government conferences. There is another way, and that way is driven by the people.
Some of the people who were there and who were speaking out included the courageous T’kaia Blaney who is just aged 11 and called for an Earth Revolution, Orielle Osprey Lake of the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus made sure the voice of women was heard, and Doris Ragetti
of Rights of Mother Earth who delivered our scroll of Love Letters to the Earth, along with a letter that had 116,758 individual signatures from 113 nations plus signatures of leaders from 189 organisations representing 644,042 people who support the call for Earth Rights. The good news is that Paragraph 39 of the final Rio document included the wording "the rights of nature":
"We recognize that the planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home and that Mother Earth is a common expression in a number of countries and regions and we note that some countries recognize the rights of nature in the context of the promotion of sustainable development. We are convinced that in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environment needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature."
The final document runs to 53 pages. What was notable was the absence of certain issues that had been on the table. The New Zealand Herald picked up the fact that a call to end subsidies for fossil fuels was removed from the final text and there was a complete absence of commitments to fight climate change. Where politics fail, law could offer a solution. Naming us "radical" lawyers for proposing that ecocide should be made a crime, the article went on to say that we are “only radical in the sense that a group of lawyers agitating for a law against genocide would have been seen as radical in 1935”.
Maybe just maybe what we are seeing is the emergence of a radical law.