Belgium becomes first EU nation to Demand Ecocide become a crime, plus Chile’s adds ecocide to new constitution. Check out “Time Of The 6th Sun” and meet the folks at StopEcocide.Earth.
Belgium First EU Nation to Demand Ecocide Become a Crime, Chile’s Adds Ecocide to New Constitution, Time of the 6th Sun & StopEcocide.Earth
Yesterday we dedicated the show to explaining the concept of ecocide and highlighting some of the players out there fighting to make ecocide international law. Today we’re going to report on an organization or two that are doing some of the heavy lifting to make that happen.
SEI’s core work is activating and developing global cross-sector support for an international crime of ecocide. It issued a proposal in June defining ecocide as “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.”
The SEI mission is to get the ICC to include ecocide as a crime under the Rome Statutes. Second, for member states which ratify the crime to include it in their own domestic law, creating a uniform rule across jurisdictions. The end game is for Earth’s most precious ecosystems to be protected and allowed to recover.
Why does StopEcocide matter to us? Their petition. Signing the petition will help create the legal framework within which the Earth can get a good lawyer! To sign the petition, visit stopecocide.earth/become, or click on the link in the Deeper Dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes.
BELGIUM FIRST EU NATION TO DEMAND ECOCIDE BE CALLED A CRIME
While we noted that currently, only 9 nations (all former USSR satellites) have adopted the concept of ecocide into law, there are two countries, one western European and one South American that are edging closer. Just this month, The Belgian parliament adopted, by a strong majority, a resolution by the Ecolo-Groen parties aimed at recognizing an international crime of ecocide.
According to the reports, the Belgian Parliament becomes the first in Europe to ask for such recognition.
The bill, introduced by MP Samuel Cogolati, also pledges to support the initiative of Vanuatu and the Maldives to amend the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to include the crime of ecocide. It also proposes, on behalf of the Kingdom of Belgium, amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court with the aim of including the crime of ecocide.
By adopting this resolution, the parliament is making three demands of the Belgian government. It asks:
- to “initiate a new international treaty of the most proactive countries (a ‘coalition of the willing’) to prosecute and prevent ecocide at the international level”;
- to “propose an amendment to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of The Hague to include the new crime of ecocide” (in the same way as crimes against humanity); and
- “to report to parliament on the upcoming expert opinion on the inclusion of the crime of ‘ecocide’ in the Belgian penal code “.
Said MP Cogolati, “We must recognize the intrinsic value of ecosystems in our penal code. Because without water, without forests, without clean air, we cannot survive on Earth. The planet is our common home. It’s time for criminal law to urgently come to the rescue.”
CHILE ADDS ECOCIDE TO ITS NEW CONSTITUTION
And according to StopEcocide.earth, Chile recently sought to have its constitution amended to include ecocide.
The context behind Chile’s reframing is a 2019 investigation against Chilean president Sebastián Piñera for alleged tax crimes and bribery related to the controversial $2.5 billion copper and iron mining project that would be implemented close to the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve. This sensitive environmental area is a habitat for whales, dolphins, birds and Humboldt penguins. Out of the subsequent political crisis came a referendum for a new constitution and subsequent constitutional convention.
With 137 out of 155 votes in favor, the convention approved a declaration recognizing “the new constitution is written in a context of Climate and Ecological Emergency and therefore must keep in mind, in all the commissions and proposals that it prepares, the guarantees of environmental education, prevention, precaution, non-regression, mitigation, adaptation and transformation to face the climate and ecosystem crisis.”
Hence, the Subcommittee on the General Framework for Human, Environmental & Natural Rights of the Constitutional Convention held discussions on ecocide, resulting in a favorable vote for an annex to be added to the new Chilean Constitution.
Why do these moves by the Belgian and Chilean government matter to us? Proximity and precedent. If passed, it would be the first country in the Western Hemisphere to constitutionally guarantee the right of the earth to be protected from harm by humans via ecocide.
CLIMATE CULTURE: “TIME OF THE SIXTH SUN”
Do ya ever do a web search for one thing, and a total non sequitur pops up that takes you down a completely different rabbit hole? I was researching Polly Higgins when up from the world wide web popped a reference to the movie, “Time of the Sixth Sun.”
The movie is a feature-length documentary about the awakening and transformation of global consciousness. Our ancestors understood our symbiotic relationship to nature and the elements, and foresaw the collapse of an unsustainable world.
Polly Higgins does have a memorable moment where she says, “Fracking is a very good example of the huge disconnect at play. It is an enormous desecration of our land and polluting of our waters. It is also a mirror of society at large … It is also our gift and opportunity to say, let’s choose another way. It is our time.”
According to its website, “The strength of the film comes from the authenticity and integrity of the speakers: tribal leaders, scientists and visionary thinkers who are the pioneers of our time, each carry a sacred transmission.” The movie is designed to aid us as we move into a more evolved state of being and ascend to a higher level of collective co-creation.
Why does it matter to us? Ecocide can be a super heavy topic, so we’re taking a little musical/cinematic interlude to help lift spirits.
Time of the Sixth Sun has since evolved from just a documentary released in late 2019 to also an 8-episode documentary series. Find out more at timeofthesixthsun.com or by clicking on the links in the Deeper Dive section of this episode at theclimate.org/episodes.