The Stop Ecocide Foundation (in Dutch, Stichting Stop Ecocide) is a Dutch organization that supports the international campaign of Polly Higgins, a Scottish lawyer who is fighting for international legislation that would make ecocide a punishable crime. As Advocates for the Earth we direct our efforts to creating broad public support for accelerated implementation of the law of ecocide. This law is based on recognition of the intrinsic value of the Earth and offers protection against ecocide, that is, the extensive damage to, destruction of, or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory.
Stop Ecocide is first of all an (online) community that aims primarily to build bridges between a variety of organizations and political parties that ultimately are working toward the same goal: a livable world and thus a livable future for everyone. We want to convince these organizations and political parties that the law of ecocide is a very unique project that can create bonds between them and by doing so can strengthen them in their efforts to reach this shared goal.
In addition, we are a grassroots movement that welcomes everyone to contribute in his or her own way to show the world and above all governmental leaders that implementing a law of ecocide is necessary in order to maintain a livable Earth, both now and in the future. We serve as an umbrella organization for everyone who actively seeks to convince our politicians that they have a mandate from us to include ecocide in the Statue of Rome as the fifth crime against peace.
The fifth crime against peace
At present there are four crimes against peace recognized by the International Criminal Court: 1) crimes against humanity, 2) genocide, 3) war crimes, and 4) acts of aggression (torture). What is missing from this list? The large-scale destruction of ecosystems and damage to them, also known as ecocide. Examples that come to mind are the Deep Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the pollution of the Niger Delta, the depletion of fish stocks in the North Sea, fracking, large-scale deforestation of the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests, the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the proliferation of GMOs, and the extraction of tar sands.
An international campaign
Polly Higgins is one of the pioneers of the campaign to establish an international legal ban on ecocide. She travels all over the world to inform political leaders and decision-makers about the importance and advantages of such a ban. Our foundation works closely with Polly to spread the message about the urgent need for a change in how we relate to the earth.
Polly Higgins | Lawyer for the Earth
We are convinced that cooperation is a powerful force and that unity in diversity is the key to a livable future. Many people want to do something, but making a difference on your own is often difficult and daunting. You need other people in order to actually bring about change and achieve a common goal. We combine forces by offering a platform that helps each of us to work with others in making the changes that are needed in our relationship with the Earth – together.
How do we do it?
The reality of our world is that it is made up of billions of individuals, each one unique and thus different from all the others. Our motto is therefore that “you can do your best when you do something that you are good at and that is soul-satisfying for you,” or as Polly says, “Do what makes your heart sing!” When each of us works this way, we think that is the purest form of cooperation, in which you work from your heart and not just from your mind. For us, it is all about being yourself and applying your own creativity to reaching the shared goal: working together for a livable future!
Stop Ecocide works with a diversity of people with their own qualities and talents. Our activities can include thinking up and producing a video clip, organizing an event, leading a demonstration, or giving a TEDx talk. It is all a matter of who comes up with an idea and who else in the team picks up on it.
Do you too feel the need to do something to help save the Earth? And do you want to work with others to make a difference by carrying out projects that give the law of ecocide a prominent place on the map? Then sign up as a volunteer and become a part of Stop Ecocide!