The concept of making Ecocide an international crime has been around for decades. From the 1970s onwards there has been growing support from government, business and communities to make Ecocide the fifth International Crime against peace to stand alongside the crime of Genocide by amending the Rome Statute. It is part of an emerging body of Earth Law or Earth jurisprudence.
Making Ecocide an international crime is proposed in order to protect human rights, the natural environment, prevent runaway climate change and trigger the transformation to the green economy. However, opponents argue that this will criminalise the whole human race.
The rationale behind the campaign for a crime of ecocide is similar to that of other ecological legal initiatives; namely, that addressing environmental imperatives requires a seismic shift in attitudes, practices and culture, in both the corporate and political spheres. Catastrophes such as Deepwater Horizon highlight the failure of existing mechanisms to ensure that the commercial world’s financial and economic prowess is matched by a duty of care for the planet on which it operates, and the rights of both its current inhabitants and those yet to come.
Current environmental law regimes such as the UNFCCC can be compared to treating a sick child. Instead of no longer feeding the child that which is making it sick, the dominant approach is simply to reduce the amount that is fed. Similarly, by seeking to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change we are failing to arrest the potential destruction of the planet.
Internet as a tool for protective environment
The various tools of social media like: Facebook, Issuu, Pinterest, Twitter, free blog platforms to promote Ecocide Acts, have been used for creating awareness for environment protection. For example:
Greenpeace has used social media to put pressure on big brands over allegations of environmentally irresponsible sourcing. Only seven months into the year, Barbie has already accomplished an impressive number of personal and career goals in 2011. In addition to partying it up in Malibu, the eleven-and-a-half-inch plastic doll has started a new career as an architect, launched a clothing line at Uniqlo, reunited with her soulmate and fellow doll Ken Carson, and also, according to Greenpeace, taken on a new hobby: killing rainforests.
Although Greenpeace is lobbying against multiple toy companies, its main campaign is aimed at Mattel (the American toy-company) and has used Barbie’s boy toy Ken as its spokesperson. Greenpeace initiated the campaign in 2011 by releasing a spoof YouTube video. The spoof plays on Mattel’s current advertising campaign which involves Ken winning Barbie back after seven years apart.
In the YouTube video, Ken discovers Barbie’s deforestation habits in Indonesia and dramatically ends their recently renewed relationship. Ten days after it was first uploaded, the YouTube clip was viewed over a million times in multiple languages, according to Greenpeace in July 2011.
Bijli Bachao is a website that has been started to help consumers understand their electricity consumption and learn ways to reduce the same. The idea essentially is to make energy efficiency ‘a cool product’! The website www.bijlibachao.in appliances including air conditioners, refrigerators, water heaters, fans, televisions, computers, lights, ovens, DVRs, pumps etc. The website is visited by more than 1000 viewers every day.
The Internet is a space for the promotion, protection, and fulfillment of human rights. With rights come responsibilities. To date, we have not fully codified what our duties and obligations are. The preservation of our rights is inherently linked to the well-being of the earth: environmental damage and destruction impacts our ability to access resources such as food and water that are essential for our survival. Such shortages can lead to instability and conflict in vulnerable regions.