As concerned citizens of a planet in delicate balance, we call on you, the leaders of the 123 parties of the Rome Statute(1) to make Ecocide the 5th International Crime Against Peace. Leadership matters and your restorative leadership now can make the difference in ensuring the health of our planet and its inhabitants for generations to come. Please take the long view and act on behalf of all.
As you know, 2015 is a critical year for global action on climate change and sustainable development. We are at a tipping point -- July 2015 was the hottest month ever recorded on planet Earth(2); and approximately half of all global species have disappeared in the last 40 years(3).
This time in history is the opportunity to chart a new future for life on Earth and to avoid a catastrophic and irreversible path. The momentum for positive change is now with world leaders finalizing the United Nations Climate Change Treaty and Sustainable Development Goals. We must criminalize actions that threaten the wellbeing of our planet by creating a legally binding method of holding perpetrators of Ecocide accountable.
Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystems, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that ecosystem has been or will be severely diminished.
We can hold perpetrators of Ecocide accountable by making Ecocide the 5th International Crime Against Peace. As a Crime Against Peace, like Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, we are ensuring that those that cause large-scale harm, such as land use that causes the direct destruction of habitats, or industrial activities that create excess greenhouse gasses, are made to answer for their actions.
At this critical juncture it is vital that we set global standards of accountability. Ecocide law is a game-changer. Those who contemplate dangerous industrial activities, or who support ecocide through financing or government policy, will have to think before they act.
Nearly a quarter of a million people from countries all over the globe have already expressed their support for this movement. We, the undersigned, are calling on you, the leaders of the 123 parties to the Rome Statute, to have the courage to PROPOSE and the leadership to PASS an amendment to the Rome Statute to include Ecocide as the 5th International Crime Against Peace.
Please be a stand for the Earth and its inhabitants at this planet-critical time.
(1) The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court
(2) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
(3) Living Planet Index 2014, World Wildlife Foundation 2015