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Open Letter

From: Canadian Youth

To: The Government of Canada



“Ecocide” is a word that describes what is happening to our planet. 

It means the mass damage and destruction of nature, which have caused the climate and ecological emergencies that we face. 


Right now, ‘ecocide’ is perfectly legal in most of the world. It is not a crime, so no-one is held responsible…

  • When entire ecosystems are destroyed in the reckless pursuit of economic growth;

  • When pollution, deforestation, oil spills, human-caused species extinction, water contamination, nuclear explosions, and other types of environmental destruction are perpetrated time and time again;

  • When we treat nature as something that exists only for human use and gain.


It is time to stop this abuse.


The Stop Ecocide campaign advocates to make ecocide an international crime. This crime must be added to the 'Rome Statute,' the governing document of the International Criminal Court. It would sit beside the ICC’s current crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression. These are the crimes of highest international concern - as should be ecocide.


A law against ecocide would prevent environmental destruction before it happens; divert investment to clean industries and sustainable futures; hold high-level decision makers to account when they recklessly or illegally destroy the environment; and catalyse national-level laws and prosecutions. It would provide the necessary guardrails for safe activity.


For ecocide to be made an international crime, ⅔ of the ICC’s 123 member states need to vote in favour. That’s 82 countries, so every vote counts. 


Fortunately, international solidarity and lobbying has already garnered support around the globe. Parliaments in Belgium, France, the EU, Vanuatu, the Maldives, and in many other countries have voiced support for the proposal.


Canada is a member state with a critical vote. We played a pivotal role in establishing the ICC and became the first country in the world to incorporate the obligations of the Rome Statute into our national laws. It is time to join other supporting states in favour of a law against ecocide.


Thus, we call on the Canadian government to declare support for making ecocide an international crime.

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