New campaign calls for ecocide to be recognised as a crime

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A new awareness campaign to get ecocide added to the list of international crimes recognised by the International Criminal Court (ICC) seated in The Hague, Netherlands launched on social media today.

Ecocide campaign

The campaign, “Nature demands justice”, went live on social media on 6 June to mark the anniversary of the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, which laid waste to hundreds of square miles of natural habitat and poisoned waterways.

Serving as a stark reminder that nature needs better protection, the creative puts nature at its heart and gives a voice to wildlife whose habitats are being destroyed by imagining animals as ICC-esque judges ready to pass sentence.

“Nature demands justice” utilises the art form of anthropomorphism, which was popular in the Victorian era and involves attributing human traits to non-human entities, such as animals.

The campaign, in partnership with Outsiders Insight owner Steven Lacey, and devised by creative agency St Luke’s, comprises four striking poster-style images of vulnerable animals, including a deer and a mouse, dressed in judicial robes in the same colours as those of the ICC.

“Nature demands justice” is now live on LinkedIn and across other social media channels with a view to spark further discussion.

In addition, the ICC will be tagged in all posts to continue to drive awareness of ecocide.

The campaign encourages people to sign Stop Ecocide’s petition calling on all governments to declare support for recognising ecocide as an international crime.

Ecocide is defined as an unlawful or wanton act committed with the knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused.

The fact that it is currently not recognised as an international crime, means it is very difficult to hold those who are guilty to account.

According to the Rome Statute, the ICC can currently prosecute individuals responsible for four types of crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

Al Young, Jt Chief Creative Officer, St Luke’s, said: “We want to remind our audience that all intentional, large-scale ecological destruction is a crime against the whole world.

“It is our hope that the campaign will add to the momentum required to make the International Law Commission change their statute. We also hope it will inspire more people to donate to Stop Ecocide International and sign their petition.”

Steve Lacey, Managing Director / Owner, The Outsiders said: “As someone who used to regularly go to Ukraine for my holidays, I was really upset when the Kakhovka Dam was destroyed.

“I was even more dismayed to find out that Ecocide was not a crime, so I wanted to do something about it. Finding and working with such a passionate agency as St Luke’s has been amazing.

“I hope their campaign will really make a difference, leading to changing International law and acting as a deterrent to those who cause immense damage.”