International lawyers want to criminalize systematic damage to nature

The group coordinating the initiative was led by Professor Philip Sands of University College London

and Florence Mumba, former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The purpose of their work is to developlegal definition of "ecocide" (from the words "ecology" and "genocide"). It will align with other international crimes such as crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

The project received support from European countries (France, Belgium), as well as some island states that are threatened by rising sea levels (Vanuatu and the Maldives).

It is planned that under the definition there will beimplies massive and systematic destruction of ecosystems, for example, large-scale deforestation or burning of forests, fishing on an industrial scale or an oil spill.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague will deal with crimes that have contributed to "environmental destruction", "exploitation of natural resources" and "illegal alienation" of land.

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