Earth Law Alliance, in collaboration with Earth Thrive and Consensus Law Magazine, presented our second webinar on 22 November 2022, in which we explored the proposal for an international crime of Ecocide, considered by many to be the ‘missing crime against peace’ at the International Criminal Court. Ecocide in wartime is rightly already recognised as a heinous crime, but what about destruction of nature in other circumstances? What will it take for the mass destruction of nature and ecosystems to be officially recognised as a crime at the international level, and for action to be taken against the perpetrators of such destruction?
This webinar also considered the strong connection between Ecocide and climate change, and how adopting an international law of Ecocide would help to limit and contain rising global temperatures.
00:00 – Introduction
03:00 – Rachelle Adam
26:30 – Jonas Roupé
38:30 – Jojo Mehta
55:50 – Questions and Answers
Rachelle Adam talks about the law of ecocide from an academic viewpoint – outlining the perceived need for a law of Ecocide at the international level; history of the concept of ecocide; attempts to define it and the need for national laws of Ecocide.
Jonas Roupe introduces the findings set out in his recently published report on Ecocide Law for the Paris Agreement.
Jojo Mehta gives the perspective of those advocating for legal change, pressing governments to make Ecocide a crime at the international level.
Q&A led by Lisa Mead – after the speakers have presented, there are questions to the speakers from the webinar participants.
Rachelle Adam has twenty five years of experience in “rights for nature” legal issues. As an attorney for Israel’s Environment Ministry, she drafted the amendment to Israel’s Water Law’s that granted legal status to streams, springs and wetlands. From a government lawyer Rachelle became an advocacy lawyer, and co-founded a leading community-based and award-winning environmental organization (“Ramot for the Environment”). She spearheaded the “Gazelle Petition” in which Israel’s endangered gazelle appeared as a petitioner together with five of its human neighbours, winning the 2008 court decision that threw out government development plans for its habitat. Rachelle received her doctorate in international biodiversity law and her thesis was published under the title, Elephant Treaties, the Colonial Legacy of the Biodiversity Crisis. She teaches environmental law at Hebrew University’s law faculty, which has evolved into an ecological law, or Earth law course, including the Law of Ecocide. In addition to her involvement in environmental and animal rights campaigns and organisations, Rachelle also sits on the board of Earth Law Center.
Jonas Roupé has worked with business renewal and sustainability issues since 1995, and with recycling and the circular economy since 2013. He is co-founder of End Ecocide Sweden and author of the new report Ecocide law for the Paris Agreement.
As the founder of the Swedish advisory firm Insiktsbolaget, Jonas works nationally and internationally as an advisor and consultant. He is recognised for his work with the network End Ecocide Sweden and Ecocide Law Alliance, which campaigns for international law to protect ecosystems. This law will lay the foundation for a world circular economy.
Jonas holds an MSc in business administration, a BSc in political science and degrees in engineering and psychology. He has held positions as head of Strategy, Business Intelligence, Head of Business Development, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Marketing Officer with companies like Ericsson, TeliaSonera and Skanova and is an experienced board member. He is and has been advising Privately owned companies, Stock traded companies, Government owned companies, Trade organisations and NGOs.
Jojo Mehta co-founded Stop Ecocide International in 2017, alongside barrister and legal pioneer, the late Polly Higgins, to support the establishment of ecocide as a crime at the International Criminal Court. As Co-Founder, Executive Director and key spokesperson of Stop Ecocide International, Jojo has overseen the remarkable growth of the movement, while coordinating between legal developments, diplomatic traction and public narrative. The core work of the NGO is in activating and developing global cross-sector support for an international crime of ecocide. It is supported and progressed by a large network of over 45 teams and associate groups globally.
Known for her clear and engaging communication, Jojo has contributed to law conferences, diplomatic events, environmental summits and climate rallies as well as podcasts, interviews and articles for publications and broadcasters ranging from TIME Magazine to the New York Times and from The Guardian to the BBC.
Jojo is a graduate of Oxford and London universities and has a background in communications, entrepreneurship and on-the-ground environmental campaigning.