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Ecocide is the intentional destruction of an ecosystem or ecosystems.

It is not currently a crime under domestic or international law but is the subject of a campaign for it to become one.

There is a proposal to amend the 1998 Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, to include a crime of ecocide to sit alongside the other four international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.

The proposal is made by Ecocide Law, adopting a definition of the offence submitted by lawyer and environmentalist Polly Higgins to the United Nations Law Commission in March 2010, as follows:

“the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.”

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