NEW DIRECTIONS: SOCIAL ECOLOGY AND THE LAW OF ECOCIDE.
Any survey of the actions of mining corporations, logging companies, chemical companies, Oil, and gas groups, in association with governments , and crime syndicates [growing and making drugs] will reveal that they are actively involved in the pollution of the environment of the earth. They are ‘environmental criminals’ committing ‘ECOCIDE’………and denying all the evidence, and the accusations! Oil Pollution can be seen across the world and the oil companies persistently deny their responsibility, and the consequences.
The crime of Ecocide has been identified by the lawyer Polly Higgins. She has been particularly concerned to devise a law for the UN. She wishes to apply the Law of Ecocide to natural events as well as to humans; to corporations as well as individuals; to those in command and control as well as to those whose defence is that they were doing as they were ‘ordered’.
So what is ‘ecocide’? It is when human agents are actively involved in the damage, loss, destruction of ecosystems of a given territory to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished. As the law stands at the moment ‘abstract agents’ such as corporations, or syndicates, or governments, cannot be held responsible for ECOCIDE. Only human agents can be accused, prosecuted, called to account, for their environmental crimes.
The International Lawyer, Polly Higgins, wants to identify all those in command and control of their corporations and to render them responsible for the consequences of their ecocide behaviour , and subject to investigation and prosecution.
She also wants to apply the Law of Ecocide to natural events during which vast areas of the environment are damaged following typhoons/ tornadoes, storms/earthquakes/forest fires/floods/tsunamis/droughts: all of which may have been triggered by human mismanagement of the environment and the initiation of climate change.
I am proposing that Social Ecology should pursue new directions which would lead it to direct action to prosecute/fine/imprison/control ‘environmental criminals, and clearly identify ‘environmental crimes’ and support the work of Polly Higgins. Voluntarism is no answer to crime syndicates and corporate crimes.
SEPTEMBER 4 2014: Judge Barbier announced in
New Orleans that
BPOIL was guilty of gross negligence at
DeepWater Horizon oil disaster and would face a
fine of $18billion.
Oil drilling can lead to environmental crimes by environmental corporate criminals. The profits and the fines generated by these corporate criminals can be huge, immense, unbelievable, sufficient to rectify the damages or sufficient to compensate for losses.
Oil Companies have been pursuing ‘fracking’ since 1950’s. Normally, it is developed when oil and gas have stopped flowing efficiently and need to increase their liquidity. Water and chemicals are injected into the wells and oil and gas are drawn out under pressure. When the pressure is too great, the base rock will crack and quake; and the water/oil/gas will leak and pollute all ground water! in the basin. The ‘fracking’ companies will commit an environmental crime, polluting the shale base.
AUGUST 2014 Reports revealed that government agents in Brazil/Peru had discovered tribes of indigenous peoples that had lived in complete isolation in
Amazonia from the migrant
communities such as the commercial loggers, and shifted cultivators.
Logging and farming can lead to the destruction of rainforests in South America; and
Malaysia, and Australia. Also major projects like
the construction of hydro-electric dams; mining for bauxite; and industrial
operations like iron and steel making, and aluminium smelting; lead to the direct loss of forests due to the clearing
of land., building roads, and long term
If the object is to conserve the rain forests, then any activities that result in the destruction of the rainforests, and their communities, must be considered an environmental crime.
Logging companies select trees and cut them down. They depend upon the maintenance of the forest, and the removal of the best trees. Their work involves the removal of a few logs but it results in extensive damage to the forest due to heavy machinery, road building, as well as soil disturbance, soil erosion, siltation; deforestation, following the trees falling to the ground, and creating ‘jungles’.
Once the roads have been built into the rainforests, they are used by the ‘shifted cultivators’ to move into the forests to start small scale farming. Many of these farmers are landless, having lost their land to the government and the corporations. They are directly involved in the total clearance of the forests for food crops; tree plantations, grazing cattle, and fuel wood. In fact, they are the environmental criminals committing environmental crimes! Total clearance is pusued by agriculture.
Governments see the forests as trees, and offer the areas under licences to international logging companies. Illegal logging is carried out by local communities, many of whom are sponsored by criminal syndicates.
Posted: 03 Sep 2014 06:46 PM PDT
Large quantities of wood extracted from forest "conversion" projects are reaching international markets illegally, in full knowledge of
The failure to fully monitor and regulate timber from such projects is undermining international agreements
Greenpeace Africa obtained evidence that Uniprovince, a company owned by US agribusiness company Herakles Farms, has cut at least 10,000 m3 of commercially valuable wood. While official documents from the
The Herakles Farms project in the country's South West region has proved highly controversial since its announcement in 2009 and attracted the opposition of local residents, civil society and international NGOs who say it threatens an area of important biodiversity value and the livelihoods of communities who live there.
"Sadly it comes as no surprise to Greenpeace Africa to see this wood find its way to China despite all the evidence of its illegality" said Irène Wabiwa, Forest Campaign Manager.
In a report published last May, Licence to Launder, Greenpeace Africa documented how Uniprovince obtained a Vente de coupe permit to log without public auction, in violation of Cameroonian law.
"Three different Cameroonian state prosecutors were given information proving Uniprovince's illegal logging operations, but no action has been taken to our knowledge," explains Wabiwa. "The
On August 19th, Greenpeace East Asia submitted the evidence to the competent authorities in
Regrettably, the case of the illegal logging title obtained by Uniprovince is just the tip of the iceberg. There are strong indications that the allocation of thirteen Ventes de coupe permits earlier this year, to a variety of timber companies for operations in the Kribi area, failed to respect procedure.
A large proportion of wood from
"If these operations continue with total disregard for the law, it will undermine the credibility of the FLEGT partnership agreement ratified in December 2011, accelerate forest destruction and deprive communities who depend on the forest for their livelihood in
Sources: Greenpeace (http://www.greenpeace.org)
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