Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Community Projects, Conferences, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Ethical Investment, Global Warming/Climate Change, People Systems, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Regular readers will know I’m keen to see society structured in a way that prioritises people and place over corporations and short-term, profit-centric, economic-growth-focussed idiocy. Whilst politicians are arguing over debt ceilings, corporate tax exemptions, how much more money to magic up and the impossibility of continuing economic growth whilst feigning action on our multi-faceted environmental and resource woes, Polly Higgins is urging a new set of precepts that would shift our present, shallow priorities and bring our ailing planet in from the cold.

We do not live on an inflatable earth, and as I tried to express in The Roots of Change – in Ourselves, or Government and Industry?, we can work to be as self-reliant as possible whilst being zealous grass roots activists facing water cannons and jail time, but until we recognise that, presently, corporate CEOs are legally obliged to plunder the planet in the interests of their shareholders, and find a way to overturn this self-destruct mechanism, ultimately our work and our best intentions can mean little to naught. Essentially, we’re swimming against the tide, when we should be harnessing the tide….

You cannot have a healthy quarter acre of land around you if the rest of the biosphere is in meltdown, and no matter how much we might wish it wasn’t so, permaculturists are still a bare minority, hardly registering on the radars of your average Joe Citizen. In short, bottom up action needs to be supported and incentivised by top down legislation, and such legislation needs to recognise that our atmosphere, our forests, our soils and our water tables are the property of no-one and everyone — humanity as a whole — rather than a privately owned cookie jar to be raided by an ‘elite’ of self-interested corporate captains.

Polly Higgins, voted by The Ecologist as one of the world’s top ten visionary thinkers, is a UK-based Barrister who has taken a very unique stand — that of making our Earth her client. Acting in Gaia’s defense, Polly is pressing the UN to add the crime of Ecocide to the current four international Crimes Against Peace: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, and Crimes of Aggression. If destroying our home was made illegal, corporate CEOs would find externalising the true cost of their business activities a venture that could see them behind bars, instead of earning them bonuses as it does today.

Polly is presently on a speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand, working to grant legal protection for our Earth, the foundation of all that we are and have. If you can make any of the following dates, you’re encouraged to do so:

  • Thursday 1st September, 9.30 – 11am, Otago University
    How the Crime Of Ecocide Would Apply in National Jurisdictions – Especially New Zealand
    Seminar Room 5, Faculty of Law, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Thursday 1st September, 12 – 1.30pm, Otago University
    The Law of Ecocide
    The Moot Court, 10th Floor, Richardson Building, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Friday 2nd September, 12:30-1:30pm, Wellington
    Making Ecocide a Crime
    Spectrum Theatre, Cnr Customhouse Quay & Johnston St (access off Johnston Street), Wellington, New Zealand
  • Sunday 4th September 1- 9pm, Auckland
    Eradicating Ecocide
    Earthsong, 457 Swanson Road, Ranui, Waitakere, Auckland
    Please email Helen McNeil, bagend (at) to book a place ($20 includes dinner)
  • Monday 5th September, 7 – 9pm, Auckland University
    Ecocide, the missing 5th Crime Against Peace (Facebook), Auckland
    Lecture Theatre 260-098, Owen Glenn Building, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Thursday 8th, 10.45 – 12.00, Sydney International Environment Conference, Sydney, Australia
    Using Law to Protect the Environment
  • Friday 9th, 11.15 – 12.00, Sydney International Environment Conference, Sydney, Australia
    Campaigning for a Climate Change
  • Saturday 10th, 10 – 11am, Brisbane Writers Festival
    Green by Degrees
    The Studio, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Sunday 11th, 10 – 11am, Brisbane Writers Festival
    Within the Law
    The Edge, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Monday 12th, Cairns: times and venue to be confirmed
  • Tuesday 13th, Cairns: times and venue to be confirmed
  • Wednesday 14th Cairns: times and venue to be confirmed

More on Polly:

8 Responses to “Polly Higgins Speaking Tour (Australia, New Zealand): Eradicating Ecocide – Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet”

  1. Edward

    These measures would seem necessary; however, as the United States military-industrial complex, generally, does not put a high priority on ecology, what would we do about the expected violations of such laws. For example, If, when, they sink Greenpeace or Sea Shepard vessel, or “accidentally”, a foriegn coast guard vessel enforcing these laws, what can be done? The Japanese and their fishing industry still have some political clout. Or, if Monsanto, as an example, sent agents, or worked with Government employees, into one of their bananna-republics to root out organic/fair-trade farmers, and contaminate their crops with their seeds, what to do?

  2. bagginz


    I’ve long considered the actions of Monsanto(MonSatan)et al’s GM products to be a crime against humanity.

    What else can one call the attempted monopolisation of the global food supply along with irreversible infection of the gene pool of humanity’s most important food crops?

    “until we recognise that, presently, corporate CEOs are legally obliged to plunder the planet in the interests of their shareholders, and find a way to overturn this self-destruct mechanism, ultimately our work and our best intentions can mean little to naught.”

    Absolutely true.

    If you’re in any doubt at all about this point or just want to understand the nature of the beast, see the superb, award winning documentary “The Corporation”:

  3. Johan

    If nobody owns the soil/forest/water, then who has the right to use them? Who will decide what they can be used for? Communism doesn’t work. Ultimately it will come down to a group of people making decision on behalf of the rest. How is it different than what we have now? Perhaps only the people will be different. And the interests might be different. But it is exactly the same system. This is not alternative system. It is a political movement based on environmentalism.

    On the other hand, private ownership when full enforced and protected, will protect the environment and people and place. Much of the destruction comes not from private ownership per se, but rather as failure in enforcing the rights of people that are affected by the action of those corporations in question. For a simple example, if someone owns a block of forest, he has the right to clear it in a way that doesn’t violate the rights of his neighbors. So if by clearing the forest he caused erosion into his neighbor, then he is at fault. But he can of course harvest the timber and create space for fruit orchard, and animals in a sustainable permaculture way to ensure there will be no erosion.

    For a true alternative system, learn more at

  4. Edward

    It’s kind of strange, the level of technology we have now. Werner Von Braun reportedly claimed that he had “help” from ETs in their rocket program! If this were true why are we even having this discussion? One would hope such leadership would also deal with the “Jabba the Hut” and his minions that’s been rImming, oops! I mean running this place.

  5. Georgie Kruse

    Go and see Polly Higgins. She is fantastic and has a marvellous way of unfolding the truth and law history in simple terms that anyone can understand. I am so happy I went, this is a momentous moment in our history. Understand the full extent of what she is on about and get on board because we should and can close the door on crimes against the earth, against ecocide, just as we closed the door on slavery. The law already exists to do this. We can do this and hold the corporations and GM and the agriculture industries etc to account. It must come from the people. This will be our future and the quicker we move together and cooperate to make it happen the better in my book.

  6. gragorio

    Hi polly hey congradulations to you, I read this articel in the Caduceus magazine a few months ago and have been procrastinating about sending to you a message. I’am in aura about what you are spreading around the world, do you need a suitcase carrrier and a secretary? I have 28,000 signed people on a peition in the midwest about monsantos roundup, 805 agent orange go figure, I want out of theis nazi country, all of these desease’s and they put most of it in the foods. tried to reach climate rush with no luck. I do have an instrument that cleanse;s the atmopshere of toxic air’s and helps organic agriculture growth 10tp 305 over the years, nothing to plug into. We need this in africa and otehr nations plus huge cities, I was in manila 4 times and it is out of this world from deasel. Be Well sincerely Gragorio


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