Faith for Ecocide Law is an interfaith coalition in support of an international crime of Ecocide at the International criminal court. It is a joint initiative from End Ecocide Sweden, Stop Ecocide International, the Swedish Christian Council and the Stockholm Catholic Diocese with partners.
At the first UN conference on environmental issues, the Stockholm conference in 1972, Swedish Prime minister Olof Palme used the term Ecocide. Almost half a century and many treaties and conventions later, the living systems of the world are rapidly being degraded. Faith for Ecocide Law will strengthen support for an international crime of ecocide in the run up to the next UN conference for sustainable development, Stockholm+50. The initiative launches at a global online conference on September 16 with speakers from different faiths and interfaith organizations.
“Ecocide as an international crime is absolutely necessary in the transition to a sustainable society, and we believe it must be on the agenda of the Stockholm+50 conference”, says Pella Thiel, Chair of End Ecocide Sweden. “Faith communities contribute with an important voice. Most people in the world have a faith and regardless of how we know God, I think we all agree that Nature,as our earthly home, needs to be respected.”
The faith communities of the world have been increasingly vocal about the need to protect nature. Pope Francis has proposed that “sins against ecology” be added to the teachings of the Catholic Church and said that “ecocide” should be a fifth category of crimes against peace at the international level crime. Anders Arborelius, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm and Cardinal in the Catholic church, is one of the speakers at the launch. He says referring to ecocide legislation would be of great support to him.
“As Catholic Christians, we all have a responsibility to ensure that God’s creation is cherished and revered and not destroyed and degraded. Therefore, it should also be a matter of course that at the international level one can arrive at a binding legislation that makes Ecocide impossible.”
At its annual Assembly meeting in August 2021, the Church of Sweden Youth decided to support the recognition of ecocide as an international crime and urges the Church of Sweden to do the same.
“It feels great that we are now officially behind the demand to recognize ecocide as an international crime”, says Hanna Soldal, Coordinator of Global advocacy and Youth participation at the Church of Sweden Youth. “For the sake of nature, but also for all people who depend on it; today and in the future. We believe that this is precisely the type of initiative that can give us humans hope and strength to continue to fight for a healed creation.”