Nelson man fights for eco-crimes to be prosecuted internationally

Stop Ecocide website header showing the international criminal court, with the slogan making ecocide a crime
Stop Ecocide wants the International Criminal Court to pursue crimes against the environment. Photo courtesy of Stop Ecocide.
John Rune - CJLY - KootenayBC | 13-01-2023
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A local climate activist is calling for more criminal consequences against countries or corporations who damage the environment.

Nelson resident Jamie Hunter, representative for the Canadian branch of the international Stop Ecocide campaign, says he and his colleagues received a good reception at the recent COP15 Biodiversity Conference in Montreal.

"Many of those people were from countries that are really being threatened right now by climate change and biodiversity loss," Hunter said. "So they were particularly interested in solutions like Stop Ecocide."

The organization targets practices like deep sea bottom trawling in industrial fishing, and oil spills and deep sea mining as potential ecocide.

The organization is aiming for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to add ecocide as a prosecutable offence, along with the court's mandate to investigate and pursue charges like genocide and war crimes. The Stop Ecocide initiative strives to give individual countries prosecuting powers, or in the case they refuse, offer the ICC opportunity to prosecute.

Hunter said being at the Montreal conference gave the organization the first opportunity to gather its Canadian branch in-person.

"Those rights doesn't actually mean anything unless we have criminal law to back them up with"–Stop Ecocide member Jamie Hunter explains his vision to KCR News: