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An image from the Love Letters to the Earth campaign Photo © Nicola Peel
A visual global petition, titled Love Letters to the Earth, is aiming to persuade world leaders to put a new law in place that would prevent extensive environmental destruction.
The new law, referred to as the law of ecocide, would be the environmental equivalent of genocide and is proposed as a fifth international crime against peace.
Visitors to the campaign website can choose an image and write a message to the Earth, which will be sent with other submissions to world leaders. The ‘love letters’ will be published on the Love Letters to the Earth website and can also be shared with family and friends.
Launched to coincide with Valentine’s Day, the campaign aims to collect 1 million love letters before world leaders meet at the UN Earth Summit in Brazil in June 2012.
One supporter, signing his message as Wayne, wrote: “Dear Earth, you are so beautiful! Thank you for all you offer us – if we stop and look, we can see what a wonderful world you have provided for us, and what a luxurious home of true abundance!”
Artists from around the world have donated designs to the campaign, from traditional Australian Aboriginal painting to digital images created on an iPhone.
“I am happy to be a part of this project,” said one of the contributing artists. ”I feel we are guests on this planet. It is time to stop taking the Earth for granted.”
Love Letters to the Earth is part of the wider Eradicating Ecocide campaign, which was launched in September 2011 with a mock ecocide trial at the Supreme Court in London. A public jury unanimously found two CEOs from fictional energy companies guilty of ecocide for the damage caused by their exploitation of tar oil sands.
A follow up mock trial is being held in Essex on 31 March to sentence the guilty CEOs. The event’s organisers said that the sentencing would focus on bringing restorative justice into the boardroom in order to raise directors’ awareness of environmental consequences and change the behaviour of corporations.
In April 2010, Polly Higgins, the founder of the Eradicating Ecocide campaign proposed the law of ecocide to the UN. Polly is a leading figure in the developing field of ‘Earth law’, which also includes proposals for a Universal Declaration of Earth Rights.
“This is a campaign that is gathering momentum around the world,” said Polly. “Now is the time for us to let our leaders know that we love the Earth and we want new laws to protect people and planet.”