She was a tireless advocate for earth rights. She was a founder of the earth laws alliance and she was an inspiration to many thousands of people around the world.
Polly Higgins died on Sunday 21st April at the age of 50. When she realised that: “the earth is in need of a good lawyer”, she left her well paid job and took on the challenge . She will be remembered for her work to set in train a process for bringing those who abuse the earth to justice, to have their day in court, to answer for their crimes against the rights of the earth community to live as prescribed by earth law.
Allowing the earth to function as designed i.e. for rivers to be living rivers, for forests to be living forests providing habitats for wildlife that will be protected and allowed to thrive, for the seas to not be overfished and for species not to be driven to extinction, for the children yet unborn to have the right to live as citizens of the earth in balance with nature. These were at the core of her work that will live on through the earth protectors network she started.
“There is a missing responsibility to protect … What is required is an expansion of our collective duty of care to protect the natural living world and all life. International ecocide crime is a law to protect the Earth,” said Polly Higgins.
The author and activist Naomi Klein tweeted: “She devoted her life to changing broken laws that have failed so miserably to protect the natural systems on which we all depend. Her work will live on.”
Kate Raworth, a teacher at the Environmental Change Institute of Oxford University, said she was devastated by the loss of the brilliant, pioneering legal campaigner. “May bright young lawyers worldwide be inspired to continue her essential work,” she tweeted.
Says Jonathan Watts in: Polly Higgins, lawyer who fought for recognition of ‘ecocide’, (The Guardian April 22, 2019) she was a campaigner and barrister who attempted to create a law to criminalise ecological damage. To read more, click here.
To watch a TEDx talk, click on the link: Ecocide, the 5th Crime Against Peace
The Australian Earth Laws Alliance is the local equivalent of the work being done by Polly Higgins law firm in the U.K. For more, click on: AELA