In a statement, that has brought hope to millions around the world, the International Criminal Court will begin pursuing hearing cases involving the environmental impact caused by individuals, firms, and governments. In this shift of policy a whole new landscape has opened up for victims of environmental violence of all kinds.

Communities will soon have the ability to hold industrial pollutors accountable and to see a variety of individuals tried for crimes which otherwise would not have been possible due to differences in local legality and other complications related to international corporate policy and other factors.

This announcement truly spells the beginning of a new world of freedom and justice for all global citizens on Planet Earth.

Destroy the corporate stranglehold

Since it was founded in 1989, the International Criminal Court has been tasked with addressing war crimes and human rights abuses. Seeing ecological destruction, environmental pollution and the confiscation of lands added to the human rights concerns this court addresses -- a huge victory for all who champion the notion of universal human rights.

The global environmental watchdog group Global Witness has reported that 2015 was the most violent year on record in regard to issues related to land use. Conflicts arising from deforestation, mining, the construction of dams, and attempts to stop corporate biotech and agribusiness resulted in as many as 3 people killed each week across all of 2015.

It is worth noting that the International Criminal Court has begun to pursue a variety of other new crimes as well. In August,Ahmad al-Fahdi al-Mahdi became the first person to be charged with cultural destruction as a war crime. It is exciting to watch the International Criminal Court expand its attempts to support global justice.

Save the planet

International communities deserve to be free from elements of structural and environmental oppression. It is important that there are government bodies with the authority to address international abuses. For the first time, the crimes associated with development are being viewed on par with thosecommitted in acts of war.

It is a bold new day for Environmental Justice.

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