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See also: écocide


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eco- +‎ -cide. The term is said to have been first coined in the mid to late 1960s or early 1970s.



ecocide (countable and uncountable, plural ecocides)

  1. The complete destruction of an ecosystem due to human activities. It may result from exploitation of resources, nuclear warfare, or the dumping of harmful chemicals.
    • 1997, Virginia Journal of International Law, volume 38, page 377:
      Two common terms used to characterize injuries to the environment include “geocide” and “ecocide,” terms particularly applicable to rain forest damage because it is irreparable.
    • 2013, Alexandra R. Harrington, “The Crime of Aggression and Threats to the Future”, in Sébastien Jodoin and Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, editors, Sustainable Development, International Criminal Justice, and Treaty Implementation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, pages 161–162:
      It has also been suggested that environmental crimes might include the proposed crime of ‘ecocide’ or ‘geocide’, with proponents of this view attempting to draw parallels between destructive acts towards the environment and those against the qualifying groups for genocide. [] [M]any who advocate for the creation of either ecocide or geocide principally argue that the best place to try such crimes is through an apparatus created in a separate and environment-oriented treaty.

Related terms[edit]



  • Franz Broswimmer (2002) Ecocide: A Short History of the Mass Extinction of Species.