Ecocide; buy into ethical chocolate!
What is ecocide?
Ecocide literally means ‘killing the environment’. Actions that could be considered ecocide include significantly damaging and/or destroying our precious ecosystems. Other instances that can be considered ecocide include jeopardising the health and/or wellbeing of a species. The human race can be incorporated into this too. By making palm oil and soy free chocolate bars, we actively steer away from all environmentally polluting farming issues.In lay terms, ecocide involves serious crimes surrounding nature and species.
It’s a big problem!
The term ecocide came about in the 1970s. It emerged as a result of the chemical weapon Agent Orange being used in the Vietnam War by the Americans. The chemical caused massive destruction to the local people and wildlife in Vietnam. Consequently, the concept of ecocide as an international crime began.
Ecocide has been committed numerous times over many decades. It has contributed to the current climate and ecological issues our planet suffers with today. Only 10 nations currently class ecocide as a criminal act and have necessary legislation in place. These include Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Ecuador and Vietnam. As it stands, ecocide has not yet been recognised by the United Nations (UN) as an internationally punishable crime – something we hope changes soon. In particular, ecocide has been used as a legal concept in order to try and bring attention to certain events such as major accidents at nuclear power plants or mass deforestation. This cause is extremely close to home to us, as we only use cacao thats been grown using agroforestry techniques – we need the rainforest to make our ethical chocolate.
Just because acts of ecocide are not criminalised globally, it does not mean that those actions are any less horrific or destructive. It is important to try to understand how devastating ecocide really is.
Ecocide & Chocolate
The ecocide of the Amazon rainforest is a disaster for the environment, but it also affects our beloved chocolate. The industry relies on cacao beans from this region to produce its product. Therefore, ecocidal actions can be catastrophic. It is important to recognise this phenomenon and to do our bit to help mother nature!
The word ecocide is not often used in conversation, but the effects are evident. Acts of ecocide and elements of the chocolate industry often unfortunately come hand in hand. For example, deforestation of forests to make way for palm oil plantations could be considered acts of ecocide. A perfect example of this happened in Ecuador in the 1970s. Deforestation was propelled when cocoa plantations replaced tropical forest cover at an alarming rate, which sadly led to increasing droughts, due to lack of trees for water condensations.
Cacao beans grow on trees after being fertilized by bees and insects native to tropical forests. A place where many different species live together harmoniously within a single ecosystem, until eco disasters disturb them all. A study conducted last year found that bee populations have declined by around 23% in twenty years. Highlighting the damaging effects of irresponsible behaviour towards ecosystems.
Ecocide has had a significant impact on the chocolate industry, which is why it is important for companies to ensure they source their ingredients ethically in order help protect animals and ecosystems across cocoa growing regions of Africa where eco disasters have led many species towards extinction including one type of bee found last year that disappeared after disappearing because its natural habitats were destroyed due to deforestation.
In 2010, approximately 70 percent of global cocoa production came from West Africa. A place where ecocide practices such as slash-and-burn farming occur frequently due to poverty levels being high amongst farmers, who depend on their crops for survival. These ecocidal practices result in significant deforestation which leads not only to loss of biodiversity but also the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The impacts ecocide has had on the chocolate industry cannot be ignored, as ethical sourcing practices play an essential role in ensuring biodiversity can remain protected within landscapes that are also used as space for cattle or crops grown for livestock feedstock all over the world. This is done whilst simultaneously improving farmers wages so that more sustainable practices become a more feasible option.
How can I help?
We can still easily enjoy our favourite treat AND help the planet at the same time.There are many ways to avoid supporting companies that cause ecocides such as purchasing ethical chocolate or fair-trade products which help ensure crops were harvested ethically and sustainably. By making palm oil and soy free chocolate, we don’t put towards deforestation and environmental damage. In doing this, you are helping local communities thrive, so they don’t need to cut down their own forests anymore.
People don’t have to suffer just because corporations want more land to grow cacao beans for mass production. The best way you can show your support today is by taking action against ecocide.
When you purchase raw chocolate, you show your support for ecocide-free companies while enjoying a delicious treat. You can explore our range of organic ethical chocolate at mrpoppleschocolate.co.uk.shop