A tribute to Polly Higgins

Polly Higgins
Award-winning author, barrister and ecocide law expert dies, age 50.


Polly Higgins was a great dreamer. Her dream was to see the whole world recognise the sanctity of the earth and live in harmony with her.

She was also a warrior. She was fighting to make the destruction of land, devastation of forests, pollution of oceans and contamination of atmosphere a crime against nature. In her view ecocide is as serious a crime as genocide.

She was a lawyer by profession. But instead of working for her personal success she devoted her entire life in the service of the earth.

Unconditional commitment

The earth herself was Polly’s client and she worked day and night defending the rights of nature.

There are thousands of lawyers defending human rights but Polly was one of the few who made unconditional commitment to defend the rights of the earth.

She was only 50 years old when she was taken ill with incurable cancer. It spread fast and her body was unable to cope with it.

Many thousands of her friends around the world were praying for her recovery. But in the end she had to let go and move on. Her body is gone but her legacy of fighting for the cause of the earth lives on.

Polly was a great supporter and frequent contributor to Resurgence & Ecologist. The interview published in the May/June issue of R&E was, I believe, the last magazine interviews of her life.

We will miss her hugely but we will carry on the task of defending the earth and serving the cause of mother nature.

This Author

Satish Kumar is editor emeritus of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. 

Image: Priit Siimon, Flickr. 

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