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Rights of Mother Earth

An auspicious event is planned for Earth Day 2010.  President Evo Morales has called for the First Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights to be held in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba.  The event is planned to close on Earth Day – April 22 with a Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth.  

This historic conference is a grass roots response to the a call for broader international commitments to addressing climate change issues.   (Read about thedelegation led by Robin Milam and Michael Stone and also our Benefit Event.)

The call for a Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth is following the precedent set by Bolivia’s neighbor to the northwest.  In 2008 Ecuador rewrote its constitution to include a Bill of Rights of Nature.

The Ecuadorian Constitution now includes:

Chapter: Rights for Nature

Art. 1. Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.

Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public organisms. The application and interpretation of these rights will follow the related principles established in the Constitution.

Art. 2. Nature has the right to an integral restoration. This integral restoration is independent of the obligation on natural and juridical persons or the State to indemnify the people and the collectives that depend on the natural systems.

In the cases of severe or permanent environmental impact, including the ones caused by the exploitation on non renewable natural resources, the State will establish the most efficient mechanisms for the restoration, and will adopt the adequate measures to eliminate or mitigate the harmful environmental consequences.

Art. 3. The State will motivate natural and juridical persons as well as collectives to protect nature; it will promote respect towards all the elements that form an ecosystem.

Art. 4. The State will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles.

The introduction of organisms and organic and inorganic material that can alter in a definitive way the national genetic patrimony is prohibited.

Art. 5. The persons, people, communities and nationalities will have the right to benefit from the environment and form natural wealth that will allow wellbeing.

The environmental services are cannot be appropriated; its production, provision, use and exploitation, will be regulated by the State.

“Public organisms” in Article 1 means the courts and government agencies, i.e., the people of Ecuador would be able to take action to enforce nature rights if the government did not do so.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change includes a proposal for a Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth states “The 20th century has been the century of the human rights. First, with the approval of the civil and political rights in 1948, and second, with the approval of the economical, social and cultural rights in 1966. Now, the 21th century has to become the century of the Rights of Mother Earth and all natural beings.

2 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    If you haven’t read it, a good book is “Hope’s Edge” by Francis Moore Lappe and her daughter. Lappe has my exact same birthday and her book (Hope’s Edge) came out at the Bodhi Tree on our mutual birthday. Whatever year that was. “Diet for a Small Planet” was oh so many years ago. This one is an uplifting reporting of grass-roots movements all over the world. I’m sorry to have to say that I heard that the world-famous Bodhi Tree is not what it used to be when I lived in LA. But the world has moved on since then.

  2. 2


    Thanks for your recommendation of “Hope’s Edge”. It looks like an intimate and powerful book promoting a vision of hope from choice. My personal intention is to put a spotlight on the stories of women who are creating a world that works for all. Not only is “Hope’s Edge” a “far-reaching, impeccably researched vision for social and environmental transformation”. it is the story of a mother’s journey around the world with her daugther. I can’t wait to read it!

    For others who are not familiar with “Hope’s Edge” but recognize that we do have choices in creating the world we want, check out this review.



2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Benefit Event for Delegation to Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth | Rights of Mother Earth 20 02 10
  2. The Chocolate Fudge Cafe » Blog Archive » Equador’s “Rights for Nature” & Mother Earth’s Rights Conference in Bolivia 11 03 10

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