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Author Archive for Global Alliance

A blue and just future is possible

Maude Barlow’s keynote speech from the International Conference on Water, Megacities and Global Change, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, December 1, 2015

Maude Barlow opening UNESCO Water, Megacities and Global Change

In early December, the world turned its attention to climate talks in Paris.  At their international headquarters in Paris, UNESCO convened the Water, Megacities and Global Change  conference to the address the critical threats to water from climate change, especially in the world’s megacities. Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and international water expert was a keynote speaker at the opening ceremony on December 1.

“How do we start to talk about the crisis of water and megacities?” Maude asks. “With a critical examination of these and other policies that favour global markets over the lives of people and the health of ecosystems. And by confronting the tyranny of the 1% with the creation of a just global economy.

We can start with a new water ethic. Rather than seeing water as a resource for profit, we need to understand that it is the essential element in all living ecosystems. All policies and practices must be planned with the preservation of water at their core. Not only do we have to reject the market model for our water future, we must put ourselves at the service of undoing what we have done to the natural world and hope it is not too late.

Our current legal systems for protecting the environment are not working because they were not designed to do so. They view nature and water as our property. We need new universal laws that respect the integrity of ecosystems and allow other species than our own to fulfil their evolutionary role on Earth.”

Maude closes with stating possibilities, “Imagine a world in which water becomes nature’s gift to teach us how to live in peace with one another and dwell more lightly on this lovely planet. It is all possible. A blue and just future is possible.”

Read Maude Barlow’s complete speech (in English).

Barlow gives testimony on water at International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris

Later in the week, Maude presented as an expert witness on water at the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris.

“Displacing water from where it belongs to where we want it is a major cause of climate chaos unrecognized by many scientists and environmentalists alike. This practice is also destroying whole water systems. Over half the major rivers in China have disappeared. By destroying forests and wetlands, we destroy the lungs and kidneys of our watersheds. Since 1900, the planet has lost two thirds of its wetlands. Every minute, 36 football fields of trees are clear cut. These are crimes against the rights of nature.”

In addition to Council of Canadians, Maude Barlow serves as Executive/Board member of other earth justice organizations including the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, Food and Water Watch, International Forum on Globalization, World Future Council and Movement Rights.  In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 17 books, including her latest, Blue Future: Protecting Water For People And The Planet Forever.

 

What are those Rights of Nature. You should know, aren’t you part of her …


“What we have forgotten is to give back some times. We think that exchanging money, or paying a bill with a plastic card, somehow makes us even in this exchange. But here today, we are going to share from the knowledges from both the natural world way, from the  view point of the Indigenous Peoples, from the view point of the scientists, from the view point of the lawmakers, from your heart, from your spirit ~ to those spirits around you.

We are going to share these knowledges of what are those Rights of Nature. And you should know, aren’t you part of her…”

Casey Camp-Horinek opening the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, Paris, France.  Across the City, the UN FCCC COP 21 was convening. View this powerful introduction video of the Tribunal from Paris.

You haven’t forgotten have you? And if you did, remember now. ~ Casey Camp-Horinek, (Ponca USA)

Produced by Clement Guerra, Director of the documentary film “The Condor & The Eagle”.

Nature’s rights and human rights : building legal, economic and social solutions to planetary crisis

Hosted by The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, NatureRights, EndEcocide on Earth, and Attac France, December 3, 2015, at A Place to B, Paris, France

Video of Nature’s rights and human rights : building legal, economic and social solutions to planetary crisis Conference. The video opens in French but many speakers are in English starting at 42 seconds with Cormac Cullinan and Natalia Greene.

The well-being of humans and nature are inextricably linked. Across the globe, we injure both people and ecosystems by treating the natural world as property to fuel incessant economic growth. These injuries have risen to the level of simultaneous violations, or “co-violations,” of human rights and nature’s rights. Many co-violations are fueled by our legal and economic systems, which legalize and even encourage environmental destruction for profit. This workshop will explore co-violation trends, especially with respect to mining and other extractive industries. It also highlights specific solutions, including recognition of the rights of nature and a robust climate change treaty. The workshop features the release of Earth Law Center’s comprehensive report on rights violations worldwide, “Fighting for Our Shared Future: Protecting Both Human Rights and Nature’s Rights.”

Introduced by Samanta Novella with Cormac Cullinan and Natalia Greene.

Other speakers include Geneviève Azam, Alberto Acosta, Patricia Gualinga, Cormac Cullinan, Tom Goldtooth, Shannon Biggs, Corinne Lepage, Koffi Dogbevi, Mireille Delmas-Marty, Emilie Gaillard Emilie, Osprey Orielle Lake, Yann Aguila, Laurent Neyret, Roger Cox, Marie-odile Bertella, Valérie Cabanes, Marie Toussaint, and  Vandana Shiva

 

UN Press Conference International Rights of Nature Tribunal

Prominent International Rights of Nature Tribunal Offers Earth-Driven, Not Market-Driven, Solutions to Climate Change

UN Press International Rights of Nature Press Conference

http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-09-11-30-ithaca-college

In an extraordinary display of global solidarity, vision and determination, communities and organizations from all over the world took the initiative this past weekend to formally establish the Third International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. People flocked to the Maison des Métallos in Paris to listen to more than 65 people from 32 nationalities[1] speaking in 7 languages[2] who participated as judges, Earth Defenders, or witnesses during the two days of Tribunal hearings. More than 600 people attended the hearings on each of the two days and hundreds more had to be turned away due to lack of space. Eight prominent cases demonstrated that human rights, indigenous rights and earth rights are inseparable and the recognizing rights of nature provides a viable path forward in creating the future we want.

The participants of the Tribunal showed the strong, united leadership so lacking at COP 21 by signing the People’s Convention that formally established the Tribunal and opened the way to the creation of Regional Tribunals throughout the world. The Tribunal bases its judgements primarily on the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth and international human rights law, but also recognized ecocide as a crime. The judgements provide clear direction in each case on who is accountable and on what must be done to repair the harm and restore Earth (and communities) to health and well-being. While governments participating in the COP 21 are locked in tortuous negotiations over the wording of an agreement that will worsen the destruction of Mother Earth, the people of the world demonstrated in this way what genuine global collaboration and solidarity can achieve.

Compelling cases heard during the Tribunal include:

  • False Solutions related to Climate Change
  • Commercialization of Nature and REDD+
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Defenders of Mother Earth
  • Hydraulic fracturing “fracking”
  • Megadams in Brazil
  • Oil in the Amazon: Yasuni-ITT and Texaco Chevron as Ecocide Cases

In addition, 5 new cases were accepted for subsequent Tribunal hearings.

Tribunal members and case experts presenting to members of the press include:

  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, USA
  • Pablo Solon, Fundacion Solon, Bolivia
  • Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Turtle Island, USA

The distinguished judges constituted the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris: President – Cormac Cullinan (Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and author of Wild Law- South Africa); Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network, Turtle Island – USA);
Alberto Acosta (Economist and former president of the Constitutional Assembly – Ecuador); Osprey Orielle Lake (Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network – USA); Terisa Turner (International Oil Working Group, Friends of the Earth – Canada, professor – Canada and USA); Felicio Pontes (Federal Prosecutor – Brazil)
Damien Short (Director Human Rights Consortium, University of London – UK); Attosa Soltani (Amazon Watch founder – USA);
Nnimmo Bassey (Health of Mother Earth Foundation / Oilwatch – Nigeria);
Ruth Nyambura (African Biodiversity Network – Kenya); Christophe Bonneuil (Historian of Sciences, CNRS, Attac – France);
Philippe Desbrosses (Doctor in Environmental Sciences, Farmer, Intelligence Verte – France); – Honorary Judge on December 4th Dominique Bourg (philosopher and author, University of Lausanne, Switzerland).

Ramiro Avila, environmental attorney form Ecuador, and Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of Earth Law Center, served as Co-Prosecutors for the Earth.

 

Hosted by: The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, www.TheRightsofNature.org

CONTACT:

Osprey Orielle Lake, osprey@wecaninternational.org

Natalia Greene +593 (0) 99944-3724/nati.greene@gmail.com

 

[1] Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belorussia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France Germany, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Romania, Slovakia South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela.

[2] French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Kichwa, Sapara, Rikbakstsá,

Tribunal Offers Earth-Driven, Not Market-Driven, Solutions to Climate Change

PRESS RELEASE 
Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
Contact: Nature@theRightsofNature.org
Click for printable Paris Tribunal Press Release

International Rights of Nature Tribunal
Hears Cases for Mother Earth in Paris

Tribunal Offers Earth-Driven, Not Market-Driven, Solutions to Climate Change

Rights of Nature Tribunal photo by: Ken Wentworth for Greening Edenphoto by: Ken Wentworth for Greening Eden

“As we heard this morning, we will not bargain for the destruction of Mother Earth. We must insist on laws that recognize the inherent rights of nature. Any laws or conventions that aim for less must be rejected.” Linda Sheehan

Introduction

In an extraordinary display of global solidarity, vision and determination, communities and organizations from all over the world took the initiative this past weekend to formally establish the Third International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. People flocked to the Maison des Métallos in Paris to listen to more than 65 people from 32 nationalities[1] speaking in 7 languages[2] who participated as judges, Earth Defenders, or witnesses during the two days of Tribunal hearings. More than 600 people attended the hearings on each of the two days and hundreds more had to be turned away due to lack of space.

International Rights of Nature Convening CeremonyIndigenous peoples from around the world played a leading role throughout the Tribunal as judges, experts and witnesses. One of the highlights was the signing by the legendary Chief Raoni of the Kayapo people of the Brazilian Amazon of the People’s Convention that formally established the Tribunal. The judges of the Tribunal were honored to reciprocate by signing documents confirming their support for the Alliance of Earth’s Guardians established by Chief Raoni and his delegation.

The participants of the Tribunal showed the strong, united leadership so lacking at COP 21 by signing the People’s Convention that formally established the Tribunal which opened the way to the creation of Regional Tribunals throughout the world. The Tribunal bases its judgements primarily on the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth and international human rights law, but also recognized ecocide as a crime. The judgements provide clear direction in each case on who is accountable and on what must be done to repair the harm and restore Earth (and communities) to health and well-being. While governments participating in the COP 21 are locked in tortuous negotiations over the wording of an agreement that will worsen the destruction of Mother Earth, the people of the world in this way demonstrated what genuine global collaboration and solidarity can achieve.

The panel of Judges

The following distinguished judges constituted the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris: President – Cormac Cullinan (Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and author of Wild Law- South Africa); Tom BK Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network, Turtle Island – USA);
 Alberto Acosta (Economist and former president of the Constitutional Assembly – Ecuador); Osprey Orielle Lake (Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network – USA); Terisa Turner (International Oil Working Group, Friends of the Earth – Canada, professor – Canada and USA); Felicio Pontes (Federal Prosecutor – Brazil)
; Damien Short (Director Human Rights Consortium, University of London – UK); Atossa Soltani (Amazon Watch founder – USA);
 Nnimmo Bassey (Health of Mother Earth Foundation / Oilwatch – Nigeria);
 Ruth Nyambura (African Ecofeminists Collective – Kenya);
 Christophe Bonneuil (Historian of Sciences, CNRS, Attac – France);
 Philippe Desbrosses (Doctor in Environmental Sciences, Farmer, Intelligence Verte – France); – Honorary Judge on December 4th Dominique Bourg (philosopher and author, University of Lausanne, Switzerland).

Co-Prosecutors Linda Sheehan, Earth Law Center, USA and Ramiro Avila, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar, (Ecuador) represented Mother Earth. Natalia Greene, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (Ecuador) served as Secretariat.

Listening to Nature

The proposed solutions to climate change being presented at COP 21 are abstract, theoretical, market-driven, not Earth-driven, and motivated by self-interest. The approach at the hearings of the Tribunal couldn’t have been more different. Its findings were based scientific and other expert testimony, from the first-hand experiences of witnesses.  Decisions drew on scientific knowledge and the cosmovision, worldview and wisdom of indigenous peoples and local communities. The focus was on listening to Nature and was based on the recognition that Nature’s laws cannot be broken – an understanding that appears to be absent from COP 21.

The Tribunal opened and closed with deeply moving evocations of Mother Earth by indigenous peoples. They also presented testimonies that drew the Tribunal’s attention to dimensions ignored in the COP 21 negotiations, including the denial of the sacredness of the Earth, which must be considered along with its physical properties. Central to these dimensions was how patriarchal, dominating mind-sets and world views deny the sacred, and as a consequence, cause the creative feminine principle of Mother Earth to be attacked, resulting in the disruption of vital balances.

Nature is alive, she has the right to exist, to maintain natural cycles, to flourish and to constantly regenerate life. However most legal, economic and political systems treat Nature as an object which cannot have rights – as a slave to be used and exploited. Reverence for Nature is replaced with utilitarian and perverse views of Nature that seek to commodify and commercialize vital natural processes. This results in the climate crisis we and the Earth face today.

Findings of the Tribunal

The Tribunal’s findings are clear and strong – specific in who must be held accountable and why, and in the practical measures that need to be taken to solve the challenges faced by humanity. The Tribunal recognized that solutions do exist – communities and indigenous peoples have been applying these solutions and have been putting their bodies on the line to protect Earth for hundreds of years. We are living in an unequal world and the solutions need to be equitable.

“So the first point is inescapable.  This is a systemic issue and the responses must be systemic.

Secondly, if anyone came here with any doubts about whether or not human rights and the rights of nature are compatible, I think that they must have been dispelled. Everybody has demonstrated that they are inseparable. As Chief Seattle is reported to have said so long ago: ‘What befalls the Earth, befalls the children of the Earth.’”

Secondly, if anyone came here with any doubts about whether or not human rights and the rights of nature are compatible, I think that they must have been dispelled.  Everybody has demonstrated that they are inseparable.  As Chief Seattle is reported to have said so long ago: ‘What befalls the Earth, befalls the children of the Earth.’” Cormac Cullinan

The evidence presented at the Tribunal established beyond any doubt that human rights and the rights of Nature are inseparable, and that both are being systematically violated by systems based on arrogant delusions arising from the misconception that humans have the right and ability to dominate and exploit Earth. Evidence presented at the Tribunal also showed how indigenous understandings and knowledge complement scientific knowledge. It also demonstrated the extraordinary creative energies that are released when diverse peoples unite, inspired by a shared love of Earth, to find the solutions that humanity so desperately needs, especially at this moment in time.

Cases the Tribunal heard in Paris

Climate change

Former Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solón led the presentation of the Climate Change case. The evidence showed why geo-engineering, nuclear energy, industrial and “climate smart” agriculture, biofuels, and the accelerated exploitation of fossil fuels are false solutions devised for corporate profit that will increase the damage to Earth. The Tribunal found that the rights of Nature are being systemically violated by climate change, mainly as a consequence of the acts and inaction of governments and international organizations (including the United Nations), the legal, economic and political systems that they have established, and the activities of a relatively few companies. The Tribunal closed the case and a written judgement will follow.

Commercialization of Nature

The case of financialization of Nature, presented by Ivonne Yanez was expanded from the previous Tribunals that before dealt only with REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). The Tribunal took note of the evidence that many more instances of the commodification and commercialization of Nature are emerging. These include biodiversity offsets, carbon offsets, (so-called) clean development mechanisms, and (so-called) smart agriculture. The Tribunal decided to keep the case open so that more evidence can be collected and presented – particularly with regard to the identity of the perpetrators.

Genetically modified organisms

Dr. Vandana Shiva led the presentation of this case which deals with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the agro-food industry. The Tribunal heard expert evidence from Ronnie Cummins, Marie Monique Robin, Andre Leu and José Bové; all of whom exposed the damage that GMOs and associated pesticides are doing to consumers, to animals and to soil. The Tribunal decided to keep the case open to hear additional evidence especially through regional Tribunals including in Asia.

Defenders of Mother Earth

Two cases of Defenders of Mother Earth were heard in the Tribunal: (1) the criminalization of Defenders in Ecuador and (2) the persecution of Defenders who protest against the pollution in Houston, Texas arising from fossil fuels and chemical contamination. The judges ratified the principle that the Tribunal would defend the Defenders of Mother Earth and hear further cases where necessary. It condemned the Government of Ecuador’s criminalization of Defenders of Mother Earth in that country, and demanded the restitution of human rights, liberty and the re-opening of closed institutions in Ecuador. The Tribunal closed the Ecuador case but kept the Texas case open in order to gather new evidence.

Fracking

The Tribunal had already conducted hearings about global fracking at its previous sessions in Quito and Lima. The Tribunal heard evidence from witnesses about the damage that fracking is causing in Argentina. Witnesses testified about how in the USA fracking is “breaking the bones of Mother Earth”, causing earthquakes and widespread suffering of the people who inhabit lands that are being sacrificed to “unconventional oil extraction”. The Tribunal confirmed that fracking results in a range of serious violations of the rights of Nature. After hearing the new evidence presented in Paris, the judges decide to close this case but recognized this is an ongoing threat that should continue to be examined by regional tribunals.

Mega dams in Brazil

Gert Peter Bruch and Christian Poirier presented the case of mega dams in Brazil, with the powerful testimonies of Antonia Melo, María Lucia Munduruku and Chief Raoni. The Tribunal condemned the building of Belo Monte and Tapajos mega dams and the planned construction of many more, which will cause horrific destruction of the Amazon and its inhabitants. It decided to leave the case open to hear additional evidence in a regional Tribunal in Brazil.

New cases accepted for hearing at subsequent sittings of the Tribunal

A number of new cases were presented to the Tribunal as probable violations of the Rights of Nature which justified being heard by the Tribunal in the future. The Tribunal accepted them all for further consideration and gave directions about how the cases should be developed.

The Corralejas case concerns the cruel killing of bulls in Colombia. The Tribunal found that there was clear evidence of torture and cruelty to animals in violation of the Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and asked that the case be widened to include other violation of animal rights for initial consideration by a regional Tribunal. The case of the community of Rosia Montana in Romania which has been threatened by proposed gold mining was accepted with the direction that it be widened to consider other examples of destructive mining practices. The depletion of marine life was accepted with the request that more specific information be presented about the identity of the main perpetrators. The Shell case in Nigeria was accepted and the violence in the area was condemned with the recommendation that consideration be giving to establishing a regional tribunal to conduct hearings. Finally, the case on the oil sands in Canada was accepted and the Tribunal observed that there was evidence that this may be one of the most dangerous instances of ecocide on the planet.

Ecocide cases

The Tribunal also re-considered two cases that it had previously heard. The objective of the reconsideration was to determine whether in addition to being violations of the Declaration, there was also evidence that the two cases were examples of the international crime of ecocide. (Severe violations of the Rights of Nature may also qualify as ecocides, because they constitute crimes against humans and the planet.)

The Tribunal re-examined the Yasuní case (which involves proposed oil exploitation in a national park in the Ecuadorian Amazon) and Chevron case (which involves responsibility for rectifying huge damage to the Amazon caused by Texaco/ Chevron) from the perspective of ecocide. The Tribunal found that the Chevron case was one of the worst instances of ecocide perpetrated on the Amazon and that restorative justice should be applied. In preparing the written judgment, consideration would be given to whether or not Chevron itself should be liquidated and its assets used to restore the damage. It noted that individuals, such as the directors of Chevron and corrupt government officials, could also be criminally liable in their personal capacity for ecocides.

Regarding Yasuní, the Tribunal decided that it would be appropriate to issue a directive prohibiting future exploitation of the Yasuni oil as a measure to prevent ecocide.

General findings and comments

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal recommends that the Rome Statute be amended to enable perpetrators of the crime of ecocide to be prosecuted before the International Criminal Court (ICC),

The Tribunal strongly supported keeping fossil fuels in the ground (keep the oil in the soil, the coal in the hole, the gas under the grass and the tar sands in the land) as an essential approach to prevent further harm to Nature.

In regards to Ecuadorian President Correa’s call for the establishment of an Environmental Justice Tribunal, this Tribunal made the point that the people of the world had already done so by establishing the existing International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature. It called on governments to provide support for Peoples’ Tribunals. It called on President Correa to publicly support and help implement the judgements of the Tribunal concerning cases in Ecuador (Yasuni, Chevron and the criminalization of Defenders of Mother Earth).

The Tribunal commended the pursuit of the Rights of Nature cases that have been won in Ecuador and the use of local ordinances and other documents that recognize the rights of Nature in the USA, as effective means of stopping destruction such as fracking, and recommended that these approaches be considered elsewhere in the world.

The Tribunal noted that the only mention in the official COP21 texts of the integrity of ecosystems, Mother Earth and indigenous peoples (paragraph 10) was in danger of being eliminated. The Tribunal strongly condemned this shocking failure to address the real drivers of climate change. It highlighted the fact that the magnificent testimonies presented to the Tribunal proved beyond doubt that the rights of Mother Earth are being systematically violated.

The Tribunal condemned the violence, produced by terrorism and exacerbated by climate change. We need to make peace with Mother Earth to achieve peace among peoples.

Next steps

Judgments will be written and published for all closed cases, as was done and presented in Paris for the Great Barrier Reef and the Yasuní Case. The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature will be a hub for accepting the submission of new cases and for providing guidelines, documents, assistance and intellectual support and training to expand the initiative to recognize the Rights of Nature worldwide.

The Tribunal calls on all communities and organizations that share its vision:

  • to become parties to the Peoples’ Convention on establishing the International Rights of Nature Tribunal;
  • to establish more regional tribunals under the umbrella of the International Tribunal; and
  • to take creative action to support the implementation of its judgements.

The Paris Tribunal was hosted by the Global Alliance of the Rights of Nature in partnership with End Ecocide on Earth, NatureRights & Attac France.

[1] Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belorussia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France Germany, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Romania, Slovakia South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela.

[2] French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Kichwa, Sapara, Rikbakstsá,

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Ta’kaiya Blaney – To turn the world around, turn it upside down

Ta’kaiya Blaney, through a poignant closing song at the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris, shared the message If you want to turn the world around, you need to turn it upside down …
video by Citizens’ Voice at the Paris Climate Talks

Ta’kaiya Blaney, from the Tla’Amin First Nation in British Columbia with the Indigenous Environmental Network

“I was told by a Haida elder that to turn the world around, you have to turn it upside down,”Ta’Kaiya interviewed by Amy Goodman and DemocracyNow!

Also shown on DemocracyNow! http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2015/12/10/watch_takaiya_blaney_14_year_old

 

Read more about the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Paris, France.

Reconnecting with Mother Earth IS a solution

Osprey Orielle Lake closed a very moving Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network Press Conference on the impact of  Women on the Frontline of Climate Change around the world at the UN FCCC.  Each of these women speak movingly of the personal dramatic impact of modern society’s lust for fossil fuels, an economy driven by unbridled growth at any cost and the blatant disregard for human rights ~ especially Indigenous rights, earth rights and the dignity of all.

WE CAN international at UNFCCC

Women raising their voices are Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca – USA; IEN), Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku, Ecuador) with Leila Salazar-Lopez (AmazonWatch) translating, Neema Namadamu (DRC Congo) and Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara – USA; IEN).

View the 30 minute UNFCCC Press Conference at http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-08-18-30-women-s-earth-and-climate-caucus-wecc

WE CAN International released its downloadable 2016 Women’s Climate Action Agenda.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal AGENDA

December 4-5, Maison des Metallos, 94 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011
Download International Rights of Nature Program ~ Click for English      Cliquez pour le français

Tribunal Program cover en

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL
A unique, citizen-created initiative to testify publicly about the destruction of the Earth and propose a systemic alternative to environmental protection and current environmental laws.

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal was launched by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) in 2014. The first session of the Tribunal, presided over by Dr. Vandana Shiva, was convened in Quito, Ecuador in January 2014 during the Global Rights of Nature Summit. The second session held in Lima, Peru in December 2014 during the UNFCCC-COP20 climate discussions, and was presided over by Alberto Acosta. This is the third such Tribunal, and is being held concurrent with the COP21 climate talks in Paris.

The Tribunal is a unique, citizen-created initiative. It gives people from all around the world the opportunity to testify publicly as to the destruction of the Earth, destruction that governments and corporations not only allow, but in some cases encourage.

The Tribunal provides a systemic alternative to environmental protection, acknowledging that ecosystems have the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate their vital cycles, with legal standing in a court of law. The Tribunal has a strong focus on enabling Indigenous Peoples to share their unique concerns and solutions about land, water, air and culture with the global community.

The Tribunal features internationally renowned lawyers and leaders for planetary justice, who will hear emblematic cases addressing issues such as climate change and false solutions, GMOs, fracking, extractive industries such as mining, and other violations of nature’s rights.

The Tribunals formulate judgments and recommendations for the Earth’s protection and restoration based on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and existing nature’s rights laws. Among other things, the Declaration binds us to respect the integrity of the vital ecological processes of the Earth. Accordingly, the Declaration also helps advance proposed amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to recognize the crime of Ecocide.

The International Tribunal of the Rights of Nature is part of an effort to promote a change of consciousness and highlight the need to expand the international legal framework, national laws and courts to ensure the safety of planet by preserving biodiversity and respecting ecosystem dynamics.

The third International Rights of Nature Tribunal will be held on 4 and 5 December 2015 concurrently with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21) in Paris, France. This tribunal is hosted by the Global Alliance of the Rights of Nature in partnership with End Ecocide on Earth; NatureRights & Attac France.

CLIMATE CRIMES AGAINST NATURE • FINANCIALIZATION OF NATURE
AGRO-FOOD INDUSTRY/GMOS • MEGA-DAMS IN THE AMAZON • FRACKING
DEFENDERS OF MOTHER EARTH • OIL EXPLOITATION ECOCIDES

Registration details:
www.maisondesmetallos.org/2015/07/22/tribunal-international-des-droits-de-la-nature
More information:
(EN) http://therightsofnature.org/rights-of-nature-tribunal-paris – tribunal@therightsofnature.org
(FR) http://www.naturerights.com/blog/?p=1126 – samanta@naturerights.com

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL – PROGRAM
MAISON DES METALLOS – FRIDAY 4 DEC. & SATURDAY 5 DEC. / 9H00-18H00
The Tribunal is hosted by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN), who holds the Secretariat and formal procedures for ongoing International Rights of Nature Tribunals.
In Paris, the GARN has established a partnership with End Ecocide on Earth for some cases of Ecocides, and with NatureRights and Attac France. The cases will be presented by presenters, experts, witnesses and victims.
JUDGES

President – Cormac Cullinan (Author Wild Law, Cullinan Associates Inc., EnAct International – South Africa)
Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network, Turtle Island – USA)
Alberto Acosta (Economist and former president of the Constituent Assembly from Ecuador)
Osprey Orielle Lake (Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network – USA)
Terisa Turner (professor, former UN Energy Specialist – Canada)
Felicio Pontes (Federal Prosecutor – Brazil)
Damien Short (Dir. Human Rights Consorcium University of London – UK)
Attosa Soltani (Amazon Watch founder – USA)
Nnimmo Bassey (Health of Mother Earth Foundation / Oilwatch – Nigeria)
Ruth Nyambura (Political ecologist, African Ecofeminists Collective – Kenya)
Christophe Bonneuil (Historian of Sciences, CNRS, Attac – France)
Philippe Desbrosses (Doctor in Environmental Sciences, Farmer, Intelligence Verte – France) – Honorary Judge on December 4th
Dominique Bourg (University of Lausanne, Philosopher, author – Switzerland) – Honorary Judge on December 5th

PROSECUTORS FOR THE EARTH:  Ramiro Ávila (University Simón Bolivar – Ecuador); Linda Sheehan (Earth Law Center – USA)

SECRETARIAT:  Natalia Greene (GARN – Ecuador)

SECRETARIAT ADVISORS:

Edgardo Lander (Universidad Central de Venezuela, Transnational Institute – Venezuela), Joan Martínez Alier (Prof. ICTA Autonomous University of Barcelona – Spain), Enrique Viale (Asociación Argentina de Abogados Ambientalistas – Argentina), Thomas Coutrot (Attac France), Fernando Pino Solanas (Senator, Argentina)

FRIDAY 4 DEC. 9H00-18H

9H00 – INDIGENOUS OPENING CEREMONY
Patricia Gualingua (Sarayeku) / Ta’kaiya Blaney (Tla’Amin First Nation, Canada) / Cassey Camp Horinek (Ponca Oklahoma, USA)

9H20 – INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ON THE INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL

Introduction: Natalia Greene (GARN), Samanta Novella (NatureRights)
Rights of Nature RON Assessment Esperanza Martinez (Acción Ecologica)
Opening from Tribunal’s President Cormac Cullinan
Opening from Prosecutors for the Earth  Ramiro Ávila, Linda Sheehan

9H40 – CLIMATE CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
Presenter Pablo Solón (Fundacion Solon, Focus on the Global South) (Judges Osprey Orielle Lake & Nnimmo Bassey)
Fossil Fuels  Expert   Maxime Combes (Attac France), Witness/Victim Desmond D’sa (South Africa)

Deforestation Miguel Lovera (Global Forest Coalition, Paraguay), David Kureeba (Global Forest Coalition, Uganda)
Water & Climate  Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians), Michal Kravcik (Slovakia)
Market Mechanisms, Climate Smart Agriculture, Land Use  Badrul Alam (LVC & President, Bangladesh Krishok Federation) and Maria Isabel Carrillo (CONAVIGUA)

11h30 – Coffee Break

Bio-Energy Carbon Capture Storage Pat Mooney (ETC Group)
Geoengineering
Silvia Ribeiro (ETC Group Mexico) Godwin Ojo (Nigeria, FoE)
Nuclear Roland Desbordes (CRIIRAD), Alexei Nesterenko (Belarus)

12h40 – Lunch

13H45 – FINANCIALIZATION OF NATURE
Presenter Ivonne Yanez (Acción Ecológica, Ecuador) (Judge Tom Goldtooth)
Compensation mechanisms linked to biodiversity conservation Genevieve Azam (Attac France), Tamra Gilberston (Carbon Trade Watch), Gloria Ushigua (Sápara, Ecuador)
EU biodiversity offsets, WRM Report on REDD+, economic valuation of nature Jutta Kill (biologist, Germany), Sengwer Indigenous representative (Kenya, Africa)

15H00 – AGRO-FOOD INDUSTRY / GMOS
Presenter: Vandana Shiva (Navdanya) (Judge: Philippe Desbrosses)
Marie-Monique Robin (Journalist), Ronnie Cummins (Organic Consumers Association (OCA)), José Bové (Via Campesina, Green European Deputee), Andre Leu (IFOAM)

16h15 – Break
16H30 – DEFENDERS OF MOTHER EARTH
(Judges: Ruth Nyambura and Atossa Soltani)
Criminalization of defenders of Mother Earth in Ecuador Blanca Chancoso (Kichwa), Belén Páez (Pachamama Foundation), Manari Ushigua (Sápara leader), Braulio Gutierrez (Yasunidos)
Fossil fuels and chemical contamination Yudith Nieto, Juan and Byron Parras (USA-Houston TX, T.E.J.A.S)

17H10 PROSECUTORS FOR THE EARTH STATEMENTS
17H15 – JUDGES’ STATEMENTS FROM DAY 1
18H00 – CONTRIBUTION OF ADVISOR’S COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE (Fernando Pino Solanas)
18H10 – CLOSURE

SAT 5 DEC. 2015 – 9H-18H00
09H15 – HYDRAULIC FRACKING
Presenter Shannon Biggs (Movement Rights – USA) (Judge: Damien Short)
Enrique Viales (Argentina), Geert de Cock (Food and Water – Europe), Kandi Mosset (Fort Berthold, ND, USA), Khaoula Chikhaoui (Tunisia)

10H30 – MEGA DAMS IN THE AMAZON – BELO MONTE & TAPAJOS
Presenter Gert-Peter Bruch (Planète Amazone, France) (Judge: Felicio Pontes)
Christian Poirier (Amazon Watch), Cacique Raoni Kayapo, Antonia Mello (Xingu Vivo), Munduruku and Yawalapiti representatives
Tapajós
11H30 – Coffee Break
11H45 – PRESENTATION OF NEW CASES TO THE INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL SECRETARIAT
Andrea Padilla (AnimaNaturalis, Corralejas Colombia); Alexandra Postelnicu (Rosia Montana Mines, Romania); Lisa Mead, Earth Laws Alliance (Depletion of Marine Life); Godwin Ojo, (Environmental Rights Action (ERA)/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Niger Delta Shell), Eriel Deranger, Athabascan Chippewyan (Oil Sands Canada)
(Judges: Christophe Bonneuil and Terisa Turner).

13h00 – Lunch
14H00 – ECOCIDE CRIME AT THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

Presenter Valerie Cabanes (EEE) – Recognizing ecocide in international criminal law; reopening of cases related to oil exploitation as ecocides.

14H15 – OIL EXPLOITATION ECOCIDES – ECUADOR
Presenter Carlos Larrea (Andina Simón Bolivar University) (Judges: Dominique Bourg and Alberto Acosta)
Yasuní-ITT Case Esperanza Martinez (Acción Ecologica, Oilwatch – Keep Oil Underground Annex 0), Antonella Calle (Yasunidos), Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku)
Texaco/Chevron Ecocides Case Pablo Fajardo (Lawyer, UDAPT – Union de afectados por Texaco), Humberto Piaguaje (UDAPT – Union de afectados por Texaco)

15H30 – PRESENTATION OF DECISIONS ON PREVIOUS CASES:

Conclusion statements on Yasuní-ITT (Ecuador) Alberto Acosta, Great Barrier Reef (Australia) Tantoo Cardinal

15h45 – Coffee Break

16H15 PROSECUTORS FOR THE EARTH STATEMENTS
16H30 – JUDGES STATEMENTS FROM DAY 2
17H20 – PRESIDENT’S FINAL STATEMENTS
17H50 – CLOSURE : TA’KAIYA BLANEY