Layout Image

Organizations stand in solidarity with Fundación Pachamama

Click Versión en español abajo / Version française ci-dessous)

Express your organization’s solidarity with Fundación Pachamama! This is a letter circulating for organizations / institutions/ federations, etc. to sign onto.

Please sign for your organization as soon as possible (we will publish once we have a critical mass of sign-ons) via the Google Form, found at: http://tinyurl.com/m89t835. Or you can send a message to pat@pachamama.org with the following information:  Organization name, Organization country, Contact name, Contact e-mail address. We will publish once we have a critical mass of sign-ons.

Separate from this request for organizations, individuals can sign the Avaaz petition.

We Stand in Solidarity with Fundación Pachamama in Ecuador

The below listed organizations, both Ecuadorian and international, would like to make the following statement to the broader public, our political representatives, and the media:

On the morning of December 4th, 2013, the Quito-based headquarters of the internationally recognized organization Fundación Pachamama were raided and closed down by police agents, who presented a resolution of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment dissolving the organization.

We agree with Fundación Pachamama’s position that this dissolution is an arbitrary act, looking to repress the organization’s legitimate right to dissent against the national government’s decision to hand over the territories of Amazonian indigenous peoples via concessions to oil companies, without respecting those peoples’ constitutional rights, in particular their right to free, prior, and informed consent, in agreement with international human rights law.

Fundación Pachamama’s position has always been based in the defense of human rights and the rights of nature, all of this carried out in actions within the rule of law. For the last sixteen years they have offered solidarity and assistance to the indigenous organizations that legitimately represent the ancestral peoples of the Amazon.

As a matter of principle and institutional nature, Fundación Pachamama rejects any violent actions coming from any sector. In our experience, the Foundation has never supported or much less participated in violent actions. Such violence cannot be imputed upon them for acts they did not commit.

Given their work in defense of rights, they have been publicly and viciously attacked by those who hold political power in Ecuador, accusations that have been broadly disseminated through state-run media. We view this as violent, in addition to hastily dissolving an organization, without any legal justification, without a due process that would guarantee legitimate defense.

Responding to this aggression, we express our support for the Fundación Pachamama while they:

1. Don’t renounce their right to defend rights; and

2. Challenge the government’s decision through all the legal means at their disposal.

We will continue supporting Fundación Pachamama while they guarantee that this aggression, to which they are victims, doesn’t distract attention and debate from the core issue which is the violation of Amazonian indigenous peoples’ collective rights and the rights of nature, by means of an oil tender carried out against the will of the legitimate property holders of the affected territories, through a ‘socialization process’, not a real consultation.

It’s time to reinstate Fundación Pachamama and end the repression against civil society and indigenous peoples in Ecuador.

(Organizational signatures, organized by country)

Versión en español

Expresar la solidaridad de su organización con la Fundación Pachamama! Esto es un pronunciamiento para adhesiones institucionales (de organizaciones, federaciones, etc). Favor entregar la información lo más pronto posible (publicaremos la carta cuando tengamos una masa crítica de adhesiones) a través del Google Form que hemos establecido en el siguiente link: http://tinyurl.com/m89t835. O se puede enviar un mensaje a pat@pachamama.org con la siguiente información: Nombre de Organización, País de Organización, Nombre de Contacto, Correo-e de Contacto.

Individuos pueden firmar la petición de Avaaz.

Nos Solidarizamos con la Fundación Pachamama en Ecuador

Las organizaciones Ecuatorianas e Internacionales abajo adheridas manifestamos lo siguiente a la opinión pública, nuestros representantes políticos, y los medios de comunicación:

En la mañana del miércoles 04 de diciembre de 2013, en las oficinas de la organización internacionalmente reconocida Fundación Pachamama en la ciudad de Quito, Ecuador se presentaron funcionarios de la Policía y procedieron a clausurar las instalaciones a la vez que se les dejaban una resolución del Ministerio de Ambiente por la que se disuelve la organización.

Coincidimos con la postura de Fundación Pachamama que dicha disolución es un acto arbitrario que busca reprimir su legítimo derecho a disentir de la decisión del Gobierno Nacional de entregar en concesión territorios de las nacionalidades indígenas amazónicas a empresas petroleras, sin respetar sus derechos constitucionales, especialmente a la consulta libre, previa e informada, de acuerdo a los estándares del Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos.

La posición de la Fundación Pachamama siempre se ha fundamentado en el ejercicio de la defensa de los derechos humanos y de la naturaleza y se ha concretado en acciones enmarcadas en el estado de derecho. Desde hace dieciséis años ellos han ofrecido un apoyo solidario a las organizaciones indígenas que legítimamente representan a los pueblos ancestrales de la Amazonía.

Por principio y naturaleza institucional, la Fundación Pachamama rechaza las manifestaciones violentas que provengan de cualquier sector. En nuestra experiencia, desde la Fundación Pachamama nunca han apoyado ni participado en ningún acto violento. No se les puede imputar actos en los que no han participado.

Por su trabajo en defensa de los derechos han sido agredidos pública y violentamente mediante expresiones de quien detenta el poder político, difundidas ampliamente por los medios de comunicación bajo control del gobierno. Eso es violencia, además de disolver a una organización intempestivamente, sin causa legal alguna, sin un debido proceso que garantice la legítima defensa.

Frente a esta agresión, manifestamos nuestro respaldo a Fundación Pachamama mientras ellos:

1. No renuncian a su derecho a defender los derechos; y

2. Impugnarán la decisión por todos los medios legales a su alcance.

Apoyaremos a Fundación Pachamama mientras ellos trabajan para que la agresión de que son víctima, no desvíe la atención y el debate del tema de fondo que es la violación de los derechos colectivos de los pueblos indígenas amazónicos y de los derechos de la Naturaleza, por una ronda petrolera realizada contra la voluntad de los legítimos propietarios de los territorios afectados, a través de una “socialización”, no una consulta.

Es momento de reinstituir a Fundación Pachamama y acabar con la represión contra sociedad civil y pueblos indígenas en Ecuador.

(adhesiones institucionales, organizadas por país)

Version française

Manifestez la solidarité de votre organisation avec la Fondation Pachamama ! La lettre qui suit a été mise en circulation pour toutes les organisations/institutions/fédérations, etc. qui souhaiteraient la signer. S’il vous plait faites le aussi vite que possible (nous la publierons une fois que nous aurons atteint un nombre significatif de signataires) à l’aide du Google Form, que vous trouverez à l’adresse : http://tinyurl.com/m89t835. Vous pouvez aussi envoyer un message à pat@pachamama.org comprenant les informations suivantes : Nom de l’organisation, pays de l’Organisation, nom du Contact, adresse e-mail du Contact. Les individus peuvent signer la pétition Avaaz.

Nous sommes solidaires avec la Fondation Pachamama en Equateur.

Les organisations citées ci-dessous, équatoriennes et internationales, souhaitent délivrer le message suivant au public, à nos représentants politiques et aux médias :

Le 4 décembre 2013 au matin, le siège de l’organisation internationalement reconnue Fondation Pachamama a été victime d’une descente de la police qui a fermé les locaux, et utilisé un ordre de dissolution de l’organisation en provenance du ministère équatorien de l’environnement.

Nous soutenons la position de la Fondation Pachamama, qui déclare cette dissolution arbitraire, et dans l’optique de réprimer le droit légitime de l’organisation à être en désaccord avec les décisions du gouvernement, et en particulier celle de remettre à l’aide de concessions les terres des populations indigènes d’Amazonie à des entreprises pétrolières, sans respecter les droits constitutionnels de ces peuples, en particulier leur droit à un consentement libre, préalable et éclairé, en accord avec le droit international des droits de l’Homme.

La Fondation Pachamama a toujours fondé sa position sur la défense des droits humains et des droits de la nature, tout cela s’exprimant sous la forme d’actions respectant l’Etat de droit. Au cours des seize dernières années ils ont offert solidarité et assistance à des organisations indigènes dotées de la légitimité de représenter les populations ancestrales de l’Amazonie.

A la fois par question de principe et de par sa nature institutionnelle, la Fondation Pachamama rejette toute action violente. D’après notre expérience, la Fondation n’a jamais soutenu et encore moins participé à la moindre action violente. Une telle violence ne peut leur être imputé pour des actes qu’ils n’ont pas commis.

En raison de leur travail de défense des droits, ils ont été publiquement et injustement attaqués par ceux qui détiennent le pouvoir politique en Equateur, des accusations qui ont été largement diffusées à l’aide de médias détenus par l’Etat. Nous considérons qu’il s’agit de violence, à laquelle s’ajoute la dissolution à la hâte d’une organisation, sans aucune justification juridique, et en l’absence d’une procédure régulière qui aurait permis à l’organisation d’exercer la légitime défense.

En réponse à cette agression, nous exprimons notre soutien à la Fondation Pachamama alors qu’ils :

  1. Ne renoncent pas à leur droit de défendre les droits ; et
  2. Contestent la décision du gouvernement à l’aide de tous les moyens judiciaires dont ils disposent.

Nous continuerons de soutenir la Fondation Pachamama tout nous assurant que cette agression dont ils sont victimes ne détourne pas l’attention et le débat du problème central que représente la violation des droits collectifs des populations indigènes de l’Amazonie et les droits de la nature, au travers d’un appel d’offre pour le pétrole, mené contre la volonté des détenteurs légitimes de ces territoires affectés et malgré un « processus de socialisation » qui n’est en aucun cas une véritable consultation.

Nous soutenons la position de la Fondation Pachamama, qui déclare cette dissolution arbitraire, et dans l’optique de réprimer le droit légitime de l’organisation à être en désaccord avec les décisions du gouvernement, et en particulier celle de remettre à l’aide de concessions les terres des populations indigènes d’Amazonie à des entreprises pétrolières, sans respecter les droits constitutionnels de ces peuples, en particulier leur droit à un consentement libre, préalable et éclairé, en accord avec le droit international des droits de l’Homme.

La Fondation Pachamama a toujours fondé sa position sur la défense des droits humains et des droits de la nature, tout cela s’exprimant sous la forme d’actions respectant l’Etat de droit. Au cours des seize dernières années ils ont offert solidarité et assistance à des organisations indigènes dotées de la légitimité de représenter les populations ancestrales de l’Amazonie.

A la fois par question de principe et de par sa nature institutionnelle, la Fondation Pachamama rejette toute action violente. D’après notre expérience, la Fondation n’a jamais soutenu et encore moins participé à la moindre action violente. Une telle violence ne peut leur être imputé pour des actes qu’ils n’ont pas commis.

En raison de leur travail de défense des droits, ils ont été publiquement et injustement attaqués par ceux qui détiennent le pouvoir politique en Equateur, des accusations qui ont été largement diffusées à l’aide de médias détenus par l’Etat. Nous considérons qu’il s’agit de violence, à laquelle s’ajoute la dissolution à la hâte d’une organisation, sans aucune justification juridique, et en l’absence d’une procédure régulière qui aurait permis à l’organisation d’exercer la légitime défense.

En réponse à cette agression, nous exprimons notre soutien à la Fondation Pachamama alors qu’ils :

  1. Ne renoncent pas à leur droit de défendre les droits ; et
  2. Contestent la décision du gouvernement à l’aide de tous les moyens judiciaires dont ils disposent.

Nous continuerons de soutenir la Fondation Pachamama tout nous assurant que cette agression dont ils sont victimes ne détourne pas l’attention et le débat du problème central que représente la violation des droits collectifs des populations indigènes de l’Amazonie et les droits de la nature, au travers d’un appel d’offre pour le pétrole, mené contre la volonté des détenteurs légitimes de ces territoires affectés et malgré un « processus de socialisation » qui n’est en aucun cas une véritable consultation.

Il est grand temps de rétablir la Fondation Pachamama et de mettre un terme à la répression qui sévit en Equateur contre la société civile et les populations indigènes.

(Signature de l’Organisation, triées par pays)

Rights of Nature – Amazon Rainforest Wisdom Immersion

An Invitation to Journey With Us, January 2014

Amazon forestThe fundamental principles encapsulated by Rights of Nature ─ of Mother Earth ─ are deeply rooted in the ancient wisdom of indigenous peoples. The Achuar and Kichwa peoples of the Upper Amazon of Ecuador maintain their ancient traditions living in harmony with their rainforest home.  It is no accident that in 2008 Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize Rights of Nature in its Constitution.

We are extending a special invitation to Rights of Nature, Rights of Mother Earth advocates and individuals who are looking to understand the essence of the movement on a deeper, more personal level.  Join us on a rare opportunity to travel with global Rights of Nature leaders: Cormac Cullinan, South African environmental attorney and author of Wild Law, Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network and Robin Milam, Administrative Director for Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, on an intimate rainforest immersion journey.  We travel at the invitation of the indigenous peoples of the upper Amazon in partnership with The Pachamama Alliance. This unique journey is an opportunity to experience the Rights of Nature movement at its source while visiting with indigenous peoples in their ancestral rainforest homes.

Tiinkias eyes We will visit the iconic Kichwa community of Sarayaku and Achuar communities around the remote Kapawi Lodge. These communities have taken bold, internationally acclaimed stands to protect their rainforest home and preserve their ability to live in harmony with nature.  Throughout our journey, we will engage in a multi-faceted examination of our relationship with the natural world, the recognition of Rights of Nature, and what it means personally, as a society, and globally to restore our natural balance with Mother Earth, Pachamama and all life.

Each of us has unique gifts that are indispensable to the success of humanity at this time of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. You’ll return from your Journey with greater awareness of these very gifts and how to use them to make a difference, having been freshly recalibrated to the rhythms of the natural world. Join us on what is surely to be a life altering journey.

Learn more about our itinerary and overall journey on Pachamama’s website at: http://www.pachamama.org/pachamama-journeys/2014-journey-dates/january-17-to-january-28-2014.

huazin at KapawiThe Pachamama Alliance and its sister organization, Fundación Pachamama supported the inclusion of Rights of Nature in Ecuador’s Constitution and are founding members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.

Journey Leader, Robin Milam first journeyed to the rainforest with Pachamama in 1997 and has been leading Pachamama Journeys for many years.  Participants have claimed “this is a journey of many lifetimes“.

Interested? Contact Robin at nature@therightsofnature.org or the Pachamama Journeys team and explore what this journey could be for you.

Stories from Around the World

We invite you to share your stories about Rights of Nature. Tell us examples of how rights of nature are being recognized in your community or around the world.

Please enter your story as a comment.  We reserve the right to edit stories out of respect for our broader earth community.

Global Day of Action to Protect Yasuni – April 10

The Global Alliance joins Amazon Watch  and Bay Area Residents in calling for a Global Day of Action to Protect Yasuni and asking for your support by signing onto the letter being circulated by Yasunidos SF.

Save Yasuni World Action Day April 10, 2014

Send your organizational sign on to yasunidossf@gmail.com. They will be sending it to the Ecuadorian Consulate in LA this week. Yasunidos is currently collecting final signatures for the referendum to keep oil in the ground under Yasuni ITT and delivering them on Saturday.

For more info on the international campaign to defend Yasuni, check out:

http://amazonwatch.org/take-action/save-yasuni

http://amazonwatch.org/news/2014/0328-yasuni-depende-de-ti

Leila

Leila Salazar-López
Amazon Watch Program Director

Dear Friends,

We are a group of Bay Area residents working in solidarity with the grassroots group in Ecuador called Yasunidos.  As you may know, the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador—a region with the highest biodiversity on the planet—is under imminent threat of oil drilling.  Yasunidos is a growing (Ecuadorian) national movement to persuade the government of Pres. Rafael Correa to hold a referendum where the Ecuadorian people will decide whether or not to drill in the Yasuni ITT Region.  It is the last chance to halt oil drilling and time is of the essence.

Folks from Yasunidos have reached out to us asking concerned people and organizations to help put international pressure on the Correa adminstration this week—at the same time Yasunidos presents the signatures that they have collected (for the referendum) to the administration.

Therefore, we ask you for your support of the Yasunidos initiative by visiting the Yasunidos website, by signing their online petition, and most importantly, by signing on to a letter that we will email this week to the Ecuadorian Consulate in Los Angeles, CA.  Please find attached the letter–developed by a YASUNIDOS member.  Please let us know if your organization would like to sign on before Thursday, April 10th, the Global Day of Action to Protect the Yasuni.

We realize this is very short notice, but need to do everything we can to halt the drilling of the Yasuni.  Please let us know if you can support this effort.

In Solidarity with YASUNIDOS,

Malena Mayorga

Michael Borucke

Save Yasuni – The Last Wonder of the Amazon

Atossa Soltani is excited to share this celebrity studded PSA from Amazon Watch and YASunidos to defend ‪#‎Yasuní‬ National Park from oil drilling. Big thanks to Jared Leto, Benjamin Bratt, Michelle Rodriguez, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Begley Jr., Daryl Hannah, Leonor Varela, Dawn Olivieri, Raphael Sbarge, Frances Fisher, Francesca Eastwood, and Debi Nova.

Save Yasuní, the Last Wonder of the Amazon!

Click to show your support for Yasuni!!!

Only 15 days left to signature deadline for national referendum in Ecuador. Watch & share. Not Ecuadorian, you can sign this petition to show your support and share this PSA on FB and Twitter.  https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_Yasuni_the_Last_Wonder_of_the_Amazon/

Maude Barlow joins Global Alliance Executive Committee

Maude Barlow, Council of CanadiansThe Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature is pleased to announce that Maude Barlow has joined the Executive Committee representing North America.

Maude is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Maude has been a leader in the Rights of Nature/Mother Earth movement participating in the 2010 People’s Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth, contributing to numerous publications and videos including co-publishing the Rights of Nature, the Case for a Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth. Her Council of Canadians’ team were key organizers of the Blue Pavilion at the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

Maude is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the 2005 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellowship Award, the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US).

Blue Future Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever by Maude BarlowIn 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.  Among the four principles presented in Blue Future, Principle Three: Water Has Rights Too makes a strong case for the protection of source water and the need to make our human laws compatible with those of nature.  It was released in the US in January.

Maude replaces Mari Margil who has rotated off the Executive Committee.  For all of us, a warm thank you to Mari for her leadership, counsel and support on the Executive Committee.  Mari and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF.org) provide Rights of Nature Legislative Assistance leadership and counsel in partnership with the Global Alliance.

For  a printable news release, visit Maude Barlow joins Global Alliance for Rights of Nature Executive Committee.

#  #  #

Report from the Centre of the Earth

By Lisa Mead

Newsletter at: EMERGENCE, The Global Newsletter of the Earth Law Alliance

Rights of Nature Ethics TribunalLast month, I attended the first ever Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature, which took place on 17th January 2014 in Quito, Ecuador. The international panel of judges, chaired by Dr Vandana Shiva, heard nine cases in what Dr Shiva described as a “Seed Tribunal”, in order to determine their admissibility for adjudication at a full hearing to be held later this year. I’ve waited to report on this until the videos and transcripts of the Tribunal become available online, which they are now at the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature website.

One of the key aims of the Tribunal was to show how the framework of existing law is failing to protect the natural world and the defenders of Mother Earth, and how things could look if Rights of Nature were enshrined in law. The Rights of Nature movement proposes a new jurisprudence that recognises the inherent right of nature to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.

Holding the Tribunal in Ecuador showed solidarity for a country that is currently living with a government more committed to exploiting the natural abundance of the country for financial profit than to honouring nature’s rights, or the needs of all people to a healthy, unpolluted environment. This is something that Ecuador has in common with many other countries of course. However, the government of Ecuador is choosing this stance in spite of the fact that since 2008 Ecuador has recognised the Rights of Nature in its constitution. To me, this demonstrates that although it is a good start, it is not nearly enough just to enshrine Rights of Nature in a country’s constitution. Rights of Nature principles need to be adopted at all levels of law-making in order to be truly meaningful, and of course more fundamentally, we are talking about a shift in how we view our relationship with the Earth, rather than just about changing laws. Read more

Rights of Nature in Ecuador with Pennie Opal Plant and Shannon Biggs

Friday, February 21, 7 p.m. @ Berkekely Unitarian Universalist Church,
Fellowship Hall, 1924 Cedar St.
Berkeley CA

Key leaders of the international human rights movement came together in mid-January in Ecuador. The twofold purpose of the summit was to analyze the experiences of communities in Ecuador, Bolivia, and United States that have already implemented “Rights of Nature” laws, and to devise a unified global strategy for advancing the Rights of Nature movement around the world.

The Rights of Nature movement draws on indigenous wisdom in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.

Pennie Opal Plant is a member of Idle No More SF Bay Area. Shannon Biggs works at Global Exchange, and is the co-author of the recently published book, The Rights of Nature.Suggested donation $5-10. No one turned away for lack of funds.Volunteers appreciated!

World’s First Successful ‘Rights of Nature’ Lawsuit

by Norie Huddle

In 2010, Norie Huddle and her husband David suddenly heard dynamite explosions near their beautiful property along the Vilcabamba River of Ecuador. “We ran upstream to investigate, suspecting that the road crew might be blasting massive rock cliffs on the far side of the road across from our farm.”  With a small video camera, they caught construction workers pushing a gigantic boulder into the river.  Further up stream, they filmed the crew pushing freshly dynamited debris into the river.

Hours later, their lawyer Carlos Bravo stared at the photos is shocked silence before finally asking How do you want to sue them.

“There’s that new law in the 2008 Constitution, the one protecting the Rights of Nature,” I said. “We want to use that one.”

Thus began the world’s first case based on the Rights of Nature — in this case the Vilcabamba River — that was to be won in a court of law.

Read Norie’s vivid account of the first successful “Rights of Nature Lawsuit in “Kosmos – The Journal for Global Citizens Creating the New Civilization, Fall/Winter 2013.

Farmland in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Bob Winsett, Corbis

Farmland in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Bob Winsett, Corbis

 

 

Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal accepts 9 cases

Rights of Nature Tribunal Panel

First International Tribunal on Rights of Nature
Inaugural session in Ecuador admits nine cases

 Click for Rights4Nature Photos & Rights4Nature Videos
Press Conference and Tribunal

Before an audience of hundreds of people, the world’s first Ethics Tribunal on the Rights of Nature and Mother Earth held its inaugural session on Friday January 17 in Quito, Ecuador, the first country to recognize the Rights of Nature in its constitution. The Tribunal will be a permanent platform for hearing and judging cases from around the world.

Dr Vandana Shiva, President of TribunalDr. Vandana Shiva, internationally renowned author, physicist and environmental activist presided over the historic Tribunal together with nine other distinguished judges from seven countries and five continents. The Tribunal heard compelling presentations on nine cases of alleged violations of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, adopted in Cochabamba on April 20, 2010 by 35,000 people during a global summit on the subject. For cases in Ecuador, presenters also noted violations of the Ecuadorian Constitution.

After a full day of presentations and deliberations, the Tribunal took the unanimous decision to admit all nine cases and set a date for the next session of the Tribunal for the first week of December 2014 in Lima, Perú.

The special Earth Prosecutor, Ramiro Ávila (Ecuador) opened the Tribunal with testimony from two experts on the critical importance of Rights of Nature from Native American leader Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, USA) and Patricia Gualinga, representative of the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Seven specific cases were presented to the Tribunal: the Chevron-Texaco pollution case (Ecuador); BP Deep Horizon oil spill (USA); Yasuní-ITT oil project (Ecuador); the endangerment of the Great Barrier Reef by coal mines (Australia); the Condor Mirador open-pit copper mine (Ecuador); hydraulic fracturing  (USA); and the case of persecution of Defenders of Nature (Ecuador). Two additional cases were admitted that were global in scope and represent systemic violations of the Rights of Mother Earth, namely threats from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Climate Change.

At the conclusion of presentations on the part of experts for each of the cases Special Earth Prosecutor Ramiro Ávila passionately argued for the Tribunal to admit all nine cases in the names of the affected ecosystem, species and indigenous peoples in isolation.

The fundamental tenants of the Rights of Nature that are enshrined in the Ecuadorian Constitution and the Universal Declaration include: the right of nature to exist and be respected; to maintain its vital cycles and evolutionary processes; to comprehensive and prompt regeneration and restoration; and to not have its genetic structures disrupted among other rights.

The first members of the Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature and Mother Earth were: Alberto Acosta, economist and former president of the Constituent Assembly from Ecuador; Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Ecuador; Cormac Cullinan, lawyer and author (Wild Law), Earth Democracy Coop, Cape Town, South Africa; Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network, Minnesota, USA; Julio César Trujillo, constitutional lawyer for Yasunidos, Ecuador; Elsie Monge, human rights activist and president of CEDHU and FIDH, Ecuador; Atossa Soltani, founder and director of Amazon Watch, USA; Enrique Viale, environmental lawyer, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Tantoo Cardinal, actress (Dances with Wolves) and activist from the Tar Sands of Canada.

The Tribunal brought together participants from Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, Spain, Canada, India, Romania, Bolivia, Columbia, Argentina, the United Kingdom and Ecuador.

The Earth’s living systems and human communities face multiple crises of climate change, mass species extinction, rampant deforestation, desertification, collapse of fisheries, toxic contamination with tragic consequences for all life. Under the current system of law, Nature is considered an object, a property, giving the property owner the right to destroy ecosystems for financial gain. The Rights of Nature legal doctrine recognizes that ecosystems and plant and animal species cannot simply be objects of property but entities that have the inherent right to exist. People, communities and authorities have the responsibility to guarantee those rights on behalf of Nature. These laws are consistent with indigenous people’s concepts of natural law and original instructions as well as the understanding that humans are a part of nature and only one strand in the web of life.

It is fitting that the Tribunal on the Rights of Nature was founded in Ecuador, the first country to have adopted this legal doctrine in its constitution. It is ironic that Ecuador is abandoning its leadership and failing to respect its own constitution. The Ecuadorian government is currently promoting large-scale oil and mining operations that put at risk some three million hectares of its remaining Amazon rainforests while engaging in a systematic crack down on activists and organizations who are defending the rights of Mother Earth.

During his passionate argument for admitting the Yasuni-ITT case, Alberto Acosta asked the Tribunal to establish a special chamber for the immediate processing of two cases: the Yasuní-ITT and the defenders of Rights of Nature, given urgent threats facing activists who are collecting signatures for a national referendum on the Yasuni-ITT. Additionally, he asked the Tribunal to demand the suspension of all oil exploitation activities in block 31 and in ITT block and called for a comprehensive audit of the exploitation activities underway.

“I condemn the actions of Chevron and BP and I stand with those indigenous communities who have won their case against Chevron,” said Vandana Shiva. “I ask Ecuador’s President and the National Assembly to not give up the vision, the dream of Yasuni. Everyone can drill, but Ecuador would dream bold by having the rights of nature in its constitution and creating the vision of Yasuni ITT.” In closing, Dr. Shiva called for the cases that were admitted by the Tribunal “to be deepened until the rights of Mother Earth become the framework for governing our lives.”

For printable release:  Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal accepts 8 cases

Learn more about Rights of Nature: www.therightsofnature.org

Click for Rights4Nature Photos & Rights4Nature Videos Press Conference and Tribunal.  Pictures and videos available upon request.

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

Caroline Bennett (510) 629-9390, caroline@amazonwatch.org

 

 

First Global Tribunal on Rights of Nature hears 9 cases

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Robin R. Milam
1.530.272.4322/Nature@TheRightsofNature.org

Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal 

FIRST WORLD TRIBUNAL ON RIGHTS OF NATURE
HEARS NINE CASES FOR ADMISSIBILITY

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RIGHTS OF NATURE
COMMITS TO DEEPEN AND EXPAND THE WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT
QUITO, ECUADOR

The world’s first Tribunal on the Rights of Nature is being held in Quito, Ecuador, today. Headed by Vandana Shiva, physicist and internationally renowned environmental activist, this “Seed” Tribunal is hearing nine cases to determine their admissibility for adjudication at a later Tribunal, which will be held in another city and country later this year. The Tribunal for Rights of Nature will become permanent, hearing cases around the world.

The cases and the persons presenting the factual arguments for admitting them for adjudication under Rights of Nature are:

British Petroleum (BP)       Esperanza Martínez, Ecuador

Hydrofracking                         Shannon Biggs, United States

Chevron/Texaco                      Julio Prieto, Ecuador

Yasuní-ITT                                 Carlos Larrea, Ecuador

Great Barrier Reef                 Michelle Maloney, Australia

Minería Condor Mirador     Nathaly Yépez, Ecuador

GMOs                                            Elizabeth Bravo, Ecuador

Climate Change                        Pablo Solón, Bolivia

Defenders of Nature             Carlos Perez Guartambel, Ecuador

The international panel of judges sitting on the Tribunal includes:

Alberto Acosta, economist and former President of the Constituent Assembly from Quito, Ecuador

Tantoo Cardinal, actress (e.g., Dances with Wolves) from the Tar Sands of Canada

Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador

Cormac Cullinan, lawyer and author (Wild Law), Earth Democracy Coop, Cape Town, South Africa

Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network from Minnesota, US

Julio César Trujillo, constitutional lawyer for Yasunidos from Quito, Ecuador

Elsie Monge, human rights activist and president of CEDHU y FIDH from Quito, Ecuador

Atossa Soltani, founder and director of Amazon Watch from Washington, DC, US

Enrique Viale, environmental lawyer from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Native rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, US) and Patricia Gualinga, an indigenous of the Amazon and director of Sayaku, will provide expert witness testimony on the critical importance of Rights of Nature. Carlos Pérez will provide testimony as to his recent actions in defense of Mother Earth, the reasons for his actions and its consequences.

The Tribunal begins at 8:30 and concludes at 17:00. Before rendering her judgment at the end of the day, Vandana Shiva will speak to the issues at stake in this Tribunal and the worldwide Rights of Nature movement.

The Tribunal marks the end of a five-day summit of more than 60 global leaders of the Rights of Nature movement who form part of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. The participants hail from Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, Spain, Canada, India, Romania, Bolivia, Argentina, Columbia, and the United Kingdom, as well as Ecuador.

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature was founded at a gathering in Ecuador in 2010, two years after Ecuador became the first nation in the world to adopt Rights of Nature in its Constitution. At the summit, the leaders committed to redoubling their efforts to broaden and deepen the movement worldwide over the coming year, with a series of actions that will be detailed in the next months.

The Rights of Nature movement draws on the wisdom and cosmovision of indigenous peoples in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.

Printable PDF of News Release

#          #          #