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.

Why I’m going to the People’s Climate March

Pat SiemenI’m showing up. As a baby-boomer from the U.S. As a person of faith.   I am going to the People’s Climate March in New York on September 21.

The security of our home, planet Earth, is threatened. That’s why I’m going. It is not the terrorists, nor the immigrants, nor people who are poor that is causing this threat to Earth’s viability. It’s the continued excessive emissions of greenhouse gases created by those of us who live in highly industrialized, corporatized and technology-rich countries.

We baby-boomers in the U.S. are uniquely responsible for this major climate disruption. We have benefitted enormously from a way of life that provides every convenience, gadget and technology unimagined by our parents. We bought into the increased consumerism and easy access to a way of life made possible by increased use of fossil fuels. We taught our children to do the same. We didn’t know to teach them that Earth has capacity limits, just like every family.

Thousands are marching to reinforce the critical importance of the United Nations Climate Summit. I’m showing up with young and old, indigenous and immigrants, conservatives and liberals, business and labor, and people of every race, color and creed from all 50 states. Together we will march, sing and pray along the 26 blocks of the march route. We hope that our presence will demonstrate to the world leaders that they must take urgent action to prevent further ecological threats and mitigate the damage already done.

We are marching to demonstrate our solidarity with everyone who has a commitment to change the environmentally destructive ways we are living as a people – for the sake of our children and a viable future. We will march on behalf of all our kin: the threatened and endangered species, ecosystems and watersheds that are dying because of shifting climate patterns.  Read more …

WECAN International and Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature Host Event in Parallel to U.N. Climate Summit in New York

MILL VALLEY, Calif., September 18, 2014 – WECAN International and the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature announce the “Rights of Nature and Systemic Change in Climate Solutions” event, to be held from 2:15 to 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2014 at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City.

Gloria Ushigua and Casey Camp-HorinekThe panel discussion will focus on the ways in which a new paradigm- treating nature as a right-bearing entity- is at the heart of genuine climate solutions, and will highlight results from the world’s first International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature and Mother Earth, held in 2014 in Quito, Ecuador. The event will additionally serve as strategy session on community applications of the principles of Rights of Nature as tools for resiliency and the protection of the Earth.

Panelists will include: Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environment Network; Linda Sheehan, Earth Law Center; Shannon Biggs, Global Exchange; Casey Camp-Horinek, Ponca Nation, Indigenous Environment Network; Gloria Ushigua, Association of Sápara Women, Ecuador; and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN International.

“Our legal systems define how we relate as society,” noted Robin Milam of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. “Recognizing Rights of Nature/ Rights of Mother Earth puts forth a new vision for living in harmony with all life.”

Yasuni tree from Emily Arasim“We have seen decades worth of environmental protection laws that have failed to prevent the increasingly grave threats of climate change, degradation of our planet’s ecosystems, and the growing displacement of humans and other species,” said Osprey Orielle Lake, co-founder and executive director of WECAN International. “To achieve sustainability, even at its most basic level, the time has come for society to restructure the fundamental framework of our governance and economics systems as they relate to the relationship of humans and our Earth.”

More information and registration details for this event can be found by visiting wecaninternational.org/pages/registration-rights-of-nature

About WECAN International

The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. Recent work includes the 2013 International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, Women’s Climate Declaration, and WECAN Women’s Climate Action Agenda. International climate advocacy is complemented with on-the-ground programs such as the Women’s for Forests and Fossil Fuel/Mining/Mega Dam Resistance, and Regional Climate Solutions Trainings in the Middle East North Africa region and Democratic Republic of Congo. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3 Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) organization and its partner eraGlobal Alliance.

About the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature is a network of organizations and individuals committed to the universal adoption and implementation of legal systems that recognize, respect and enforce Rights of Nature and to making Rights of Nature an idea whose time has come. Alliance members are actively promoting recognition of the Rights of Nature ~ Mother Earth through the global Earth Rights Days of Action in October 2014 and convening the International Rights of Nature Tribunal to be held in Lima, Peru concurrent with UN FCCC COP20 December 5-6, 2014. More information at TheRightsofNature.org.

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Media Contact:

Emily Arasim
Parker PR, Inc.
+1 (505) 920-0153

Photo: Emily Arasim 2013

Bay Area Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 10am to 2pm
“The Forum,” Laney College

900 Fallon St., OaklandBay Area Rights of Nature People's Tribunal
(Lake Merritt BART)

FREE; registration is required
Click to Register Now!

The Bay Area Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal will examine the violations of nature’s rights and human rights caused by the fossil fuel industry, using Chevron’s refinery in Richmond as a case study.  By highlighting the impacts on people and nature from the Chevron refinery and “Big Oil” activities, the Tribunal will also place on trial current legal and economic systems that advance the destruction of nature.

The event will be part of the global “Earth Rights Days of Action” and the related efforts of the International Rights of Nature Tribunals in Quito, Ecuador (January 2014) and Lima, Peru (December 2014).

Tribunal judges include:

  • Carl Anthony (Breakthrough Communities; Urban Habitat)
  • Brian Swimme (California Institute of Integral Studies; Journey of the Universe)
  • Anuradha Mittal (Oakland Institute)
  • Courtney Cummings (Arikara and Cheyenne; Native Wellness Center, Richmond)
  • Bill Twist (Pachamama Alliance)

The day will also include:

  • The “Web of Life Labyrinth,” created by local artists
  • Local music; food for purchase
  • Insights from Bay Area ecological justice, human rights, local economy, indigenous, women’s, and other groups.

Save your space for this important event; register now at: http://therightsofnature.org/events/bayareatribunal.

Bay Area Rights of Nature People's Tribunal About the organizers: This event was organized by the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance (BARoNA) – a coalition of organizations and individuals actively working in diverse fields to further the rights of both people and nature to well-being.

Eyes on Earth Rights - Other Actions

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Bioneers: People’s Earth Tribunals

People’s Earth Tribunals and Community Bills of Rights:
Mobilizing for Community and to Enshrine Nature’s Rights

National Bioneers Conference

October 19, 2014 – 4:30pm
San Rafael, CA USA

Growing the Movement - The World We Want & How to Get There

What if ecosystems could sue for violating the rights of nature in places like Alberta’s tar sands or Fukushima? What if communities could write new laws that place their rights and local ecosystems above corporate interests? Come find out about the first international Rights of Nature Tribunal and local California Community Bills of Rights, and how you can participate.

Hosted by Shannon Biggs, Community Rights director, Global Exchange. With: Vandana Shiva, founder/Director, Navdanya; Pennie Opal Plant, Idle No More/Gathering Tribes; Robin Milam, Administrative Director, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature; Osprey Orielle Lake, founder/Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus; Prajna Marcus, Bay Area Rights of Nature; Linda Sheehan, Executive Director, Earth Law Center.

Part of Earth Rights Days of Action! 

Click for list of events!Earth RIghts Days of Action Events

Register Today!

Bioneers: Indigenous Women on North-South Frontlines of Earth Protection


Indigenous Forum – (Double session)
Sunday October 19

2:45 PM:   Indigenous Women on the North-South Frontlines of Earth Protection (I)

This indigenous North-South cultural exchange builds bridges and solidarity among North-South indigenous people and their allies. Courageous indigenous leader Patricia Gualinga (Kichwa) from the Ecuadorian Amazon joins Amazon Watch and Pachamama Alliance with an urgent report from the rainforest front lines where indigenous women are stepping into leadership to defend the rights of Mother Earth (Pachamama) and their peoples, and to protect the Amazon from oil concessions.

4:30 PM:   Indigenous Women on the North-South Frontlines of Earth Protection (II)

Hosted by Tom Goldtooth (Dine’/Dakota) of the Indigenous Environmental Network. With indigenous women from the North: Casey Camp (Ponca), elder indigenous rights activist and actress, on historical impacts of oil development in Oklahoma and current threats from pipelines from the Canadian Tar Sands; Faith Gemmill (Gwich’in), of REDOIL (Resisting Environmental Destruction On Indigenous Lands), on the history of oil and gas development in Alaska and expansion plans for offshore drilling; and witnesses Crystal Lameman (Beaver Lake Cree Nation) and Eriel Deranger  (Athabaskan Chipewyan First Nation) with Idle No More.

Economics of Sustainability Conference

The Economics of Sustainability

Economics of Sustainability conference will focus on the intersection of Economics and the Environment. What will the Earth look like in 2030, 2050, or 2100? Can we organize economic relationships to honor the carrying capacity of the Earth? Can we implement economic models that respect the Earth and its finite boundaries?

October 6 – 9, 2014
Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA USA

Economics of Sustainability conference will focus on the intersection of Economics and the Environment.

What will the Earth look like in 2030, 2050, or 2100? Can we organize economic relationships to honor the carrying capacity of the Earth? Can we implement economic models that respect the Earth and its finite boundaries?

How will we mitigate the effects of climate change in a way that honors the Earth and puts people before profit?

Programs will include workshops, networking meetings, action groups, and outstanding presentations from economists, scientists, activists, and leaders in the environmental movement. The goal is to launch a platform for systemic change — economically, culturally, politically — and to network organizations for collaborative efforts in that pursuit.

Confirmed Speakers: Gar Alperovitz, Ellen Brown, Richard Heinberg, Michael Brune, Randy Hayes, Mark Hertsgaard, Mark Z. Jacobson, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (Richmond, CA), David Korten, Andrew Kimbrell Janet Redmond, Jihan Gearon, Don Shaffer, Nikki Silvestri, Osprey Orielle Lake, George Lakoff, Georgia Kelly, Representatives from the Mondragon Cooperatives (Spain): Pio Aguirre, Michael Peck, and more!

Learn more at http://praxispeace.org/conference14.php

Yasuni Rights of Nature Tribunal Verdict

Submitted by Secretariat, Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal

Verdict of the Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal, Yasuni Case

August 15, 2014

The Special Court for Yasuní, established by the Rights of Nature Ethical Tribunal, met Friday, August 15th, 2014, one year after the declaration of the President of Ecuador to make way for the exploitation of the ITT block in the Yasuni National Park, hence ending the Yasuní-ITT Initiative.

This Special Chamber met, following the provisions of the Court established in Quito on January 17th, 2014, chaired by Vandana Shiva, and the Special Chamber of the Court for the Yasuní case gathered on April 11th, 2014, chaired by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, who ordered the creation of a special Committee to permanently monitor the implementation of the judgment.

The Special Tribunal’s Chamber for Yasuní, developed on Friday August 15th was chaired by George Caffentzis from USA, and was formed by the following international judges: Terisa Turner from Canada; Clemente Bautista from the Philippines; and Lorenzo Muelas from the Pueblo Misak of Colombia. On behalf of Ecuador were: Alberto Acosta; Blanca Chancoso; Julio Cesar Trujillo; Elsie Monge and María Paula Romo. The Prosecutor of the Tribunal, as on past occasions, was Santamaria Ramiro Avila.

After four months since the last Tribunal’s Chamber, many events have happened, and therefore this hearing seeks to answer the question, what happened to the Yasuní and who is responsible for what happened?

Whereas the rights of the Earth are recognized by the Ecuadorian Constitution and internationally; whereas Mother Earth must be protected by her children; whereas we are a part of Nature, we are Nature; whereas the non-contacted people must be respected by the Ecuadorian, the Colombian, and all international governments, for they have the collective right to life; whereas the Earth belongs to no one but we belong to the Earth, therefore, we have reached the following verdict:

  1. Violation of the Rights of Nature
  2. Violation of the rights of peoples in voluntary isolation
  3. Violation of the Right to effective judicial protection and legal certainty
  4. Violation of the rights of political participation

To read the complete verdict visit:  Verdict of the Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal, Yasuni Case

En español: El veredicto del Tribunal Ético por los Derechos de la Naturaleza, caso Yasuní, 15 de agosto de 2014

For more information on the Yasuni-ITT Tribunal Case visit:

Notes for the debate The Rights of Mother Earth

By Pablo Solon from Systemic Alternatives

What are the rights of Mother Earth?

What are the Rights of Mother EarthA new vision of our relationship with nature, a new legal framework, a set of ethical principles, a strategy with which to question the superpowers of transnational corporations?

The Rights of Mother Earth refers to all of these things and something more: it is a call to cast off the dominant anthropocentric paradigm and imagine a new Earth society. The Rights of Mother Earth is like a river made up of different streams that are flowing toward the ocean, but have not yet reached its shores.

“Nature is a subject and not a collection of objects.”
-Thomas Berry

The Questions

How is the systemic crisis evolving? How the are centers of political and economic power responding? How are social movements reacting? What systemic alternatives are being developed? How to strengthen the resistance and struggles to achieve real change?

Read the complete Notes for the Debate: The Rights of Mother Earth at SystemicAlternatives.org

Also read It’s the time of the Rights of Mother Earth

Notes for the Debate: Vivir Bien / Buen Vivir