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Winter Newsletter and Thank You Members

Greetings Alliance Members,

Looking back on 2014, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your partnership, resiliency, creativity, and support.  Starting with the launch of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal and our Summit in January and culminating with the second International Tribunal in Lima this month, 2014 has been a momentous year for the Alliance.

Additionally, we have cheered as many of you hosted regional peoples tribunals, launched Rights of Nature initiatives in your communities and for the EU, organized events to advocate Rights of Nature, and reaffirmed recognition of Rights of Nature and Mother Earth through the messaging of your organizations and at events world wide. Some were spawned in conjunction with our Earth Rights Days of Action in October. Others germinated independently.  It is humbling and exhilarating to be a part of this movement with you.  Our aim is to shine a light on you to spur your momentum and success and to move us all toward a world living in harmony with nature and each other.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal ~ Lima, Peru


The Global Alliance convened the second International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Lima, Peru concurrent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 20) in December 2014.  The hearings were an intense, deeply moving two days as one by one experts and witnesses came forward to present facts and stories detailing how they individually and collectively are impacted by gross violations to Mother Earth and the Rights of Nature.

Casey CampCasey Camp-Horinek of Oklahoma, USA told how “fracturing the skeleton of Mother Earth” for oil and gas is killing indigenous communities across the United States. Her own 600 person Ponca Nation is burying one relative a week due to death from cancer and other diseases.  She spoke movingly about feeling frequent earthquakes in an area that was not prone to earthquakes before fracking.  The shaking is all the more riveting to raw emotions dealing with the deep personal loss and the destructive impact of extractive industries.

Sônia Guajajara, the national coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), described the expansive flooding of the Amazon basin in Brazil caused by construction of the massive Belo Monte Dam.  Tens of thousands of indigenous peoples are being dislocated as their traditional homeland becomes buried under water.  Brazil is building a series of hydroelectric power dams throughout the Amazon to fuel the prodigious demands of aluminum smelters and a burgeoning economy. Furthermore seasonal water levels create questions about Belo Monte’s ability to provide proposed uninterrupted power and may require additional dams upstream to insure water supplies.

José Tendetza

Widows with their children from Ecuador and Peru spoke of the murder and disappearance of their husbands from communities who have been fighting the expansion of mining and oil extraction in South America. The Tribunal was dedicated to the memory of Jose Tendetza, Shuar leader (pictured right) who was found murdered only days before he was to present the Condor Mirador Mine Case.

Pablo Solon and witnesses provided clear evidence that false solutions for Climate Change such as geoengineering and carbon market mechanisms employed in REDD projects are systemic violations to Mother Earth and Rights of Nature.

Spirits soared as the Yasunidos Collective burst into the room singing and dancing after days of being repeatedly detained by Ecuadorian police who ultimately confiscated their bus. Yasunidos is a group of young activists who are calling for the Ecuadorian government to halt oil development in the fragile Yasuní National Park and to protect one of the most bio-diverse regions on our planet.

The Climate Caravan left Mexico several months ago in route to Lima.  The young Yasunidos group joined the caravan as they came through Ecuador to give a global voice to their stand in defense of Yasuní.  In spite of the delays and harassment by Ecuadorian officials, the group hired another bus and arrived to present their case to the Tribunal.


Yasunidos manifests the resiliency of communities and organizations who are saying “Stop this madness!” The International Tribunal, and related locally hosted Tribunals, examine the evidence and give voice to this global call. The time is NOW to transform human consciousness, to redesign failing, consumptive economic and social structures, and to create a framework for living in harmony with nature grounded in the recognition of the Rights of Mother Earth.
Learn more:

NinewaWe are in the process of posting decisions of the Tribunal including videos and details of each of the cases on the Global Alliance website at

David Hill of the Guardian published a compelling article, Fracking and Lima Climate Talks Slammed at Rights of Nature Tribunal saying “It’s difficult to know what was more moving or arresting” as he went on to describe the intimate testimony of indigenous leaders describing “being fracked to death” and Nnimmo Bassey declaring that “business as usual means cooking Africa”.

At the conclusion of the International Tribunal, key members including Osprey Orielle Lake of WECAN, Tom BK Goldtooth presented at a Press Conference inside UNFCCC COP 20 in Lima:

UN Press Conference Lima on the International Rights of Nature Tribunal

Also in Lima, the Alliance hosted a Rights of Nature Tribunal event at the People’s Summit and marched with partners and some  200,000 participants in the Peoples’ Climate March through the streets of Lima.
peoples march

A special Thank You!

The Tribunal was truly an international collaboration of our members.  Among the participating leaders were Alberto Acosta – President, Natalia Greene – Secretariat, Ramiro Avila – Prosecutor, WECAN International, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Focus on the Global South, Amazon Watch, Acción Ecológica, Movement Rights, Alianza Arkana, our distinguished judges, and representatives from impacted communities of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and other areas of the Americas, Australia, and Africa.  Thank you to WECAN International and Amazon Watch for arranging the UNFCCC Press Conference.

Next steps for 2015

In December 2015, the UNFCCC COP21 meets in Paris, France.  The Global Alliance intends to again convene the International Rights of Nature Tribunal concurrent with the UN Climate Conference.

We need your support to maintain the momentum and carry on to Paris. We invite you to support us financially by making a donation to the Global Alliance!   Your financial contributions are tax deductible.

Thank you for your partnership and for your work towards advancing Rights of Nature ~ Rights of Mother Earth.

Blessings on the coming New Year!


Robin Milam
Administrative Director
Co-Secretariat, International Tribunal

Contact Us at

Follow Rights of Nature Tribunal – Lima, Peru and on Facebook at The Rights of Nature for more details.

Rights of Nature around the World

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The Global Alliance for RIghts of Nature

The case for Rights of Nature in face of the Mirador Open Pit Copper Mining Project

Ecuador is facing one of its most challenging cases for Rights of Nature as the government moves ahead with a contract for open pit mining in Ecuador. Please add your support by signing a petition of concerned citizens at

In March 2012, the government of Ecuador signed a contract with Ecuacorrientes (ECSA), a company of Chinese capital to extract copper, gold and silver from the Condor Highland in  southeastern Ecuador. Today the humid tropical forest of the Condor Highland is one of the richest and most biodiverse areas of South America.The proposed Mirador Project includes 6 open pit industrial mining concessions in an area encompassing almost 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres). Mirador’s open pit mines will eliminate all the vegetation and the superficial soil layer of the mined area including 4,000 species of vascular plants that contain the richest biodiversity in South America.  Over 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres) of protected forest in the Condor Highland will be affected. The strong case highlights the fact that Walsh Consultant, hired by ECSA to make the Environmental Impact Assessment, determined that species of amphibians and reptiles, endemic to the zone could go extinct since the fragile habitats which their life depends on will be completely removed with the project and water sources and aquifers will be polluted. In spite of this report the Environmental License was given and the contract signed.

Environmental, human rights, and indigenous organizations along with local community members from the Condor region in Ecuador have joined together to file a lawsuit to stop the Mirador Mining Project and protect fragile ecosystems in the area. The suit claims that the mine would violate the protected rights of ecosystems guaranteed in Articles 71-73 on Rights of Nature in the Ecuador Constitution. The case is now being analyzed by the 25th Civil Court of Pichincha against the Ministry of Non Renewable Resources, the Ministry of Environment and Ecuacorriente with the plaintiffs asking to stop the Mirador Mining Project using the precautionary principle to guarantee Rights of Nature, Right to Water and Right to a Decent Life.Read the complete summary of actions being taken and the case upholding Rights of Nature visit at The Case for Rights of Nature in the face of the Mirador Mine andProtect Ecuador.  Additional information is included in blog posts on the Global Alliance site.

From our Members

Rights of Nature interview on KFPA 94.1 radio. How would environmental protection, both in California and around the world, change if nature were given legal rights to exist and thrive? Terra Verde explores the Rights of Nature movement with Linda Sheehan of Earth Law Center and Shannon Biggs of Global Exchange.

CELDF announces Tree Media is partnering with CELDF to make a film called We The People 2.0, about CELDF’s grassroots organizing and community partners. The film trailer was just released!  Learn more at:

So Your Community’s Going to Be Fracked, Mined … Fill in the blank SO YOUR COMMUNITY’S GOING TO BE FRACKED, MINED…CELDF’S new Organizing Primer:  Check out a short video delineating how a structure of law has developed that stands in the way of us saying “no” to harmful activities such as fracking, and prevents us from building sustainable food, energy, water, and other systems.  Narrated by Executive Director Thomas Linzey.

The most recent YES! Magazine is entitled What Would Nature Do? This latest issue is filled with thought provocative articles looking at our lives and culture through the lens of the question “What would Nature do?”

Tikkun’s January 28 Issue includes Rights of Nature and an Earth Community Economy by Osprey Orielle Lake presents the case that Rights of Nature framework offers a foundation upon which healthy economic principles and sustainability can be built.

Shannon Biggs and Randy Hayes recently publishedBeyond Personhood: Why Corporations Love the Constitution More Than You do

Want a quick reference on global Rights of Nature/Earth Law actions and organizations around the world?  Earth Law Center and Gaia Foundation have both created global maps! Navigate your way around the global Rights of Nature movement at: EarthLawCenter – Earth Community and Gaia Foundation Earth Law Network.
Save the Date!
The Global Alliance is planning an international Rights of Nature Conference to be held during 4th quarter 2013 to collectively examine the lessons learned from the expanding implementations of Rights of Nature around the world and to broaden our framework of action to further galvanize the global earth rights movement.  Watch for more details in the coming months!

Global Exchange’s Community Rights Program is embarking on a 7-day speaking tour from April 15-22. The tour will visit impacted California communities from San Francisco to San Diego and expose the reality of fracking in the state. They will engage community members in the movement to oppose and stop fracking. If you live in California, join them on one of the tour stops.

Australian Wild Law Alliance continues its Roadshow Series: 1 day workshop in Sydney, 3 May 2013
AWLA is hosting a 1 day Wild Law Workshop in Sydney on Friday 3rd May 2013. More details will be available soon at  This will be the third workshop in the ‘AWLA Roadshow’ series. In this exciting series of workshops, AWLA is travelling to each State and Territory during 2012 and 2013, to open up spaces for discussion and action relating to Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence. AWLA visited Melbourne in August 2012, Adelaide in November 2012 and will be visiting Darwin and Alice Springs in May 2013.

Australian Wildlaw Conference 2013 – Brisbane (South Bank), 27-29 September 2013
AWLA is pleased to announce that the dates have been set for the annual Australian Wild Law Conference in 2013. The conference will be a multi-disciplinary event, and will explore the theme of ‘law and governance for living within our ecological limits’. How do we change our current economic, political and legal systems to create human societies that live in a harmonious relationship with the Earth community? For more information, visit ourconference webpage and our facebook page.

Evolving Earth Law – Findhorn, Moray, Scotland
A Findhorn Community Event Evolving our legal and governance systems in the context of our life-support system, the Earth – Where are we now, where are we going? 11-12 May 2012 (date to be confirmed)Venue: Findhorn, Moray, Scotland, IV36, Time: 9.30am – 5pmFor more information visit Wholistic Law

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest!


Robin Milam
Administrative Director

 Say YES to Rights of Nature! Sign our petition now.

The Rights of Mother Earth campaign aims to create a grassroots movement to bring about a global recognition and acceptance of Rights of Nature. Sign our petitionand have your voice be heard as we continue our campaign to galvanize global support of Rights of Nature!

Rights of Nature: Planting Seeds of Real Change

Released at Rio+20!Published by Global Exchange.  Visionary thinkers such as Maude Barlow, Vandana Shiva, Thomas B.K. Goldtooth, Pablo Solon, Cormac Cullinan, Mari Margil and others ask the question: What would it look like to truly take on the root causes of climate change and put forward a system that places humankind in living balance with the carrying capacity of the Earth’s systems?Download now!
Say Yes to Nature by donating to the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature

Thank you for your support!

Thank you for supporting the work toward global recognition and implementation of the Rights of Nature through your donation. We need your support at this time to fully the expansion of our work around the world.

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature is a non-profit alliance of organizations committed to raising consciousness, promoting learning, implementing legislation and adopting processes to further the universal acceptance of rights of nature.

To continue our work, we depend on grassroots funding including donations from supporters like you.
The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature

Stay connected and informed: To learn more about the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and ongoing developments worldwide, visitwww.TheRightsofNature.organd Join Now!
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CELDF releases 2012 end-of-year Susquehanna!

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) highlights events and progress for year ending 2012 in their recent edition of Susquehanna!

Read about November’s election results with three of our communities passing charter amendments establishing Community Bills of Rights while banning fracking as a violation of those rights in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Find out about CELDF’s latest organizing in Bellingham and Spokane, WA, as well as organizing efforts in Oregon.

Learn about Yellow Springs – the first community in Ohio to adopt a Community Bill of Rights law banning shale gas drilling and fracking in October.

And find out about CELDF’s latest organizing to launch the Washington Community Rights Network and next steps for the New Hampshire Community Rights Network.

Follow this link to read more:

CELDF acknowledge’s supporters of their successful partnerships this year with growing numbers of communities in the U.S. and invites your support! Click on the purple donation button here:

Global Alliance – Rights of Nature August Newsbrief

Click for full newsletter August 2012

Sacred Seeding with Dr. Vandana Shiva and Global Exchange Reality Tours

Global Exchange’s Reality Tours is inviting you to participate in an extraordinary 10 day journey to India entitled Sacred Seeding with Dr. Vandana Shiva : Biodiversity, Food Security & The Rights of Nature”, November 1-11, 2012.

“I think it would be a really good idea at this moment in time, to do a Global Exchange trip to India on the issue of the seed…and the link to rights of Mother Earth. I mean where does all life begin? You begin with the seed.” Vandana Shiva collaborating with Shannon Biggs of Global Exchange

This journey will be an unforgettable opportunity to explore the deepest essence of Rights of Nature with Dr. Vandana Shiva on the Navdanya Biodiversity and Conservation Farm led by Shannon Biggs of Global Exchange. Learn more about the Global Exchange Rights of Nature Reality Tour or sign up now!

Seminar: Rights of Nature Training in Richmond, CA

The Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) in collaboration with Global Exchange welcomes you to an exciting Rights of Nature seminar in Richmond, CA September 7th-8th!

In this dynamic seminar we will learn about the historic 2008 event when Ecuador became the first country to include Rights of Nature in its national constitution and then cover movements since then in Bolivia and here in the U.S. as Rights of Nature takes hold as an idea whose time has come. Rights of Nature laws create a right to legal standing, offering citizens, communities, Indigenous peoples, and others a revolutionary new way to protect the vitality of ecosystems.

Explore what is Rights of Nature and how you can make a difference in redefining history. For more information visit Rights of Nature Seminar.

When & Where:
Sept 7, 2012 – 7:00pm – Sept 8, 2012 – 5:00pm
940 Ventura Street
Richmond, CA 94805

Cost: $50 and includes all materials
To Register Contact
Jordan Vilchez at or 510-334-3697

Wild Law Australia
For everyone in Brisbane and South East Queensland – please join the Australian Wild Law Alliance for drinks and great conversation on Friday 7th September, from 5pm to 7pm, at Groove Train in King George Square, Brisbane:

Global Alliance publishes Spanish language website

The Global Alliance is pleased to announce the publication of its Spanish language website Spanish speaking Alliance members and site visitors will enjoy much of the rich library that is on its sister site Visitors can access the site directly at or from

On the Air:

  • Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund – CELDF’s Executive Director Thomas Linzey is featured in an interview with Derrick Jensen on the fund drive special for WPFK, Berkely, CA. Thomas Linzey talks about how the Rights of Nature legislative work began in the US. Listen now!
  • Rights of Nature as the Foundation for Sustainability. If you missed our last newsletter with videos of our Rights of Nature presentation at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, Listen Now! to a series of videos by leading international Rights of Nature experts. Click on a speaker’s name to access their video directly.
Pablo SolónLinda Sheehan
Tom GoldtoothNatalia Greene
Cormac CullinanVandana Shiva
Shannon Biggs, moderatorFAQs:
Rights of Nature and “green” economy
  • Dr. Vandana Shiva speaks at the Rio+20 Earth Summit on “Seed freedom is Earth Rights … it is the right of the seed in all its diversity and self organization to evolve into the future.” Listen Now!

To publish information about upcoming Rights of Nature events you are hosting or to share informative postings, please send details to