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Archive for RoN Events

Rosia Montana Marathon, 23rd-24th of July 2016

Saturday, 23rd July 2016, early in the morning, at 7:30 AM, in front of the Heroes Monument in Rosia Montana, with tulnic’s sound, we started the Pachamama Marathon together with Constantina Dita, our Olympic champion, who also participated at 10 KM Race. We were very honored to have Ms Dita supporting our Rosia Montana project, supporting this Marathon, a Marathon which was dedicated to the  love of nature, history and culture.

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RightsofNature-Romanian-2016The motto of our Marathon was “Din dragoste pentru România, istoria și cultura ei, Spuneți DA Drepturilor Naturii, pentru că natura este o Ființă Vie!” („Out of love for Romania, its history and culture, Say YES to the Rights of Nature because Nature is a Living Being!”), Rights of Nature being a project developed by Pachamama Romania in which we want to defend Nature’s rights in front of the injustice we experience in the present.

We organized this Marathon for the first time on 17th August 2013, and it was dedicated to fallen heroes in First and Second World War and  to the love and responsibility we have for our future generations. We do this thing in the first place by promoting a message of harmony between man and nature. We want to create sustainable communities, where people will grow in harmony with themselves and with nature.

The day of 17th August , first time when we held the Marathon, had another important signification: it is the day when Constantina Dita won the gold medal at summer Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, at the marathon , a unique day in Romanian athletics history.

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The event organized at Rosia Montana this year had 3 trials: Marathon- dedicated to experienced runners, with a distance of 42,81 km; Half-marathon – dedicated to runners who had a limited experience in running, with a distance of 24,52 km and 10 KM Race- dedicated to runners who prefer short-distance races/ beginners. In addition to, we also had a Children Race through which we tried to encourage more and more children to adopt a healthy lifestyle and a love for nature.

The IVth edition of Pachamama Marathon at Rosia Montana was a wonderful one, because of the number of participants and their friends (350 people), because of our special guest, Ms Constantina Dita, children from the Traditional Assembly from Bucium and because of all little runners who participated in Children Race, folk singer Magda Puskas, camp fire at Eugen David home, all of these creating a loving atmosphere, full of happiness, smiles, detachment and other beautiful emotions.

We lived a feeling of accomplishment seeing people who were satisfied because of what we offered them and because of the warm welcoming from the rosieni.

The road to the moment of 23rd July, at 7:30 AM, when we officially started the Marathon it was a long one. Many hours of work and many people who dedicated their time and resources for this event to be possible.

We want to thank to all of them for their dedication and involvement, all of them contributed to the realization of Pachamama Marathon! Many thanks to the entire Pachamama Romania team and to all the volunteers who joined us at Rosia Montana.

We want to thank to all local (Rosia Montana Police and Rosia Montana Hall) and county authorities (Consiliul Județean Alba, Poliția Alba and Direcția Județeană pentru Tineret și Sport Alba)which had trusted and offered us the necessary approvals, supporting us.

A great amount of thanks goes to all our sponsors– AQUA Carpatica, SanoVita, Therme, Canah, Apis Carpatica, Sponser, Bio Naturalia – for offering their products and services.RosaMontana-sponsors-2016

 

We also want to thank to our Olympic champion, Ms Constantina Dita, for her presence at Rosia Montana. We are very happy that you could come from USA for starting and participating at our Marathon. It was a dream came true. We want too thank to our friends from Bucharest and Oradea who assisted you, they were great and offered us very much energy.

We thank you, all participants who came to Rosia Montana for Pachamama Marathon, even if you were a runner or you just came together with your family.

This year’s Marathon had at its Start a family of champions, Teodorescu family. All their members, Lacramioara, Adrian and their child, Alex, won the trials in which they participated, Half-marathon for the parents and Children Race for Alex. By means of this article we want to thank you as well, for deciding to came at Rosia Montana and being part of our dream. It was a pleasure to have you at this competition.

RosaMontanaYouth-july2016Besides young athlets of 17-18 years old, we had veteran participants as well. Mr Ion Zaharia (77 years old) and Ms Lucia Radu (84 years old). Ms Lucia, participating for the first time at our Marathon, said she was very excited about the event and our medal will be her 103rd. We want to thank them for their presence and their example. Through this combination of old generation with new generation at the Marathon’s start, we want to transmit a feeling of gratitude for our parents and grandparents and of responsibility we have for our future generations.

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music-2016-RomaniaWe were so delighted to saw that people choose to spent their birthday running at Rosia Montana. 3 of the participants were celebrated Saturday and Sunday (23rd and 24th July) and by means of this article we want to say a warming “Happy Birthday!” to Roxana Corneanu, Birtalan Csanad and Stefan Salagean, the winner of the marathon.

In the evening, we enjoyed an artistic moment which melded together folk music with traditional Apuseni Mountains dances. In the beginning of the evening we were enchanted by a beautiful voice of a young girl from the Bucium community, area neighbouring Rosia Montana. Artistic program of the children continued with traditional Apuseni games and, after that, a 10-years old boy impressed us with his talent, performing many songs at taragot and saxophone, two pretentious and hard-to-play instruments for his age.

We want to thank them for their energy and their happines which enlighten our evenings.

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What was next, was a total show, Magda Puskas along with her guitar colleague managed to keep all the people dancing, singing and creating big hora (specific Romanian dance where people keep their hands together and dance in sync) which covered the whole space of the cultural house.

Thank you, Magda, for your beautiful songs and for the atmosphere you created!

The evening continued with a camp fire at Eugen David’s home, president of Alburnus Maior Association. We were approx. 150 people who were talking about what we have lived along the day. But, Ana Daraban, our Pachamama colleague, made us a surprise and came together with Magda and her colleague. The rest of the night was all about singing and feeling good together.

campfire-Rosa-Montana-2016That was the ending of the first day of the event, a day in which participants ran together with Constantina Dita, admired natural beauties, ate delicious food at Pasta Party (cooked by David Vlascau together with his assistants), sang and danced at the artistic moment and told their stories in the evening, at the camp fire.

The second day of the event, Sunday, a big part of our participants (approx. 100) went to visit 2000 years old Romans Galleries.

After this visit, we had a tour at the most beautiful natural monuments in Rosia Montana, together with Calin Capros, vice-president at Alburnus Maior Association, a local man who knows very well this area and its history.

In that group was, Stefan Salagean as well, the winner of the Marathon. For them it was the most special day in the year because it was his birthday. We sang “Happy Birthday” to him near Raven’s Stone, maybe the most beautiful natural monument of Rosia Montana. He will remember that day as a special moment in his life, along with us.

RosaMontana2-2016And, in this way, we ended the IVth edition of Pachamama Marathon at Rosia Montana, an event through which we want to offer to our participants a run in a wonderful natural frame of Rosia Montana, to have the occasion to reconnect with themselves and with nature.

RosaMontana-medalsThrough their feedback, we understand that we achieved our goals. People were very excited about the beauty of landscapes they encountered on their route, many of them stopping for contemplating what was before their eyes and to feel the energy of the place.

The most emotional moment was to see the Rosia Montana Scouts welcoming the participants at the finish line. Alessia, Luisa and other kids were very attentive to welcome properly every runner at the finish line and they were truly happy and excited when they put medals at runners’ necks.

We think that the involvement of the children in this kind of events represents one of the most succesful ways in which we can teach them right values, in which we believe. As one indigenous proverb says:

“A responsible man is that person who plans for the future 7 generations.”

What we want is that the people who come here to get involved, to listen to their soul and to put together a foundation in order to reconstruct Rosia Montana.

We want to create a stronger atmosphere, full of joy and hapiness, so, despite running in the nature, we thought about organizing artistic programs as well, in this edition being present musical and traditional dancing moments.

Also, we want to learn more and more about our history, as a nation. For this reason we organized the Roman galleries and natural monuments tour with Calin Capros, vice-president of Alburnus Maior Association, who told us about places’ history.

Our dream is to create communities which will spin around a noble goal- a sustainable, just and fulfilling world.  To realize that we do not leave in a separate way, but we are interconnected. Without what is around us, we wouldn’t exist.

The rain in the midtime of Children Race it was like a purifying energy.

We need to let go of our past problems and  feel our divine essence, to be joyful that we are together and we can make something good for those around us.

runners-RosaMontana-2016We believe that our biggest treasure is the fact that we are alive. Let’s be happy about this and  let’s ourselves to be carried in this mystery that is life.

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In the ending, I will let you with 2 beautiful posts written after the event by Gabriel Bucerzan and Lacramioara Teodorescu, 2 sensitive and lovely persons, but in the same time, ambition and strong persons, who ran at the half-marathon trial at Rosia Montana: “Aseară trecui pe pante, pe la poarta dumitale / Să văd chip frumos, drag și luminos / Aseară trecui pe pante, pe la poarta ta cea mare / Te zăresc pe pajiște și pe lângă miriște / Au inima mea, ce frumoasă-i dragostea / Căci eu cât trăiesc, n-o să fug de ea / / Au inima mea, ce frumoasă-i dragostea / Căci eu cât trăiesc, n-o să fug de ea / – / Frumoasă-i Rosia Montană, când te plimbi cu o munțomană, peste munți se-ntinde ceața, chiar de dimineața / E distracție pe seară / Aer proaspăt, foc de tabără / Cântece vesele și zeci de zâmbete / Au inima mea, la bucla 2 este viață / Am servit compot și suc, alune și dulceață / Am servit compot și suc, alune și dulceață!”

(“Yesterday night I passed on the slopes, at your gate/ To see a beautiful face, beloved and bright/ Yesterday I passed on the slopes, at your big gate/ I see you on the meadow, near the stubble/ Oh, my heart, what a beautiful feeling is love!/ While living, I will not run away from it/Oh, my heart, what a beautiful feeling is love/ While living, I will not run away from it/-/ What a wonderful place is Rosia Montana, when you walk with a mountain-girl, fog stretches above mountains, starting from the morning/It is fun in the evening/ Fresh air, fire camp/ Joyful songs and many smiles/ Oh, my heart, at 2nd bubble it is real life/ I had compote and juice, peanuts and jam/ I had compote and juice, peanuts and jam!”) Gabriel Bucerzan

“Am trăit o poveste frumoasă la Roșia Montană. Locuri născute demult în jurul unui vulcan bogat care a revărsat strălucire și bogăție, ispite și neguri, filoane și fire, găuri și cratere, confuzie și o liniște prea tulbure pentru ultimii moți rămași să păzească stâncile cu clonț de corb și tăurile cu pești portocalii. Maratonul Pachamama Roșia Montană 2016 a spus tuturor participanților povestea locului, în sunet de bucium, în bătuta feciorilor, cu glasul de mierlă tânără a Magdei Puskas, cu bucuria blondă a lui Tică Darie, cu Ochiul lui Radu Cristi și inima organizatorilor și voluntarilor. Alergătorii au călătorit înapoi în timp, pe cursul apelor roșii, cu un ochi la traseu și altul la bogățiile fără de strălucire pe care Alexandra Postelnicu le-a scris pe medalii și pe sufletul nostru… iubire, bucurie, compasiune, recunoștință, fericire, iertare, pace, echilibru, prietenie, renaștere.”

(“I lived a beautiful story at Rosia Montana. Places born in the past around a vulcano which showered glamor and wealth, temptantios and darkness, holes and craters, confusion and an unstable peace for the last Moti,last guardins of the stones with raven beak and tauri with orange fishes. Pachamama Marathon at Rosia Montana 2016 spoke to every participants the story of the area, with alpenhorn sound, in lads’ dances, with a young blackbird voice of Magda Puskas, with blonde happiness of Tica Darie, with Radu Cristi’s Eye and organizers’ and volunteers’ heart. Runners walked back in time, on red water course, with an eye on the route and the other at the unsparkling treasures which Alexandra Postelnicu wrote on our medals and on our soul…love, joy, compassion, gratitude, happiness, forgivness, peace, equilibrium, friendship, rebirth.”) Lăcrămioara Teodorescu, The winner of the Halfmarathon (in centre)

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By Alexandra Postelnicu, Pachamama Romania

 

Earth-Centered Law and Regulation for Safeguarding Nature – IUCN World Conservation Congress

IUCN-RoN-Declaration-sponsors

Join Us for a Workshop on

“Earth-Centered Law and Regulation for Safeguarding Nature.”

September 4th, 8:30-10:30 a.m., Room 318A, Hawaii Convention Center, Session 10223

Introductory Remarks by Justice Antonio H. Benjamin, Chair, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law

Why Should You Attend?

IUCN-Earth-Center-Law-workshop-vertical1) In 2012 the IUCN adopted Resolution 100, “Incorporation of the Rights of Nature as the organizational focal point in IUCN’s decision making.” This Resolution calls nature’s rights to become a “fundamental and absolute key element for planning, action and assessment” for the IUCN.

2) Resolution 100 further urges the IUCN to promote a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature.

3) Now is the time to act on this IUCN Resolution and shift our laws and actions from an anthropocentric to an Earth-centered worldview and ethic.

4) Laws derived from the Earth that recognize and protect nature’s rights can help reverse the damage to the natural world, as well as prevent further damage. Such laws also support human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights, as detailed in Earth Law Center’s report, Fighting for Our Shared Future: http://bit.ly/ELCCoVR

5) Over 845,000 people worldwide already support the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. Attend this Workshop to learn more about how you can take part in the fast-growing rights of nature movement!

Speakers: Linda Sheehan, Earth Law Center, USA (Rights of Nature); Sostine Namanya, NAPE, Uganda (Earth Jurisprudence); Betsan Martin, Int’l Alliance of Responsible and Sustainable Societies, New Zealand; (Responsibilities to Nature) Florence Clap, IUCN France (Ecological Reparations)

For more information, contact Linda Sheehan, lsheehan@earthlaw.org, or visit https://portals.iucn.org/congress/session/10223

Click for a printable  IUCN Earth-Centered Law and Regulation for Safeguarding Nature workshop flier.

Learn more about the proposed IUCN Universal Declaration for the Rights of Nature

To sign the Intervention urging the IUCN to implement Rights of Nature, and adopt a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature, please send your organization’s name and logo to mbender@earthlaw.org.

Related events of interest:
Workshop 10217, Protection of Sacred Natural Sites, Sept. 4, 11am-1pm
Workshop 10283, Ecologically Informed Global Ethics and Env’l Law, Sept. 2, 5-7pm
Workshop 10300, Environmental Rule of Law, Sept. 3, 2:30-4:30pm

Tribunal Considers Rights of Nature in Imperiled San Francisco Bay-Delta

Thank you Dan Bacher and Daily Kos, Monday May 02, 2016, 8:48 AM PDT, for this article.

Photo by Dan Bacher

Gary Mulcahy, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, one of the judges of the tribunal, asked a question of witness Roger Mammon. Photo by Dan Bacher.

Many people have opined about Governor Jerry Brown’s environmentally devastating Delta Tunnels Plan, but nobody, including the Brown and Obama administrations promoting the project, have asked the alleged “beneficiary” of this plan — the San Francisco Bay-Delta Ecosystem – what the estuary has to say about the tunnels.

That all changed on April 30, 2016, when a panel of judges convened in Antioch to consider the question: “What would the San Francisco Bay-Delta  Ecosystem say?”  when examining a case brought before them in the first-ever Bay Area Rights of Nature Tribunal. The event was based on an international rights of nature tribunal held in Paris during the Paris Climate Talks last December.

The rights of nature have been inherent from the beginning of time,” said Gary Mulcahy, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, one of the tribunal judges. “We need to get rid of the concept of dominion over the Earth. We — the salmon, the water, the trees, the spiders — are all one thing. The more pieces you take from the whole, the closer you come to becoming extinct. Just like the salmon that my people depended upon.”

The Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance, Restore the Delta, and Move to Amend held their “Rights of Nature Tribunal” regarding Governor Brown’s proposed Delta Tunnels proposal, recently renamed the California Water Fix, at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center in Antioch, in the heart of the West Delta, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

The tribunal took place at a critical time for the Delta, its fish and wildlife, and its people.

“The San Francisco Bay-Delta lies polluted and suffering in a state of perpetual, human-made drought,” according to a statement from the three groups. “An estimated 95 percent of the historic Delta natural habitat has been lost. Between 2.1 million to 6.9 million acre-feet of water is exported from the Delta every year. Numerous Delta species face extinction, including the Delta Smelt and Winter-run Chinook Salmon. Marine species that depend on Delta fish for food, such as the Southern Resident Killer Whale, are also imperiled by failing Bay-Delta ecological health.”

Read the full article at  Tribunal Considers Rights of Nature in Imperiled San Francisco Bay-Delta

Earth law update – April 14, 2016

From Tom Brenan, Gaia Foundation

Here are some recent Earth law developments:

  • The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) are to hold a two-hour webinar on ‘Rights of Nature: Protecting and Defending the Places We Live’ on 27th The training will explore the concept and use of Rights of Nature as a means of ushering in a legal, social, political and economic framework based on the laws of the Earth.
  • The Earth Law Center and partners in the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance will be holding a Rights of Nature Tribunal in Antioch, California on 30th The Tribunal will be modelled on the successful International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature held in Paris in December 2015 during COP21 and will address violations of the San Francisco Bay Delta Area’s right to exist, thrive and evolve in light of diversions of the necessary flows from the Delta. It will also consider violations of the rights of Delta communities to self-governance for healthy water solutions.
  • The Australian Earth Laws Alliance will be holding a Rights of Nature Tribunal in Brisbane on 22nd October, following its two-day conference. The Tribunal will hear cases concerning the destruction of ecosystems and the wider Earth community in Australia and will make recommendations for law reform and restorative action.
  • Not really Earth law as such, but interesting nonetheless – the Royal Canadian Mint has issued a new Mother Earth and Water coin highlighting that we are all dependent on Mother Earth and the water she provides.

Earth law update – March 24, 2016

From Tom Brenan, Gaia Foundation

Here are some recent Earth law developments:

  • The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) has issued a call for papers in preparation for its conference on 20th and 21st October 2016, ‘The future of Australian environmental law: politics, reform and community activism’. Individual papers and panels are welcome on a wide range of themes exploring future environmental law and governance in Australia. The closing date for submission of abstracts to AELA is 1st June 2016.
  • Residents in Barrington, New Hampshire, USA, have voted to adopt a Community Bill of Rights which asserts their right to clean air and water and local community self-government. The ordinance bans corporate gravel extraction and water withdrawal. It also recognizes the Rights of Nature, such that “ecosystems possess rights to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve” and “residents of the town shall possess legal standing to enforce those rights on behalf of those ecosystems.” The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has been working with residents to advance community rights since 2006.
  • In the wake of COP21 in Paris, Vanda Shiva has suggested a Pact for the Earth as a manifesto for sustainability. The pledge starts with seeing and cherishing the soil as a living entity whose survival is essential to our own and goes on to recognise that we are all members of the Earth community, in which all species, peoples and cultures have intrinsic worth and rights to sustenance.
  • Back in November 2014, the Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCA) Consortium co-organised a main Stream of events at the World Parks Congress in Sydney (Australia).  This was the Stream on Enhancing Diversity, Quality and Vitality of Governance which took years to prepare and drew together the experience, knowledge, energy, engagement and creativity of several hundred people.  Three 20 minute films are now available which are designed to take viewers on a journey of exploration of “the complex, sensitive and sometimes confusing and disturbing phenomenon called ‘governance of protected and conserved areas’”.

Earth Law Update – March 2, 2016

From Tom Brenan, Gaia Foundation

  • The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has released its judgment in the case of Kaliña and Lokono Peoples v Suriname, nine years after the case was first submitted by Chiefs of the eight Kaliña and Lokon villages of the Lower Marowijne River and Association of Village Leaders in Suriname. The Court found Suriname responsible for violations of the American Convention on Human Rights due to the failure to recognise and guarantee legal personality and territorial rights of the Kaliña and Lokono as well as breaches of these and other rights in connection with bauxite mining, grants of individual titles to non-indigenous persons and restrictions imposed in two nature reserves. It gave orders with deadlines to comply. The Court said that ‘respect for the rights of the indigenous peoples may have a positive impact on environmental conservation’ and that ‘the rights of the indigenous peoples and international environmental laws should be understood as complementary’.
  • The Green Party of England and Wales has become the first UK-wide political party to vote Rights of Nature into their policies. This follows an overwhelming vote in favour at the party’s spring conference on 28th The Scottish Green Party introduced a Rights of Nature policy at their autumn conference in 2015. The vote for Rights of Nature builds on the Green Party’s current commitment to support the development of an international law of ecocide.
  • The Center for Earth Jurisprudence will hold the third in its Protecting our Common Home webinar series on 16th The focus will be “Florida Constitutional Revision Committee and a ‘Community Rights’ Amendment Protecting Human and Ecological Health”.

Two Good Days When Crimes Against Nature Were Exposed

By Nnimmo Bassey

For two days in the Maison des Metallos, Paris, experts, victims, prosecutors and judges presented or listened to cases of crimes against Mother Earth and at the end judgements were passed. There were solemn spiritual moments, moments of awe at the rapacious destructive capacities of humanity and many moments of tears as these destructions, including murders, were painted in words and pictures.

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal held parallel to the UNFCCC’s Conference of Parties where historical and current climate atrocities or real solutions are loath to be mentioned, not even in square brackets.from NnimmoThe Tribunal derives its authority from the peoples of the world as the children of the Earth. The basic framework comes from the Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth (UDRME) that was adopted at the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in April 2010 after the spectacular failure of COP15 in Copenhagen. At the commencement of the sitting of the Tribunal on 4 December 2015, the presiding judge, Cormac Cullinan, led other judges to vote and formally adopt the Convention and Statutes of the tribunal. These guide the running of the Tribunal and underscore the solemn duty of sitting as judges on the cases of infringements against Mothrer Earth.

This was the third session of the Tribunal, having sat first in Quito, Ecuador in January 2014 and then in Lima, Peru in December of the same year. The Tribunal was hosted by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature in conjunction with NatureRights, End Ecocide on Earth and Attac France with Natalia Greene heading the secretariat.

As I sat on the panel of judges along with Tom Goldtooth (USA), Alberto Acosta (Ecuador), Osprey Orielle (USA), Terisa Turna (Canada), Felicio Pontes (Brazil), Damien Short (UK), Attosa Soltani (USA), Ruth Nyambura (Kenya), Christophe Bonneuil (France), Philippe Desbrosses (France) and Dominique Bourg (Switzerland) we were repeatedly reminded that all beings on Earth are our relatives and that what we do to anyone of the children of the Earth we do to ourselves. The preamble of the UDRME states that “We are all part of Mother Earth, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny.”

It also came through that the crimes against Mother Earth are often wilfully committed because some people and the transnational corporations see nature as capital and Mother Earth as a dead organism. In a proposed case against cruel treatment of animals we saw shocking video of a wounded bull being butchered alive with hundreds of people gleefully watching.

The prosecutors, Ramiro Avila and Linda Sheehan led the witnesses in bringing out deep systemic alternatives to environmental protection and seeking to show that it must be acknowledged that ecosystems have the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate their vital cycles and that these ought to have legal standing in a court of law. The line-up of witnesses helped to ensure that Indigenous Peoples and oppressed communities had the space to share their unique concerns, knowledge and solutions about land, water, air and culture with the global community.

The presentations by experts and victims showed that climate change violates Articles 2 Sub sections a-j of the Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth, especially the right to life and to exist; the right to be respected and “the right to regenerate its bio-capacity and to continue its vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions.”

Witnesses underscored the fact that although climate change is caused mostly by human activities, it is inaccurate to place that blame and the burden for action on all humans. In his presentation, Pablo Solon stressed that 10% of the richest individuals in the world contribute 49 per cent of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 90 companies contribute over 60 per cent of all GHG emissions. The top corporate polluters include Chevron, ExxonMobil (USA), Saudi Aramco (Saudi), BP (UK), Gazprom (Russia) and Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands).

Evidence were adduced to show that the trio of governments/politicians, transnational corporations and the UNFCCC are complicit in the climate crimes as they work together to ensure that real solutions are avoided, binding commitments to cut emission are set aside in preference for voluntary or intended actions. In addition, the tribunal rejected the claims that destructive actions were taken on the basis of the necessity of development or that when emissions began to happen, and grew, the polluters did not know or anticipate the outcomes, are unacceptable.

The case was established that at play is the logic of capital and power and that the major corporations who have caused the problems are the sponsors of the COPs and have hijacked the system.

The fact that the extreme forms of extraction promoted by humans are crimes against Mother Earth came through very forcefully when the case of hydraulic fracturing or fracking was taken. Fracking was presented as a RAPE of the Earth and is one of the worst threats against the planet. Facts adduced in this case include that it sets stage for disaster each frack uses up to 2-8 million gallons of fresh water and that one well may be fracked up to 18 times. The process involves the use of up to 750 chemicals many of which, including benzene and formaldehyde are toxic. Billions of gallons of “frack fluid” and 60 per cent of chemicals used remain or are stored underground while the remainder are stored in open air pits. The Tribunal received evidence of radioactive wastes, toxic waters being left everywhere fracking takes place: in farms, schools, neighbourhoods as well as offshore. Witnesses and experts also insisted that fracking is guaranteed to pollute ground water. Testimonies of health impacts, deaths, rapes and other social disruptions dropped a pall of grieve over the venue of the meeting.

In the case against the Belo Monte and Tapajas mega dams in Brazil, the Tribunal was informed that 60-70 dams were being planned to be built over the next 20 years. Belo Monte alone will destroy 5000km2 of the forest and related biodiversity. The social impacts were described as ecological and cultural genocide against the indigenous communities.

Speaking forcefully about his lifelong work defending the Amazon forest, Cacique Raoni Kayapo told the Tribunal, “We all need nature to survive and it is fundamental that we protect her. Governments should hear the indigenous people who are in the frontlines of defending nature.” Looking piercingly at the panel of judges and then at the audience he intoned, “My struggle is for you, for all of us and for the future of humanity and for the future of our children.”

Other highlights of the sessions include the presentations that demanded that fossil fuels should be left under the ground in line with the findings of science requiring that this be done if we are to avoid catastrophic temperature rise. Oilwatch International presented the case for the creation of Annex Zero (0) nations, sub-nations and territories that have already taken steps or are in the process of doing so, of keeping fossil fuels under the ground. This was presented as real climate action and points at the pathway to a safe world. Examples were given of sites of such initiatives in all the continents of the world. Another highlight was the case for the recognition of ecocide in international criminal law.

The Tribunal accepted new cases including those that will try crimes against animals, the depletion of marine life, the Rosia Montana Mines in Romania, the extreme damage of the environment of the Niger Delta by the polluting acts of Shell and the crimes tied to the extraction of tar sands in Canada.

These were two days of plain talks and truth. They were days in which the raw injuries inflicted on Mother Earth and her children were laid bare. They were days of pain as well as of joy. Tears flowed freely from all sections of the hall. Indignation did not give birth to paralysis but to a resolve to stand up for Mother Earth.

In spite of the pains, the aches and the cries of Mother Earth that her children displayed, the words of Cases Camp Horinek kept echoing that the days of the Tribunal were indeed good days.

Nnimmo BasseyNnimmo Bassey

Nnimmo Bassey is director of an ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and Coordinator of Oilwatch International. Bassey has authored books on the environment, architecture and poetry. He was chair of Friends of the Earth International (2008-2012) and Executive Director of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013). He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the “Alternative Noble Prize.” In 2012 he received the Rafto Human Rights Award. In 2014 he received Nigeria’s national honour as Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of his environmental activism. His book, To Cook a Continent – Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa (Pambazuka Press, 2012) has been translated in Portuguese and Finnish (2014).

COP Out: The hollow promise of the Paris climate deal

Hal Rhoades, Gaia Foundation, December 16, 2015

COP21 has had a mixed reception and the agreement reached has been criticised more for what it doesn’t say as much as for what it does. The Gaia Foundation’s latest blog COP out: The hollow promise of the Paris climate deal reflects on what was agreed and highlights the powerful message from the International Rights of Nature Tribunal.

Hal Rhoades discusses why, despite the hype, the climate agreement hatched by world governments in Paris won’t save us from climate catastrophe. With analysis on key areas of the agreement text and discussion of the latest climate science, he argues that people’s movements, not multilateral theatrics, represent our best hope for avoiding climate disaster.

“Perhaps because it provided this anchor, for me, the most powerful event in the civil society spaces outside COP21was the International Rights of Nature Tribunal. The Tribunal advances a new legal paradigm that draws on Indigenous knowledge and governance systems, recognising nature’s inherent rights to exist, thrive and evolve. It represents one critical way to revive the planetary realism we need so desperately right now and is a model that should be taken and replicated elsewhere, and soon.

There is no one solution to climate crisis, no silver bullet. Nor can any one person, or government, or group of governments articulate an entire alternative system to our current one that is at war with people and planet. Rather, the systems change we want and so desperately need will emerge from the actions of our societies’, bravest, most vibrant, resilient and determined groups, who are driven by a moral imperative that transcends current norms and augurs a better future. Ever was it thus.”

Read Gaia Foundation’s blog at COP out: The hollow promise of the Paris climate deal