Blue Pavilion calls for Rights of Nature – People’s Summit Rio+20

“We call for the recognition of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth in order to guarantee that the biosphere and its inhabitants are protected for sustainability and ecological balance.” – Blue Pavilion Final Declaration

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature delegation to the Rio+20 Earth Summit were active participants in the People’s Summit which ran parallel to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.  The Blue Pavilion was a  section of the People’s Summit at which we were most active.

The Blue Pavilion hosted water related sessions based on the following 5 plenary themes:  Right to Water; Water as a Common; Water, Agriculture and Food Sovereignty; Water, Energy, Extractivism; and Water management, work, new paradigms .

Final Declarations from the Rio+20 Conference (Entitled The Future We Want), the Peoples Summit, Kari-Oca II Indigenous Gathering, and the Blue Pavilion included supporting statements for Rights of Nature/Rights of Mother Earth.

The following is the Final Declaration from the Blue Pavilion.

Declaration – Blue Pavilion

People’s Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – June 2012

We, movements for the defense of water and Mother Earth gathered at the Blue Pavilion inside the Cúpula dos Povos, collectively share a vision that water is a commons, not a commodity. The Earth’s pristine waters give life to an astonishing diversity of ecosystems and human societies. This common vision affirms the necessity of an equitable and balanced relationship with Mother Earth that respects the laws of nature, maintains the integrity of the water cycle, and ensures the achievement of social and environmental justice for all of Earth’s inhabitants.

We uphold UN Resolution 64/292 on the right to water and sanitation, which is a significant achievement for our movements, based on many campaigns for adoption of this right in national constitutions.

In solidarity with the thousands of activists and social movements, we collectively reject the corporate control of our societies, and their so-called “green economy” proposals, which seek to put a price on nature and water, commodifying them under the pretext of sustainability, development, poverty alleviation and efficiency; thereby monetizing and commodifying all that is sacred and necessary to life on Earth.

The “green economy” is an expression of the capitalist model of development, which pays little attention to hydrologic inter-connections and creates profound economic, social and environmental inequities and crises, thus solidifying the corporate capture and subordination of our societies and nature to the financial markets. This development model, which considers water (and nature) as economic inputs, is ineffective in providing access to water and sanitation for all and cannot support a sustainable economy, which in turn undermines a peaceful co-existence between humans, living species and the Earth’s ecosystems.

We reject institutionalized colonialism and racism and the denial of Indigenous Peoples’ and traditional communities’ rights to self-determination and food sovereignty.

We demand our governments to eliminate the false solutions of the “green economy”, and not place water under the logic of market and profit. Water, whether for drinking or agriculture, must remain part of the commons and be democratically managed by communities and/or public institutions and not by corporations.

We demand our governments to defend the public interest, guarantee access to sanitation and clean and safe water for all, in quantities that can sustain life and dignity. We call upon all governments to officially recognize the right to water and sanitation for all people in their national laws, in accordance with the UN resolution 64/292. The right to water must especially be guaranteed as a priority for women and children, for the poor, and people living in dehumanizing conditions.

We call for the preservation of the integrity of the water cycle in the framework of the recognition of the rights of ecosystems and species to exist, thrive and reproduce. We call for the recognition of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth in order to guarantee that the biosphere and its inhabitants are protected for sustainability and ecological balance.

We call for a global community solidarity and empowerment through the creation of truly democratic global water institutions such as public-public partnerships and public-community partnerships or the creation of World Water Authority which must act in the interest of humanity and nature.

We call for the creation of an international penal court for the trial of environmental crimes committed by corporations, governments and institutions.

We commit to continue building networks and new social alliances, broadening and deepening our connections with social movements fighting for food sovereignty, decent work and workers’ rights, democracy, and social and environmental justice. In particular, we commit to actively participate in the climate justice campaigns as water is one of the key elements of life that is gravely affected by climate change.

Given the collective experience, determination and the broad solidarity that we have with other movements present here at the Cúpula, overcoming the “green economy” and building new models of development in harmony with nature are indeed possible.


5 de Septiembre S.A. (Sociedad de Trabajadores Sanitarios, con Matricula de Operador de Servicios de Agua Potable y Saneamiento), Argentina

Asia Pacific Network on Food Sovereignty
Assemae, Brazil
Agua Sustentable, Bolivia
Catedra del Agua dela Universidad Nacional de Rosario
Comision Nacional en Defensa del Agua y la Vida (CNDAV), Uruguay
CeVI – Centro di Volontariato Internazionale – Italy
Colombia Corporación ecológica y Cultural Penca de Sábila, Colombia
Comité Departamental en defensa del Agua y la Vida de Antioquia, Colombia.
Campaña Octubre Azul, Bolivia
Corporación ECOFONDO, Colombia
Corporate Europe Observatory, Belgium
Council of Canadians, Canada
Earth Law Center, USA
European Research Institute on Water Policy (IERPE), Italy\
EYES Network
Federação Nacional dos Urbanitários (FNU/CUT), Brazil
Federacion de Funcionarios de Ose (FFOSE), Uruguay
Food and Water Watch, US and Europe
Forum Brasileiro de Surf e Sustentabilidade, Brazil
Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l’Acqua
France Libertes, France
Frente Nacional pelo Saneamento Ambiental
Freshwater Action Network, Mexico
Fundacion Solon, Bolivia
Focus on the Global South, Thailand, India, Philippines
Global Alliance for Rights of Nature, International
IBON international
Indigenous Environmental Network
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, USA
Integrated Rural Development Foundation, Philippines
Mensageiros da Agua
Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Nigeria
One World Awake, USA
Pacto Publico del Agua (Anibal Facendini and Nelton Friedrich), Italy
Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (National Union of Peasants in the Philippines)
People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty
Polaris Institute, Canada
Plataforma de Acuerdos Publico Comunitarios de las Americas
Public Services International
Red Vida, Americas
Re: Common, Italy
Solidarity Workshop, Bangladesh
Transnational Institute, Netherlands

If you want to add your organization to the list of signatories, please comment to that effect and we will forward your request to the Blue Pavilion organizers.  Thank you for your participation and support!