COP 17 Rights of Nature Events in Durban, SA

UN COP17 Climate Change Conference opened Monday, November 28 in Durban, South Africa. As representatives of government and non-government organizations gather both inside the UN Climate Change Conference and in the outside Peoples Space to negotiate and explore proposed solutions to climate issues, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature is advocating a systemic alternative that balances the rights of human communities with the recognition of the rights of the ecosystem of which we are apart and which sustains us. Implementing the Rights of Nature framework requires the redesign of legal systems by which we live to recognize the rights of Mother Earth, the Rights of Nature.

The Global Alliance, in partnership with CJN!, EnAct International, Fundacion Pachamama, Global Exchange, Indigenous Environmental Network, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), and Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus are presenting a series of rights based educational and action events both inside the COP17 ICC Hall and outside in the Peoples Space.

All in Durban are invited to join us as we celebrate a Week of Action in Durban – Rights of Nature Events!

Dec 1st

Global Alliance for Rights of Nature strategy session.  Members of the Global Alliance will gather in Durban to set priorities for 2012.

Dec 2nd

Human Rights Award winner and former Bolivian Ambassador to the UN and lead negotiator for Bolivia Pablo Solon will be presenting to the public at the Wolpe Lecture on ‘The Rights of Nature and Climate Politics’.

  • When: 5pm-7pm
  • Where: Shepstone 1, Howard College, UKZN

Dec 3rd

Global Day of Action: C17 March

  • When: 9am gather – march starts at 10:30am
  • Where: Curries Fountain in the People’s Space

Dec 5th

Rights of Nature Panel Discussion featuring Pablo Solon, Cormac Cullinan, Natalia Green, Shannon Biggs, and Tom Goldtooth moderated by Osprey Orielle Lake.

  • When:  2 pm-3:30pm
  • Where: University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College, TB Davis Building L4

Rights of Nature Teach-In

  • When: 3:30-5:00pm
  • Where: University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College, TB Davis Building L4

Dec 6th

Press Conference. ICC Kois Palms 8:30 am.

Speakers include Shannon Biggs (USA),  Pablo Solon (Bolivia), Cormac Cullinan (SA), Natalia Green (Ecuador), Tom Goldtooth (Turtle Island), Desmond D’sa (SA)

COP 17 Rights of Mother Earth Press Conference

Toxic Tour and Refinery Action and Rights of Nature march and action in South Durban. Speakers include Desmond D’sa (SA), Shannon Biggs (USA),  Cormac Cullinan (SA), Natalia Green (Ecuador), Randy Hayes (USA),  Robin Milam (USA)

Buses depart Howard College; Rally at Engen Refinery, South Durban

Dec 7th

Rio+20 strategy session with all international allies

T B Davis Terrace, Howard College 5pm

Dec 9th

Rights of Nature, an idea whose time has come – inside the COP17 conference, Robin Milam and Osprey Oreille Lake

  • When: noon-1pm
  • Where: Blyde River Room

For more information, contact Robin at


  1. Another year another cycle. What have we learned?

    My name is Chihiro and I was at COP15 as an environmental activist + reporter for the Buddhist Broadcast. It was here where I first heard about Bolivia’s bold & sincere proposal for Rights for Mother Earth, holding a world referendum & and proposing to redirect military expenses to saving life instead of ending it.

    Since this time I have become dedicated to the struggle to teach people in the West about absolute equality of life: Be it a human baby, a horse, a river or a rock.
    I’m not saying they are the same or should be treated the same. Just that the priciple of life that operates within them are equal & equaly worthy or respect & need to be nourished/balanced in the bigger community of life.

    So when it came to COP16 I had longtime abandoned hope in UN climate tops and found myself in Bolivia working on an ambitious documentary plan that could show the entire world to learn to love the nature around and within them. A personal roadmovie that explained the RIGHTS FOR MOTHER EARTH thing through a journey of learning profound life lessons.

    Being half Dutch half Bolivian I found my way around Bolivia and even got to meet President Evo Morales, alongside with waterwar activists & brave youth working on environmental projects in Bolivia (SUCRE) with rural communities.

    Now… one year later… this cycle.. COP17: amidst turmoil of ecosystems continuing to decay, worldleaders hanging on to empty words & market dogma leading to genocide… I am more HOPEFUL than ever. Why? Cause this year we have entered a phase of Occupy, a phase of mass citizen struggle. Freedom and equality is never handed down from the top… it is achieved by courageous struggle & emancipation of ordinary people. And it is time people are awakening to this.

    This year I find myself during COP17 at home – Amsterdam. Not because I stopped fighting – but because I brought the struggle home. Last week I presented parts of my movie for the first time during a lecture I organized in the university Theater of Amsterdam; a lecture on What Next With Rights For Mother Earth. This Sunday I will do it again! Heart to heart, shaking people up to think and feel in a new way about the eqaulity of life and The debt of gratitude we have to Mother Earth. She sustains our life. “Jallalla (for life)!” they say in Bolivia.

    Let’s never forget to stop feeling sorry for the planet & scared for ourselves & focus on healing all relationships! Bravely speaking up, civil disobedience & educating ourselves and eachother with compassion & confrontation!

    We are moving from an era of Power to an era of Ethics. All powers will have to fall including the power structure we hang on to in ourselves. Let’s courageously explore the infinite strength of gentleness!


    More about the movie:
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  2. Thanks for your Radical Friends of Mother Earth stand and for clarifying that the word “radical” comes from the word “root”!

    I would love to hear more about your lecture What Next With Rights For Mother Earth!

    In Durban we hosted a series of lectures and events advocating Rights for Mother Earth. Love your partnership!

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