International Gathering for Rights of Nature in Patate, Ecuador – September 2010
In September 2010, a groundbreaking International Gathering for Rights of Nature met in Patate, Ecuador. The gathering included individuals and organizations from four continents who have worked to promote the recognition of Rights of Nature. Participants travelled from South Africa, the United States, Australia, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador to participate. Their intention was to explore ways to expand the concept of Rights of Nature as an idea whose time has come. They recognized the unique opportunity to further galvanize the momentum of Ecuador’s recent adoption of Rights of Nature in its Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth from the People’s Conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and growing community developments in the United States. Out of this four-day meeting, the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature was formed.
Declaration, Fundamental Principles, Statutes
During the initial formation meeting, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature approved statutes, a declaration, fundamental principles, founding organizations, and an executive committee. The Alliance is also establishing other key components that will enable it members to act and think locally and globally. An Advisory Council, additional members for the General Assembly and the development of four working groups: the Legislative Assistance Working Group; International Advocacy Working Group; Communications Working Group and Ancestral Knowledge Working Group are foundational operating components.
Public Launch in Quito
The Alliance was then launched in a public forum in Quito. A daylong workshop preceded the Launch. The workshop included all the Gathering participants as well as Ecuadorian non-governmental and governmental organizations who are devoted to work on the effective implementation on Rights of Nature in Ecuador after its Constitutional recognition.
The Global Alliance’s Objectives
The Global Alliance’s objective is to encourage the recognition and effective implementation of Rights of Nature through the creation of a world network of individuals and organizations that, through active cooperation, collective action and legal tools, based on Rights of Nature as an idea whose time has come, can change the direction humanity is taking our planet.
The Global Alliance also aims to become a platform to share the experience and expertise of its Founding Members. Among these organizations are: Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund [CELDF] in the United States, which helps community groups and municipalities write and adopt laws that assert community rights, including rights of nature; Fundación Pachamama and Pachamama Alliance that promoted the incorporation of Rights for Nature into the Ecuadorian Constitution; Global Exchange, Navdanya led by Indian physicist Dr. Vandana Shiva, Wildlaw UK, Australian Earth Law Alliance, Council of Canadians, and EnAct International whose Director, Cormac Cullinan wrote the groundbreaking book Wild Law, A Manifesto for Earth Justice which played a significant role in informing and inspiring a growing international movement to recognize Rights for Nature.
Together with other inspiring organizations, and individuals, and highly respected members of the Advisory Council, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature seeks to inform and educate about the transformational potential of truly considering Nature a subject of rights, a someone that is protected and cared for, and not an object, a something, that can be exploited and destroyed. Just imagine the impact on humanity when slaves where finally considered subjects of rights to understand the potential of really liberating nature and living in harmony with Mother Earth.
Foundational Starting Points
Driving Rights of Nature into law like Ecuador did in its 2008 National Constitution, and creating global, national and local jurisdiction and cases that guarantee these Rights, will serve as a starting point to reproduce this concept virally though the world, invading systems of thought and juridical systems. The Global Alliance will definitely become a key actor to promote actions and help the implementation of Rights of Nature in Ecuador and other countries around the world that follow this good example.