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Rights of Nature advocates at COP17 Durban, South Africa

UN COP17 Climate Change Conference was held in Durban, South Africa starting Monday, November 28. The Conference was officially scheduled to end on Friday December 9. However, marathon negotiations continued for 30 hours after closing.

As representatives of government and non-government organizations gathered 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 advocated a systemic alternative that balances the rights of human communities with the recognition of the rights of the ecosystems of which we humans are apart and which sustain us. Implementing the Rights of Nature framework requires the redesign of legal governance systems to recognize the rights of Mother Earth, the Rights of Nature.

Rights of Nature Strategy Session - Tom GoldtoothThe Global Alliance, in partnership with Global Exchange, EnAct International, Fundacion Pachamama, CJN!, Indigenous Environmental Network, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), and Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus presented a series of rights based educational and action events both inside COP17 and outside in the Peoples Space.

Starting December 1 Global Alliance and aligned advocates presented daily in numerous venues.

Rights of Nature Strategy Session
December 1 a group of 17 international leaders in the Rights of Mother Earth/Rights of Nature movement gathered at Stainbank Wildlife Preserve for a strategy planning meeting.

December 2 The Earth Bears Witness: Who Should Stand Trial?, Diakonia Center – Cormac Cullinan & Pat Siemen

“The law is inadequate to deal with the environmental destruction that is taking place.  Earth’s voice must be heard for us to survive,” environmental lawyers Cormac Cullinan from Cape Town and Pat Siemens from Florida, USA told a gathering of about 100 people of different faiths at a COP17 side event organised by the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI) in Durban’s Diakonia Centre.

More information at ‘Earth’s voice must be heard’

December 2 Rights of Nature and Climate Politics – Pablo Solon

For highlights of Pablo’s message, visit Pablo Solon on Rights of Nature and Climate Politics …

Shannon Biggs and Cormac Cullinan at MarchDecember 3 Global Day Of Action March

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature participated along with some 10 – 12,000 people in the Global Day of Action March to the beach in Durban.  Beach balls painted and printed with Earth Rights Now! in 5 languages bounced above our heads.  The balls took on a life of their own as the members of the crowd delighted in bouncing them all the way to center stage of the closing!

December 5   “We’ve got to find our ecological niche” COPpuccino at COP17 interview of Cormac Cullinan as part of daily “COP”puccino video series.

Cormac speaks for COPpuccino

Click to view

Click to view “We’ve got to find our ecological niche”

December 5 Rights of Nature Panel Discussion with Pablo Solon, Tom Goldtooth, Cormac Cullinan, Natalia Greene, and Shannon Biggs, moderated by Osprey Orielle Lake.

Click to read what people are saying about the Panel Discussion:

UNFCC COP17 Climate Change Conference by Andrea Solazzo

December 6 Rights of Nature Press Conference

COP17 Rights of Nature Press ConferenceFor excerpts and video of Press Conference on Why to Bring Rights of Nature to the Table at Climate Change Conferences

December 6 South Durban, SA Toxic Tour to South Durban and Call for Rights of Nature at Engen Refinery

Video by Shannon Biggs, Rights of Nature advocate with Global Exchange and International Advocacy co-chair for the Global Alliance

December 7 Sustainable Capacity Building – Empowering Individuals and Communities to Act - Living in Harmony Cormac Cullinan

For more information visit COP17, UN’s Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa – 7th Dec.

Robin MilamDecember 9 Rights of Nature, An Idea Whose Time Has Come – Global Alliance members Robin Milam and Osprey Oreille Lake presented Rights of Nature in an official side event inside COP17.  This event was sponsored Beyond War.

Thank you to Randy Hayes, Shannon Biggs, Santiago Lopez, Natalia Greene, and Robin Milam for videos and photos.

A special thank you to Beyond War for their partnership at COP17!  We appreciated both co-hosting our Rights of Mother Earth Signature campaign booth and Rights of Nature, An Idea Whose Time Has Come COP17 side event with Beyond War.  Thank you Bill and Elaine Hallmark for your partnership!