CONTACT: Robin R. Milam
FIRST WORLD TRIBUNAL ON RIGHTS OF NATURE
HEARS NINE CASES FOR ADMISSIBILITY
GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RIGHTS OF NATURE
COMMITS TO DEEPEN AND EXPAND THE WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT
The world’s first Tribunal on the Rights of Nature is being held in Quito, Ecuador, today. Headed by Vandana Shiva, physicist and internationally renowned environmental activist, this “Seed” Tribunal is hearing nine cases to determine their admissibility for adjudication at a later Tribunal, which will be held in another city and country later this year. The Tribunal for Rights of Nature will become permanent, hearing cases around the world.
The cases and the persons presenting the factual arguments for admitting them for adjudication under Rights of Nature are:
British Petroleum (BP) Esperanza Martínez, Ecuador
Hydrofracking Shannon Biggs, United States
Chevron/Texaco Julio Prieto, Ecuador
Yasuní-ITT Carlos Larrea, Ecuador
Great Barrier Reef Michelle Maloney, Australia
Minería Condor Mirador Nathaly Yépez, Ecuador
GMOs Elizabeth Bravo, Ecuador
Climate Change Pablo Solón, Bolivia
Defenders of Nature Carlos Perez Guartambel, Ecuador
The international panel of judges sitting on the Tribunal includes:
Alberto Acosta, economist and former President of the Constituent Assembly from Quito, Ecuador
Tantoo Cardinal, actress (e.g., Dances with Wolves) from the Tar Sands of Canada
Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador
Cormac Cullinan, lawyer and author (Wild Law), Earth Democracy Coop, Cape Town, South Africa
Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network from Minnesota, US
Julio César Trujillo, constitutional lawyer for Yasunidos from Quito, Ecuador
Elsie Monge, human rights activist and president of CEDHU y FIDH from Quito, Ecuador
Atossa Soltani, founder and director of Amazon Watch from Washington, DC, US
Enrique Viale, environmental lawyer from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Native rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, US) and Patricia Gualinga, an indigenous of the Amazon and director of Sayaku, will provide expert witness testimony on the critical importance of Rights of Nature. Carlos Pérez will provide testimony as to his recent actions in defense of Mother Earth, the reasons for his actions and its consequences.
The Tribunal begins at 8:30 and concludes at 17:00. Before rendering her judgment at the end of the day, Vandana Shiva will speak to the issues at stake in this Tribunal and the worldwide Rights of Nature movement.
The Tribunal marks the end of a five-day summit of more than 60 global leaders of the Rights of Nature movement who form part of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. The participants hail from Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, Spain, Canada, India, Romania, Bolivia, Argentina, Columbia, and the United Kingdom, as well as Ecuador.
The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature was founded at a gathering in Ecuador in 2010, two years after Ecuador became the first nation in the world to adopt Rights of Nature in its Constitution. At the summit, the leaders committed to redoubling their efforts to broaden and deepen the movement worldwide over the coming year, with a series of actions that will be detailed in the next months.
The Rights of Nature movement draws on the wisdom and cosmovision of indigenous peoples in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.
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