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Archive for Harmony with Nature

Earth law update – April 27, 2016

From Tom Brenan, Gaia Foundation

Here is the latest update on Earth law developments:

  • The United Nations (UN) Harmony with Nature Programme has launched its Knowledge Network, an online platform which will host a series of inter-disciplinary dialogues between practitioners, academics and researchers about Earth Jurisprudence and how we can move away from a human-centred worldview and establish an Earth-centred relationship with the planet. As mentioned in earlier updates, this follows a report and a UN resolution last year to initiate a virtual dialogue to inspire citizens and societies to reconsider how they interact with the natural world in order to implement the Sustainable Development Goals on Harmony with Nature.
  • Speaking at a meeting in New York with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, inviting world leaders to Habitat III (the third UN Conference on Sustainable Urban Development) to be held in Quito, Ecuador in October, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said that Habitat III ‘must seek to guarantee the right to city, to public services, to basic services, to sustainable development that respects the rights of Nature’. Highlighting that Ecuador is the only country in the world with a constitution recognising the rights of Nature, he emphasised the hope that the New Urban Agenda (the outcome document from Habitat III) reflects the Ecuadorian concept of ‘buen vivir’ or ‘living well’, an indigenous concept adopted as the country’s guiding principle for sustainable development.
  • The Rights and Resources Initiative has launched a new report analysing countries’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to reducing greenhouse gas emissions submitted in advance of the Paris Agreement. The report finds that only 11% of countries which submitted plans made clear commitments to tenure security for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, failing to recognise that by preventing changes in land use and land cover Indigenous Peoples and local communities play a crucial role in helping to reduce greenhouse gases.
  • The Australian Earth Laws Alliance has issued an invitation to participate in ‘Building the new economy: activism, enterprise and social change’ a conference being held with the University of New South Wales, in Sydney on 16th and 17th August 2016. The conference will tease out connections between movements and ask a series of questions such as: ‘How can we reimagine work, exchange, money, care, law and our relationship with the natural world through the prism of a new economy?’.

Notes for the debate The Rights of Mother Earth

By Pablo Solon from Systemic Alternatives

What are the rights of Mother Earth?

What are the Rights of Mother EarthA new vision of our relationship with nature, a new legal framework, a set of ethical principles, a strategy with which to question the superpowers of transnational corporations?

The Rights of Mother Earth refers to all of these things and something more: it is a call to cast off the dominant anthropocentric paradigm and imagine a new Earth society. The Rights of Mother Earth is like a river made up of different streams that are flowing toward the ocean, but have not yet reached its shores.

“Nature is a subject and not a collection of objects.”
-Thomas Berry

The Questions

How is the systemic crisis evolving? How the are centers of political and economic power responding? How are social movements reacting? What systemic alternatives are being developed? How to strengthen the resistance and struggles to achieve real change?

Read the complete Notes for the Debate: The Rights of Mother Earth at SystemicAlternatives.org

Also read It’s the time of the Rights of Mother Earth

Notes for the Debate: Vivir Bien / Buen Vivir

UN Harmony with Nature dialogue and Rights of Nature – April 22, 2014

UN Harmony with Nature - Linda Sheehan moderatingOn the International Day of Mother Earth, April 22, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly hosted its fourth International Dialogue on Harmony with Nature.  Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of Earth Law Center, moderated the panel discussions.  Civil society was invited to submit statements related to Harmony with Nature and Rights of Nature.   The UN’s Harmony with Nature website has added an informational page on Rights of Nature at:  Rights of Nature Law and Policy.

The Global Alliance submitted the following statement in support of advancing the formal discussion for the adoption of a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth by the United Nations. Click to download a printable PDF at Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature – UN Harmony with Nature 2014

INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON HARMONY WITH NATURE TO
COMMEMORATE INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY
UN HQ, NY, 22 April 2014

Statement by: Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

On behalf of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (the “Alliance”) thank you again for the opportunity to contribute to the Interactive Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on Harmony with Nature. We commend you, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, and all who continue to bring this initiative forward.

2014 Rights of Nature Summit-sideThe Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature is a global network of organizations and individuals committed to the universal adoption and implementation of legal systems that recognize, respect and enforce Rights of Nature and to making Rights of Nature an idea whose time has come.  Our intention as an Alliance is aligned with the proposal made to the General Assembly by Ambassador Xavier Lasso of Ecuador, and others around the world to continue the discussion towards Rights of Nature.  We, the Alliance, recommend the General Assembly begin the formal discussion for the adoption of a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth by the United Nations.

To that end, in January 2014 the Alliance hosted a Global Rights of Nature Summit. A diverse gathering of scientists, attorneys, economists, activists, indigenous leaders, authors, spiritual leaders, politicians, actors, and others from 16 countries and 6 continents participated in the three day Global Rights of Nature Summit. Sixty participating principals represented diverse disciplines, cultures, nations, and bioregions. Participants traveled from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Columbia, Ecuador, India, Italy, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the Azores, United Kingdom, and United States to create a framework of action for further expanding global integration of Rights of Nature within today’s social, economic, and legal systems.

The primary premise of the Alliance is that in order to insure an environmentally sustainable future, humans must reorient themselves from an exploitative and ultimately self-destructive relationship with nature, to one that honors the deep interrelation of all life and contributes to living in harmony with the natural environment. An essential step in achieving this is to create a system of jurisprudence that sees and treats nature as a fundamental, rights bearing entity and not as mere property to be exploited at will.

It is to this end that the Alliance hosted the Summit and, among its prominent outcomes, launched the formation of a Permanent Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal.

Permanent Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal

RoNTribunal-sideThe Alliance launched the permanent International Ethics Tribunal to demonstrate how Rights of Nature can be implemented in practice.  Nine prominent cases were presented to a distinguished international, multicultural panel of judges. Among the cases were the Chevron-Texaco pollution case (Ecuador); BP Deep Horizon oil spill (USA); Yasuní-ITT oil project (Ecuador); the endangerment of the Great Barrier Reef by coal mines (Australia); hydraulic fracturing  (USA) and the impacts of Climate Change (global). The Tribunal provides a vehicle for reframing prominent environmental and social justice cases and to adjudicate the cases within the context of a Rights of Nature based earth jurisprudence.  While the Ethics Tribunal does not have specific legal authority for enforcement, the adjudication process provides a platform for informed legal analysis of diverse cases based on Rights of Nature.

Furthermore the Tribunal provides a framework for educating civil society and governments on the fundamental tenets of Rights of Nature and serves as an instrument for legal experts to examine constructs needed to more fully integrate Rights of Nature.  Individual Chambers will be heard around the world leading up to an international Tribunal in conjunction with UNFCCC COP20 in Lima Peru in December 2014.   For more, visit http://www.therightsofnature.org/rights-of-nature-tribunal/.

For more information on the Summit outcomes, visit http://www.therightsofnature.org/ron-summit-outcomes/

We encourage the UN General Assembly to continue and expand the dialogue around Rights of Nature not only in the context of Harmony with Nature but in the broader context of creating the Future We Want through advocating economic systems and structures that are truly aligned supporting with a balanced, healthy Earth Community.

Respectfully submitted,

Robin R. Milam

Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

 

Linda Sheehan, Earth Law Center addresses UN General Assembly

Linda Sheehan, Executive Director Earth Law Center spoke at the 3rd Interactive Dialogue of the United Nations General Assembly on Harmony with Nature on Earth Day April 22, 2013. Listen as Linda Sheehan speaks on creating Sustainable Human Communities, the necessary economic systems and the role of Rights of Nature.

Along with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and invited panelists, Ms Sheehan discussed alternative economic approaches that further a more ethical relationship with the Earth.

“Recognition of the rights of nature is essential to help us build closer relationships with the environment and correct our upside-down ordering of Earth, humans and economic system. But we cannot complete this change in perspective
solely through rights of nature. We also must specifically reject the current neoliberal economic system and its false assumptions, and replace them with alternatives, such as those described by ecological economists. Roughly three dozen communities, large to tiny, across the United States have taken up this particular cause, with more joining in. Threatened by unwanted, destructive activities such as mining and hydrofracking, these communities have passed local laws that recognize the rights of local natural systems to exist, thrive and evolve. Significantly, these laws also reject the rights of corporations who would conduct these harmful activities, over the rights of local community members to live in harmony with each other and their environment. That is, these laws support a community’s right to nurture its home, rather than witness its destruction.”

Read Linda’s remarks at “Caring for Home through Nature’s Rights”.

The full session is at UN General Assembly Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature.

Respecting the Natural Rights of all Nature

by Stella Joy and Tara Joy, Active Remedy Ltd  www.activeremedy.org.uk

The need to focus on the Rights of Nature, are especially important in these times when so much of our direct relationship with living nature all around us has been largely ignored and forgotten. Due to this, massive abuses and destruction of the multitude of species within the natural world have taken place and a large percentage of humanity has lost its balance. The multitude of species which we share Earth with need to be heard and protected. Rights for Nature help provide these needs.

An understanding of the importance of the Rights of Nature involves respect and care for all the millions of natural species, which we share life on Earth with along with all human beings regardless of differences. It implies an understanding and respect for the immensely intelligent, interdependent and interconnected ecological systems and species, which we depend upon for life and share our lives with.

We believe in Universal Rights for all and that all beings have a common right to a healthy life in accordance with their own nature. It is only right that a river should flow to the sea and mountain peaks should be covered with snow. It is only right and natural for children of different species to play and for whales to swim in vast clean oceans.

There are Laws of Nature, which should never have been abused. For life on Earth including humanity to continue, it is imperative that we remember and give thanks for our natural living relationship with the whole. Humanity is after all a part of this incredible, interrelated natural world and we have immeasurable intelligence and capacities when our minds are connected with it in a common collective focus, for the well-being and benefit of the whole.

Read more by Stella and Tara …

Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony With Nature Scientific findings on the impacts of human activities on the functioning of the Earth System

Sustaining and Maintaining Life on Earth