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Archive for Rights of Nature Tribunal

Tribunal Considers Rights of Nature in Imperiled San Francisco Bay-Delta

Thank you Dan Bacher and Daily Kos, Monday May 02, 2016, 8:48 AM PDT, for this article.

Photo by Dan Bacher

Gary Mulcahy, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, one of the judges of the tribunal, asked a question of witness Roger Mammon. Photo by Dan Bacher.

Many people have opined about Governor Jerry Brown’s environmentally devastating Delta Tunnels Plan, but nobody, including the Brown and Obama administrations promoting the project, have asked the alleged “beneficiary” of this plan — the San Francisco Bay-Delta Ecosystem – what the estuary has to say about the tunnels.

That all changed on April 30, 2016, when a panel of judges convened in Antioch to consider the question: “What would the San Francisco Bay-Delta  Ecosystem say?”  when examining a case brought before them in the first-ever Bay Area Rights of Nature Tribunal. The event was based on an international rights of nature tribunal held in Paris during the Paris Climate Talks last December.

The rights of nature have been inherent from the beginning of time,” said Gary Mulcahy, Winnemem Wintu Tribe, one of the tribunal judges. “We need to get rid of the concept of dominion over the Earth. We — the salmon, the water, the trees, the spiders — are all one thing. The more pieces you take from the whole, the closer you come to becoming extinct. Just like the salmon that my people depended upon.”

The Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance, Restore the Delta, and Move to Amend held their “Rights of Nature Tribunal” regarding Governor Brown’s proposed Delta Tunnels proposal, recently renamed the California Water Fix, at the Nick Rodriguez Community Center in Antioch, in the heart of the West Delta, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

The tribunal took place at a critical time for the Delta, its fish and wildlife, and its people.

“The San Francisco Bay-Delta lies polluted and suffering in a state of perpetual, human-made drought,” according to a statement from the three groups. “An estimated 95 percent of the historic Delta natural habitat has been lost. Between 2.1 million to 6.9 million acre-feet of water is exported from the Delta every year. Numerous Delta species face extinction, including the Delta Smelt and Winter-run Chinook Salmon. Marine species that depend on Delta fish for food, such as the Southern Resident Killer Whale, are also imperiled by failing Bay-Delta ecological health.”

Read the full article at  Tribunal Considers Rights of Nature in Imperiled San Francisco Bay-Delta

COP21: call for international treaty on rights of nature and communities

By Hal Rhoades, 8th December 2015, The Ecologist

Portrait of Shuar Indian in Ecuador's Amazon, where gross violations of human and environmental rights have been committed by oil companies. Photo: 00rini hartman via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).A new initiative launched alongside COP21 in Paris this week is aiming to “Adopt and implement an international treaty to prevent and enforce against corporate human rights violations” and “Incorporate rights of nature principles into existing human rights instruments and bodies.”

The manifesto to end ‘co-violations’ of nature’s rights and human rights is set out in a report that examines 100 such examples worldwide, from the Arctic home of the Sami to Shuar territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of the Earth Law Center (ELC) described how these individual co-violations reflect a global pattern of violence that is a result of “treating the natural world as property to fuel economic growth, and the myth that this can be infinite.

“Across the globe, corporations and governments injure both people and ecosystems … These injuries increasingly represent simultaneous violations, or ‘co-violations’, of human rights and nature’s rights. Every year hundreds of people are killed defending their lands from destructive projects, and as a result of their pollution and destruction.

“We must reverse the path we’re on towards more and more of these co-violations by evolving our laws and courts to recognize that our well-being is inextricably linked with the Earth’s”, said Sheehan.

The article goes on to describe impassioned testimony of esteemed authorities from around the world at International Rights of Nature Tribunal. Witnesses included Vandana Shiva, Chief Raoni Metuktire and Pablo Solon and others who shared examples of how corporations, states and international bodies like the World Bank are violating nature’s rights.

For complete article visit: COP21: call for international treaty on rights of nature and communities

 

Hal Rhoades is Communications and Advocacy Officer at The Gaia Foundation which is actively working to advance Earth Jurisprudence and the recognition of the Rights of Nature around the world. He is also a regular contributor to Intercontinental Cry.

The report: Fighting for Our Shared Future is available in full via Earth Law Center’s website. For more information about the International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature, visit the Global Alliance of the Rights of Nature.

 

Thank you and Congratulations

Winter Newsletter and Thank You Members

Greetings Alliance Members,

Looking back on 2014, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your partnership, resiliency, creativity, and support.  Starting with the launch of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal and our Summit in January and culminating with the second International Tribunal in Lima this month, 2014 has been a momentous year for the Alliance.

Additionally, we have cheered as many of you hosted regional peoples tribunals, launched Rights of Nature initiatives in your communities and for the EU, organized events to advocate Rights of Nature, and reaffirmed recognition of Rights of Nature and Mother Earth through the messaging of your organizations and at events world wide. Some were spawned in conjunction with our Earth Rights Days of Action in October. Others germinated independently.  It is humbling and exhilarating to be a part of this movement with you.  Our aim is to shine a light on you to spur your momentum and success and to move us all toward a world living in harmony with nature and each other.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal ~ Lima, Peru

Alberto

The Global Alliance convened the second International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Lima, Peru concurrent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 20) in December 2014.  The hearings were an intense, deeply moving two days as one by one experts and witnesses came forward to present facts and stories detailing how they individually and collectively are impacted by gross violations to Mother Earth and the Rights of Nature.

Casey CampCasey Camp-Horinek of Oklahoma, USA told how “fracturing the skeleton of Mother Earth” for oil and gas is killing indigenous communities across the United States. Her own 600 person Ponca Nation is burying one relative a week due to death from cancer and other diseases.  She spoke movingly about feeling frequent earthquakes in an area that was not prone to earthquakes before fracking.  The shaking is all the more riveting to raw emotions dealing with the deep personal loss and the destructive impact of extractive industries.

Sônia Guajajara, the national coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), described the expansive flooding of the Amazon basin in Brazil caused by construction of the massive Belo Monte Dam.  Tens of thousands of indigenous peoples are being dislocated as their traditional homeland becomes buried under water.  Brazil is building a series of hydroelectric power dams throughout the Amazon to fuel the prodigious demands of aluminum smelters and a burgeoning economy. Furthermore seasonal water levels create questions about Belo Monte’s ability to provide proposed uninterrupted power and may require additional dams upstream to insure water supplies.

José Tendetza

Widows with their children from Ecuador and Peru spoke of the murder and disappearance of their husbands from communities who have been fighting the expansion of mining and oil extraction in South America. The Tribunal was dedicated to the memory of Jose Tendetza, Shuar leader (pictured right) who was found murdered only days before he was to present the Condor Mirador Mine Case.

Pablo Solon and witnesses provided clear evidence that false solutions for Climate Change such as geoengineering and carbon market mechanisms employed in REDD projects are systemic violations to Mother Earth and Rights of Nature.

Spirits soared as the Yasunidos Collective burst into the room singing and dancing after days of being repeatedly detained by Ecuadorian police who ultimately confiscated their bus. Yasunidos is a group of young activists who are calling for the Ecuadorian government to halt oil development in the fragile Yasuní National Park and to protect one of the most bio-diverse regions on our planet.

The Climate Caravan left Mexico several months ago in route to Lima.  The young Yasunidos group joined the caravan as they came through Ecuador to give a global voice to their stand in defense of Yasuní.  In spite of the delays and harassment by Ecuadorian officials, the group hired another bus and arrived to present their case to the Tribunal.

yasunidos800

Yasunidos manifests the resiliency of communities and organizations who are saying “Stop this madness!” The International Tribunal, and related locally hosted Tribunals, examine the evidence and give voice to this global call. The time is NOW to transform human consciousness, to redesign failing, consumptive economic and social structures, and to create a framework for living in harmony with nature grounded in the recognition of the Rights of Mother Earth.
Learn more:

NinewaWe are in the process of posting decisions of the Tribunal including videos and details of each of the cases on the Global Alliance website at  https://therightsofnature.org/lima-2014-tribunal/.

David Hill of the Guardian published a compelling article, Fracking and Lima Climate Talks Slammed at Rights of Nature Tribunal saying “It’s difficult to know what was more moving or arresting” as he went on to describe the intimate testimony of indigenous leaders describing “being fracked to death” and Nnimmo Bassey declaring that “business as usual means cooking Africa”.

At the conclusion of the International Tribunal, key members including Osprey Orielle Lake of WECAN, Tom BK Goldtooth presented at a Press Conference inside UNFCCC COP 20 in Lima:

UN Press Conference Lima on the International Rights of Nature Tribunal

Also in Lima, the Alliance hosted a Rights of Nature Tribunal event at the People’s Summit and marched with partners and some  200,000 participants in the Peoples’ Climate March through the streets of Lima.
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peoples march

A special Thank You!

The Tribunal was truly an international collaboration of our members.  Among the participating leaders were Alberto Acosta – President, Natalia Greene – Secretariat, Ramiro Avila – Prosecutor, WECAN International, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Focus on the Global South, Amazon Watch, Acción Ecológica, Movement Rights, Alianza Arkana, our distinguished judges, and representatives from impacted communities of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and other areas of the Americas, Australia, and Africa.  Thank you to WECAN International and Amazon Watch for arranging the UNFCCC Press Conference.

Next steps for 2015

In December 2015, the UNFCCC COP21 meets in Paris, France.  The Global Alliance intends to again convene the International Rights of Nature Tribunal concurrent with the UN Climate Conference.

We need your support to maintain the momentum and carry on to Paris. We invite you to support us financially by making a donation to the Global Alliance!   Your financial contributions are tax deductible.

Thank you for your partnership and for your work towards advancing Rights of Nature ~ Rights of Mother Earth.

Blessings on the coming New Year!

Robin

Robin Milam
Administrative Director
Co-Secretariat, International Tribunal

Contact Us at TheRightsofNature.org.

Follow Rights of Nature Tribunal – Lima, Peru and on Facebook at The Rights of Nature for more details.

REDD on trial: No justice as long as nature is property in law

REDD on trial: “As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature”

By Chris Lang of REDD Monitor. Full article at REDD on Trial
2014-12-11-151422_1131x978_scrotThe International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature took place on 5 and 6 December 2014 in Lima. On trial were corporations, the United Nations, and government. Cases included mining in Peru and Ecuador, oil extraction in Ecuador, the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, fracking in Bolivia and the USA, BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, damage to the Australian Barrier Reef. And REDD.

The judges referred to the Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, from the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2010.

The president of the tribunal was Alberto Acosta, former president of the Constitutional Assembly of Ecuador. Acosta said,

“As long as nature is seen as property in law, there can be no justice for communities, the climate or nature.”

The case against REDD at the Tribunal is explained here:

REDD (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) is a global initiative to create a financial value for the carbon stored in native forests and tree plantations, soils and agriculture, including plankton and algae in the oceans. This involves the opening of the carbon cycling capacity of the Earth to economic valuation and trading in financial market systems. Indigenous peoples, forest dwellers, small farmers and peasants view REDD as a false solution for mitigating climate change that have resulted in land grabs, evictions and human rights abuses. REDD is inherently about commodifying and privatizing air, trees and land by selling nature and air to generate permits to pollute. These permits to pollute also known as carbon or emission credits are used by polluters to avoid reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source. This Tribunal on REDD and forests will listen to testimonies on the concern of REDD and other carbon and emissions trading and offset regimes violating the rights established in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

Mary Lou Malig of the Global Forest Coalition spoke against carbon markets:

“[They’re] basically a mechanism to cheat. It’s about enabling you to pollute. Instead of cutting your emissions, you increase them and pretend to reduce by offsetting.”

Ninawa Kaxinawá, president of the Huni Kui people in Acre, Brazil spoke out against REDD. “Nature has no price. It’s our forest, it’s our food, it’s our spirit.”

In an interview with Democracy Now, Ninawa explains that REDD prevents communities from fishing on their own land and from practising agriculture. He says that, “leaders are being criminalized for opposing the project, and communities are told that the services provided for education or transportation or healthcare will be suspended if they oppose the project.” Ninawa has received death threats for opposing REDD.

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now asked Ninawa how REDD affects his community. Here’s his reply:

The first impact is that the state of Acre is one of the first states in the world that is promoting REDD, and it is the first state of the Brazilian Amazon that is doing REDD. And it has already violated Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, which guarantees indigenous people’s right to free, prior, informed consent and the right to say no to projects that affect us. So, Brazil is violating Convention 169, because indigenous peoples have not been consulted about REDD and it is moving forward.

The second impact of REDD is that it has divided indigenous leaders, who before were united to defend the territories and Mother Earth.

A third impact of REDD is that it has resulted in the co-optation of some leaders who have accepted money and bought cars with that money, and they don’t even know where that money is from and what it means.

Another impact is that the government of Brazil, because it is opening its doors to this carbon-offset mechanism, is that it’s gutting the laws and the legal framework on indigenous people’s rights and the guarantees that have been enshrined to protect our rights to our territories.

You can watch the full interview at http://www.redd-monitor.org/2014/12/11/redd-on-trial-as-long-as-nature-is-seen-as-property-in-law-there-can-be-no-justice-for-communities-the-climate-or-nature/

Remembering Jose Tendetza

 Fuente CEDHU

Semblanza …

José Tendetza

Líder indígena de la nacionalidad Shuar de la cordillera del Cóndor ubicada al sur de la Amazonía ecuatoriana.

Habitante ancestral de la zona donde una empresa china está construyendo  la mina de cobre llamada Mirado.

Hombre valiente y luchador, defensor de su tierra, orgulloso de su lengua, de sus raíces, le temblaba la piel de orgullo cuando hablaba de su familia, de la tierra de sus abuelos, de los padres de sus abuelos, de la tierra que él creía también iba a ser la tierra de sus hijos, mostraba con orgullo los árboles plantados por sus mayores.

Hombre joven, cazador certero, conocedor de las plantas sanadoras-

Lleno de energía, de alegría!

Su generosidad no tenía límites

Repetía una tarde que de aquí me sacan muerto!

Cumplió la promesa.

Su cuerpo sin vida fue hallado flotando en el río Zamora.

Su espíritu andará entre las cascadas sagradas, en el canto de la aves y los bosques de la cordillera.

Basada en la carta póstuma de su amiga Lupita de Heredia

Fuente http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=5a0f8d60c27a9290deab5ec53&id=cb00ad5509&e=0e6a6c5e5d

El Tribunal Internacional por los Derechos de la Naturaleza se dedica a José Tendetza.

In English:

José Tendetza

Indigenous leader of the Shuar of the Condor Range located in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon.

Ancestral inhabitant of the area where a Chinese company is building the copper mine called Mirado.

Brave fighter and defender of his homeland, proud of their language, their roots, his skin trembled with pride when talking about his family, the land of their grandparents, parents of their grandparents; of the land he thought was going to be the land of their children; He proudly showed trees planted by their elders.

Young man, clever hunter, connoisseur of healing plants

Full of energy, joy!

His generosity was boundless

He repeated one afternoon that “I will be taken from here dead!

He kept his promise.

His lifeless body was found floating in the river Zamora.

His spirit walks between the sacred waterfalls, singing birds and forests of the Andes.

Based on the posthumous letter from his friend Lupita de Heredia

 

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Lima is dedicated to José Tendetza.