Image

Archive for Shannon Biggs

When Rivers Hold Legal Rights

See full article in Earth Island Institute
by Shannon Biggs of Movement Rights– April 17, 2017

New Zealand and India recognize personhood for ecosystems

Winding its way through dense forest laced with hidden waterfalls, the Whanganui River is the largest navigable river in Aotearoa, the Māori word for New Zealand. With the passage of the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill in March, the river became the first water system in the world to be recognized as a rights-bearing entity, holding legal “personhood” status. One implication of the agreement is that the Whanganui River is no longer property of New Zealand’s Crown government — the river now owns itself.

When Rivers Hold Legal Rights, Earth Island Institute Photo by Kathrin & Stefan Marks

In March, the Whanganui River in New Zealand became the first water body in the world to receive legal personhood status. Photo by Kathrin & Stefan Marks

Five days after the Te Awa Tupua Bill, the High Court of Uttarakhand at Naintal, in northern India, issued a ruling declaring that both the Ganga and Yumana rivers are also “legal persons/living persons.” But what does it mean for a river, or an ecosystem to hold rights? The answer may vary from place to place.

Read full article …

 

About the author:

Shannon Biggs
Shannon Biggs is the Executive Director of Movement Rights, advancing rights for Indigenous peoples, communities, and ecosystems. She is also the co-founder of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and the co-editor of the book, The Rights of Nature: The Case for the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.

The Paris COP21 failure demonstrates climate justice lies beyond the “Red Line”

Movement Rights Blog, By Shannon Biggs and Pennie Opal Plant, December 21, 2015

If you’ve been confused by the conflicting reports of the success COP 21 negotiations, you’re not alone. On the final day of the UN climate talks, President Obama issued a statement boasting words the nation, the ministers from 196 negotiating countries and the world wanted to hear: “We met the moment.  We came together around a strong agreement the world needed.” The mainstream media quickly heralded the final agreement as The world’s Greatest Diplomatic Success”   and “Big Green” environmental groups like the Sierra Club   and Avaaz blogged that while it may not be the war, as far as the battle goes, “WE WON.”

The Paris COP21 failure demonstrates climate justice lies beyond the “Red Line”

photo links to Movement Rights Blog

Reports of victory (or the whiff of a qualified victory) quickly flooded the internet. Yet standing on the streets of Paris on December 12—lined with over 10,000 people carrying red tulips and unfurling giant red ribbons defying the ban on demonstrations and condemning world leaders failure to put forward a meaningful, binding agreement—we puzzled, and wondered if we were at the same summit. From the red line action on the outside, many justice activists, economists, experts, NGO participants and Indigenous leaders had a very different take on the outcome. Former Bolivian climate negotiator, Pablo Solon told Democracy Now! “The Paris Agreement Will See the Planet Burn.”

So what does the Paris Agreement say that is creating the division of opinions? 

Read the authors’ outline of what IS and what IS NOT in the Paris UNFCCC agreement at A Quick Guide to the Paris Agreement 
as well as an assessment of who is celebrating and why.

About the authors:

Shannon Biggs, Casey Camp Horinek, and Pennie Opal Plant Movement Rights co-founders Shannon Biggs and Pennie  Opal Plant were in Paris for the COP 21 climate events, and to promote grassroots alternatives to the current UN process including co-producing a report on Rights of Nature, co- hosting a beyond-capacity Rights of Nature tribunal that turned away over 1,000 people, co-leading a ceremony for the signing of an international Indigenous Women’s Treaty for Mother Earth, among many other actions, interventions and activities, very often led by our board member, Indigenous leader and Ponca elder, Casey Camp Horinek (pictured). 

Nature’s rights and human rights : building legal, economic and social solutions to planetary crisis

Hosted by The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, NatureRights, EndEcocide on Earth, and Attac France, December 3, 2015, at A Place to B, Paris, France

Video of Nature’s rights and human rights : building legal, economic and social solutions to planetary crisis Conference. The video opens in French but many speakers are in English starting at 42 seconds with Cormac Cullinan and Natalia Greene.

The well-being of humans and nature are inextricably linked. Across the globe, we injure both people and ecosystems by treating the natural world as property to fuel incessant economic growth. These injuries have risen to the level of simultaneous violations, or “co-violations,” of human rights and nature’s rights. Many co-violations are fueled by our legal and economic systems, which legalize and even encourage environmental destruction for profit. This workshop will explore co-violation trends, especially with respect to mining and other extractive industries. It also highlights specific solutions, including recognition of the rights of nature and a robust climate change treaty. The workshop features the release of Earth Law Center’s comprehensive report on rights violations worldwide, “Fighting for Our Shared Future: Protecting Both Human Rights and Nature’s Rights.”

Introduced by Samanta Novella with Cormac Cullinan and Natalia Greene.

Other speakers include Geneviève Azam, Alberto Acosta, Patricia Gualinga, Cormac Cullinan, Tom Goldtooth, Shannon Biggs, Corinne Lepage, Koffi Dogbevi, Mireille Delmas-Marty, Emilie Gaillard Emilie, Osprey Orielle Lake, Yann Aguila, Laurent Neyret, Roger Cox, Marie-odile Bertella, Valérie Cabanes, Marie Toussaint, and  Vandana Shiva

 

International Rights of Nature Tribunal AGENDA

December 4-5, Maison des Metallos, 94 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011
Download International Rights of Nature Program ~ Click for English      Cliquez pour le français

Tribunal Program cover en

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL
A unique, citizen-created initiative to testify publicly about the destruction of the Earth and propose a systemic alternative to environmental protection and current environmental laws.

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal was launched by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) in 2014. The first session of the Tribunal, presided over by Dr. Vandana Shiva, was convened in Quito, Ecuador in January 2014 during the Global Rights of Nature Summit. The second session held in Lima, Peru in December 2014 during the UNFCCC-COP20 climate discussions, and was presided over by Alberto Acosta. This is the third such Tribunal, and is being held concurrent with the COP21 climate talks in Paris.

The Tribunal is a unique, citizen-created initiative. It gives people from all around the world the opportunity to testify publicly as to the destruction of the Earth, destruction that governments and corporations not only allow, but in some cases encourage.

The Tribunal provides a systemic alternative to environmental protection, acknowledging that ecosystems have the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate their vital cycles, with legal standing in a court of law. The Tribunal has a strong focus on enabling Indigenous Peoples to share their unique concerns and solutions about land, water, air and culture with the global community.

The Tribunal features internationally renowned lawyers and leaders for planetary justice, who will hear emblematic cases addressing issues such as climate change and false solutions, GMOs, fracking, extractive industries such as mining, and other violations of nature’s rights.

The Tribunals formulate judgments and recommendations for the Earth’s protection and restoration based on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and existing nature’s rights laws. Among other things, the Declaration binds us to respect the integrity of the vital ecological processes of the Earth. Accordingly, the Declaration also helps advance proposed amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to recognize the crime of Ecocide.

The International Tribunal of the Rights of Nature is part of an effort to promote a change of consciousness and highlight the need to expand the international legal framework, national laws and courts to ensure the safety of planet by preserving biodiversity and respecting ecosystem dynamics.

The third International Rights of Nature Tribunal will be held on 4 and 5 December 2015 concurrently with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21) in Paris, France. This tribunal is hosted by the Global Alliance of the Rights of Nature in partnership with End Ecocide on Earth; NatureRights & Attac France.

CLIMATE CRIMES AGAINST NATURE • FINANCIALIZATION OF NATURE
AGRO-FOOD INDUSTRY/GMOS • MEGA-DAMS IN THE AMAZON • FRACKING
DEFENDERS OF MOTHER EARTH • OIL EXPLOITATION ECOCIDES

Registration details:
www.maisondesmetallos.org/2015/07/22/tribunal-international-des-droits-de-la-nature
More information:
(EN) http://therightsofnature.org/rights-of-nature-tribunal-paris – tribunal@therightsofnature.org
(FR) http://www.naturerights.com/blog/?p=1126 – samanta@naturerights.com

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL – PROGRAM
MAISON DES METALLOS – FRIDAY 4 DEC. & SATURDAY 5 DEC. / 9H00-18H00
The Tribunal is hosted by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN), who holds the Secretariat and formal procedures for ongoing International Rights of Nature Tribunals.
In Paris, the GARN has established a partnership with End Ecocide on Earth for some cases of Ecocides, and with NatureRights and Attac France. The cases will be presented by presenters, experts, witnesses and victims.
JUDGES

President – Cormac Cullinan (Author Wild Law, Cullinan Associates Inc., EnAct International – South Africa)
Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network, Turtle Island – USA)
Alberto Acosta (Economist and former president of the Constituent Assembly from Ecuador)
Osprey Orielle Lake (Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network – USA)
Terisa Turner (professor, former UN Energy Specialist – Canada)
Felicio Pontes (Federal Prosecutor – Brazil)
Damien Short (Dir. Human Rights Consorcium University of London – UK)
Attosa Soltani (Amazon Watch founder – USA)
Nnimmo Bassey (Health of Mother Earth Foundation / Oilwatch – Nigeria)
Ruth Nyambura (Political ecologist, African Ecofeminists Collective – Kenya)
Christophe Bonneuil (Historian of Sciences, CNRS, Attac – France)
Philippe Desbrosses (Doctor in Environmental Sciences, Farmer, Intelligence Verte – France) – Honorary Judge on December 4th
Dominique Bourg (University of Lausanne, Philosopher, author – Switzerland) – Honorary Judge on December 5th

PROSECUTORS FOR THE EARTH:  Ramiro Ávila (University Simón Bolivar – Ecuador); Linda Sheehan (Earth Law Center – USA)

SECRETARIAT:  Natalia Greene (GARN – Ecuador)

SECRETARIAT ADVISORS:

Edgardo Lander (Universidad Central de Venezuela, Transnational Institute – Venezuela), Joan Martínez Alier (Prof. ICTA Autonomous University of Barcelona – Spain), Enrique Viale (Asociación Argentina de Abogados Ambientalistas – Argentina), Thomas Coutrot (Attac France), Fernando Pino Solanas (Senator, Argentina)

FRIDAY 4 DEC. 9H00-18H

9H00 – INDIGENOUS OPENING CEREMONY
Patricia Gualingua (Sarayeku) / Ta’kaiya Blaney (Tla’Amin First Nation, Canada) / Cassey Camp Horinek (Ponca Oklahoma, USA)

9H20 – INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ON THE INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL

Introduction: Natalia Greene (GARN), Samanta Novella (NatureRights)
Rights of Nature RON Assessment Esperanza Martinez (Acción Ecologica)
Opening from Tribunal’s President Cormac Cullinan
Opening from Prosecutors for the Earth  Ramiro Ávila, Linda Sheehan

9H40 – CLIMATE CRIMES AGAINST NATURE
Presenter Pablo Solón (Fundacion Solon, Focus on the Global South) (Judges Osprey Orielle Lake & Nnimmo Bassey)
Fossil Fuels  Expert   Maxime Combes (Attac France), Witness/Victim Desmond D’sa (South Africa)

Deforestation Miguel Lovera (Global Forest Coalition, Paraguay), David Kureeba (Global Forest Coalition, Uganda)
Water & Climate  Maude Barlow (Council of Canadians), Michal Kravcik (Slovakia)
Market Mechanisms, Climate Smart Agriculture, Land Use  Badrul Alam (LVC & President, Bangladesh Krishok Federation) and Maria Isabel Carrillo (CONAVIGUA)

11h30 – Coffee Break

Bio-Energy Carbon Capture Storage Pat Mooney (ETC Group)
Geoengineering
Silvia Ribeiro (ETC Group Mexico) Godwin Ojo (Nigeria, FoE)
Nuclear Roland Desbordes (CRIIRAD), Alexei Nesterenko (Belarus)

12h40 – Lunch

13H45 – FINANCIALIZATION OF NATURE
Presenter Ivonne Yanez (Acción Ecológica, Ecuador) (Judge Tom Goldtooth)
Compensation mechanisms linked to biodiversity conservation Genevieve Azam (Attac France), Tamra Gilberston (Carbon Trade Watch), Gloria Ushigua (Sápara, Ecuador)
EU biodiversity offsets, WRM Report on REDD+, economic valuation of nature Jutta Kill (biologist, Germany), Sengwer Indigenous representative (Kenya, Africa)

15H00 – AGRO-FOOD INDUSTRY / GMOS
Presenter: Vandana Shiva (Navdanya) (Judge: Philippe Desbrosses)
Marie-Monique Robin (Journalist), Ronnie Cummins (Organic Consumers Association (OCA)), José Bové (Via Campesina, Green European Deputee), Andre Leu (IFOAM)

16h15 – Break
16H30 – DEFENDERS OF MOTHER EARTH
(Judges: Ruth Nyambura and Atossa Soltani)
Criminalization of defenders of Mother Earth in Ecuador Blanca Chancoso (Kichwa), Belén Páez (Pachamama Foundation), Manari Ushigua (Sápara leader), Braulio Gutierrez (Yasunidos)
Fossil fuels and chemical contamination Yudith Nieto, Juan and Byron Parras (USA-Houston TX, T.E.J.A.S)

17H10 PROSECUTORS FOR THE EARTH STATEMENTS
17H15 – JUDGES’ STATEMENTS FROM DAY 1
18H00 – CONTRIBUTION OF ADVISOR’S COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE (Fernando Pino Solanas)
18H10 – CLOSURE

SAT 5 DEC. 2015 – 9H-18H00
09H15 – HYDRAULIC FRACKING
Presenter Shannon Biggs (Movement Rights – USA) (Judge: Damien Short)
Enrique Viales (Argentina), Geert de Cock (Food and Water – Europe), Kandi Mosset (Fort Berthold, ND, USA), Khaoula Chikhaoui (Tunisia)

10H30 – MEGA DAMS IN THE AMAZON – BELO MONTE & TAPAJOS
Presenter Gert-Peter Bruch (Planète Amazone, France) (Judge: Felicio Pontes)
Christian Poirier (Amazon Watch), Cacique Raoni Kayapo, Antonia Mello (Xingu Vivo), Munduruku and Yawalapiti representatives
Tapajós
11H30 – Coffee Break
11H45 – PRESENTATION OF NEW CASES TO THE INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL SECRETARIAT
Andrea Padilla (AnimaNaturalis, Corralejas Colombia); Alexandra Postelnicu (Rosia Montana Mines, Romania); Lisa Mead, Earth Laws Alliance (Depletion of Marine Life); Godwin Ojo, (Environmental Rights Action (ERA)/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Niger Delta Shell), Eriel Deranger, Athabascan Chippewyan (Oil Sands Canada)
(Judges: Christophe Bonneuil and Terisa Turner).

13h00 – Lunch
14H00 – ECOCIDE CRIME AT THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

Presenter Valerie Cabanes (EEE) – Recognizing ecocide in international criminal law; reopening of cases related to oil exploitation as ecocides.

14H15 – OIL EXPLOITATION ECOCIDES – ECUADOR
Presenter Carlos Larrea (Andina Simón Bolivar University) (Judges: Dominique Bourg and Alberto Acosta)
Yasuní-ITT Case Esperanza Martinez (Acción Ecologica, Oilwatch – Keep Oil Underground Annex 0), Antonella Calle (Yasunidos), Patricia Gualinga (Sarayaku)
Texaco/Chevron Ecocides Case Pablo Fajardo (Lawyer, UDAPT – Union de afectados por Texaco), Humberto Piaguaje (UDAPT – Union de afectados por Texaco)

15H30 – PRESENTATION OF DECISIONS ON PREVIOUS CASES:

Conclusion statements on Yasuní-ITT (Ecuador) Alberto Acosta, Great Barrier Reef (Australia) Tantoo Cardinal

15h45 – Coffee Break

16H15 PROSECUTORS FOR THE EARTH STATEMENTS
16H30 – JUDGES STATEMENTS FROM DAY 2
17H20 – PRESIDENT’S FINAL STATEMENTS
17H50 – CLOSURE : TA’KAIYA BLANEY

Rights of Nature & Mother Earth: Sowing seeds of resistance, love and change.

Edited by Shannon Biggs and Tom BK Goldtooth

RONME-Sowing-Seeds

Movement Rights, Indigenous Environmental Network and Global Exchange are proud to announce the release of their new report for the Paris climate talks! Edited by Shannon Biggs and Tom BK Goldtooth, this report, “Rights of Nature & Mother Earth: Sowing seeds of resistance, love and change” is a collaboration between Movement Rights, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Global Exchange. Providing both a critique of the UNFCCC process and an alternative system of environmental protection, the report includes contributions by Dr. Vandana Shiva (India), Maude Barlow (Canada), Pablo Solon (Bolivia), Alberto Acosta (Ecuador), Cormac Cullinan (South Africa), Linda Sheehan (USA), Osprey Orielle Lake (USA) and many other luminaries.

Please share and download complete report here: http://www.movementrights.org/resources/RONME-SowingSeeds.pdf

The Earth Rights movement and the road beyond Paris

Preface Article by Tom B.K. Goldtooth and Shannon Biggs, editors

L’humanité et la nature ne font qu’un. ةدحاو ةعيبطلاو ةيناسنإلا . In the wake of the violence in Paris, Beirut, Syria, Iraq and around the world, we are reminded that not only are we one people—but humanity and all nature are one. It is time to seek peace and justice for humanity and Mother Earth.

While billed asthe most important climate meeting ever held, the next generation will not look back on the Paris COP 21 as the historic moment governments took decisive action on climate change.

The modern world is removed from nature. A world without a living knowledge of its spiritual relationship and responsibilities to the creative principles of the natural laws of Mother Earth, results in our planet become property, without a soul, to be owned and sold. Nearly everywhere, the legal paradigm of laws protects the ownership of nature, so it is not surprising that the UN climate negotiations are rooted in the continued privatization of ecosystems and putting a price tag on the processes of the natural world.

The predictable failure of the Paris UNFCCC negotiations has been 20 years in the making. The climate Ponzi scheme of trading of air, water, trees, soil, and biodiversity along with false solutions of carbon capture, genetically modified organisms, geoengineering, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, agrofuels, fracking, nuclear projects and energy generation from incineration—all these will do more harm than good to Mother Earth. As Nigerian activist Nnimo Bassey has said, “The outcome is already known: a  package of non-binding promises and non-commitments. It will be another carbon stock exchange.”

Changing our relation to the sacredness of Mother Earth

Rather than mourn the loss of international political leadership on climate change to the peddlers of extractive capitalism, its time to acknowledge where the real power to create change lies, and what Paris might be remembered for. The next generation could look back on Paris as the time when grassroots movements became the real and rightful leaders on climate with searing critiques of capitalism and endless growth and a transformative solutions based on equity, and living in balance with natural laws.

Climate change itself is the Earth’s demand for human system change; it is a wake up call to shake off old ways that got us here, and to create vibrant local living economies respectful of the living cycles of Mother Earth and Father Sky. It means shifting the legal landscape that has propped up industrialization by treating ecosystems as property to be owned and destroyed.

Rights of nature define legal rights for ecosystems “to exist, flourish and regenerate their natural capacities.” These laws challenge the status of nature as mere property and while not stopping development, recognizing legal rights of nature stops the kind of development that interferes with the existence and vitality of ecosystems. It provides a legal framework for an ethical and spiritual relationship to the Earth and the Sky. And its been growing at the local and national level around the world. In the last decade, three countries and dozens of communities have passed laws recognizing “legal standing” for ecosystems.

This report “Rights of Nature & Mother Earth: Sowing seeds of resistance, love and change” isn’t just a challenge to the UN climate framework. It is a call for Earth’s real revolution, a reawakening of the Sacred, and a legal framework to support real system change based on the inalienable rights of nature– of Mother Earth—of which our own human rights and the fate of humanity cannot be separated.
L’humanité et la nature ne font qu’un.

About the editors

Shannon Biggs is the co-founder and Executive Director of Movement Rights, advancing legal rights for communities, indigenous peoples and ecosystems. She has been a senior staffer at Global Exchange and the International Forum on Globalization, and is the co-author and editor of two books including “The Rights of Nature, the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Nature.” She is also a founder of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. She holds an MSc. from the London School of Economics (LSE) in Economics and the Politics of Empire.

Tom B.K. Goldtooth is the Executive Director of The Indigenous Environmental Network, a network of indigenous communities worldwide.  He is a leader of environmental and climate justice issues and the rights of Indigenous peoples. He is a board member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. In 2015 he received the Gandhi Peace Award, and is also co-and producer of an award-winning documentary Drumbeat For Mother Earth, which addresses the effects of bio-accumulative chemicals on indigenous communities.

Giving Mother Earth a Voice in Paris

NEWS RELEASE  November 27, 2015     Click for Press Release PDF
CONTACT: Natalia Greene, Secretariat  nati.greene@gmail.com

Giving Mother Earth a Voice in Paris

International Tribunal on Rights of Nature
Convenes during COP21
December 4-5, 2015 – Maison des Métallos

Paris, France – Key environmental justice issues from around the world will have their day in court when the International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature convenes in Paris on December 4-5, 2015, against the backdrop of UNFCCC talks that must move beyond past failures and false solutions to avert global catastrophe.

The high profile international “Peoples Tribunal” – convened by leaders in Earth law and planetary justice from around the world – posits a new legal framework, drawing on the wisdom and cosmovision of indigenous people, aimed at achieving true systems change by recognizing the rights of ecosystems “to exist, persist, and regenerate their vital natural cycles.”

Under current law, nature is treated as private property to be destroyed for profit. It is a legal framework that is proving deadly to people and planet, requiring a transformation of our international and domestic legal systems toward a jurisprudence that recognizes rights of nature. The shift to this new legal framework is underway – Ecuador and Bolivia recognize rights of nature in their constitutions and more than two dozen municipalities in the United States have adopted rights of nature ordinances, including the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (pop. 305,000).

A 13-member panel of judges will preside over the two-day Tribunal, hearing seven cases:

CLIMATE CRIMES AGAINST NATURE (December 4 at 9:40)

Former UN Bolivian Ambassador Pablo Solón, Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians, and Maxime Combes of Attac France, will highlight false climate solutions that fail to address root problems – such as water privatization, “climate-smart agriculture,” REDD+, and other schemes – introducing expert witnesses and victims of climate crimes from Belarus, Canada, Ecuador, France, Mexico, Slovakia, and the Philippines.

FINANCIALIZATION OF NATURE (December 4 at 13:45)

Ivonne Yanez of Acción Ecológica will present three cases highlighting the crime of treating nature as a commodity, introducing expert witnesses from Brazil, Ecuador, and Kenya.

AGRO-FOOD INDUSTRY AND GMOS (December 4 at 15:00)

Indian ecologist and physicist Vandana Shiva of Navdanya and Ronnie Cummins of Organic Consumers will present the case against the global proliferation of GMOs and forms of industrial agriculture that destroy the soil, increase greenhouse gas emissions, pollute water, and reduce biodiversity, calling on expert witnesses from France, Mexico, and the United States.

DEFENDERS OF MOTHER EARTH (December 4 at 16:30)

Indigenous leaders, mining victims, and others who defend nature present the case of the growing risk of violence, including murder, faced by defenders of Mother Earth in South America but also in Europe and other parts of the world. A tragic example: Only days prior to testifying before the 2014 Tribunal in Lima, Peru, on Ecuador’s Mirador mine, José Isidro Tendetza Antun was killed.

FRACKING (December 5 at 9:15)

Shannon Biggs of Movement Rights, USA, and Geert De Cock of Food & Water Watch, Belgium, will present the case against hydraulic fracking, an extreme and devastating form of energy production, drawing on expert witnesses from France and the United States showing how communities have been effective in using rights of nature laws to ban fracking.

MEGA DAMS IN AMAZON (December 5 at 10:30)

Gert-Peter Bruch of Planete Amazone presents the case against building mega dams in the Amazon, with indigenous leaders as expert witnesses testifying to the displacement of tens of thousands and the destruction of the Amazon threatened by the proposed massive diversion of rivers.

CHEVRON AND YASUNÍ (December 5 at 14:15)

Carlos Larrea and Pablo Fajardo, Ecuadorean lawyers who litigated the case in Ecuador against Chevron, argue against the proposed oil exploitation of the Amazon’s pristine Yasuní National Park. Calling on the testimony of indigenous leaders, they also demonstrate the impact of decades of pollution from oil drilling by Chevron and argue for addressing such harms as ecocide under the terms Valérie Cabanes of End Ecocide on Earth explains just prior to their presentation, making the case for recognizing ecocide under international criminal law.

The Earth Defenders prosecuting the cases at the Tribunal are Ramiro Ávila, law professor, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Ecuador), and Linda Sheehan, Director, Earth Law Center (US).

The distinguished panel of Tribunal judges, headed by South African attorney Cormac Cullinan, author of WildLaw: A Manifesto for Earth Justice, includes: Alberto Acosta, former President of the Constitutional Assembly (Ecuador); Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (Nigeria); Christophe Bonneuil, science historian (France); Dominique Bourg, professor of geosciences (Switzerland); Philippe Desbrosses, author, environmental sciences expert, organic farmer (France); Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network (US, Dine’ and Dakota); Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (US); Ruth Nyambura, African Biodiversity Network (Kenya); Felício Pontes, Federal Prosecutor (Brazil); Damien Short, Director of the Human Rights Consortium (UK); Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch founder (US); and Terisa Turner, professor of anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist (Canada).

The judges will render decisions calling for reparation, mitigation, restoration, and prevention of further damages and harm. Although its decisions do not presently carry the force of law, the Tribunal provides the world with a model for adjudicating cases under a legal framework that recognizes the rights of nature, offering a real and present solution to the root problem behind climate change and other human-induced ecological disasters.

The Paris Tribunal marks the third time the International Tribunal for Rights of Nature has convened. Sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature, the inaugural Tribunal was held in Quito, Ecuador, in January 2013, followed by a session in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. Natalia Greene (Ecuador), Tribunal Secretariat, Cormac Cullinan (South Africa), Tribunal President, and Samanta Novella (France) of NatureRights, will introduce the proceedings.

The Tribunal will convene from 9:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 18:00 on Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5, at the Maison des Métallos in the 11th arrondissement at 94, Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. Registration required: http://therightsofnature.org/rights-of-nature-tribunal-paris/.

Paris Tribunal Registration Now Open

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal will meet at Maison des Métallos in Paris on 4th and 5th of December, in conjunction with UN Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC COP21. The Tribunal is a unique, citizen-created initiative.Logo-RoNtribunal-fr It gives people from all around the world the opportunity to testify publicly as to the destruction of the Earth — destruction that governments and corporations not only allow, but in some cases encourage.

Space is limited. If you are planning to attend the third International Rights of Nature Tribunal register now for the segments you will attend.

Register for International Rights of Nature TribunalFor more details visit Paris Tribunal …

Date and Time

  • Friday 4 – Saturday 5 December 2015
  • 9:00am – 6:30pm each day (including an intermission)

Tribunal Venue in Paris

MaisondesMetallos-logo

la maison des métallosMaison des Métallos
94 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France

Esteemed Judges:

  • Cormac Cullinan, President; Author WildLaw: A Manifesto for Earth Justice (South Africa)
  • Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network (Turtle Island, USA)
  • Alberto Acosta, former President Ecuador Constitutional Assembly
  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (USA)
  • Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Ruth Nyambura, African Biodiversity Network (Kenya)
  • Damien Short, University of London (United Kingdom)
  • Felício Pontes, Federal Prosecutor (Brazil)
  • Terisa Turner, professor Sociology and Anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist (Canada)
  • Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch (USA)
  • Philippe Desbroses, Honarary, farmer, scientist, writer (France)
  • Dominique Bourg, Professor Geosciences, University of Lausanne (Switzerland)

Among the Expert Witnesses and Case Presenters :

  • Pablo Solon, Fundacion Solon
  • Geneviève Azam, Attac France
  • Vandana Shiva, Navdanya
  • Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians
  • Shannon Biggs, Movement Rights
  • Casey Camp Horinek, Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Esperanza Martinez, Acción Ecologica
  • Patricia Gualinga, Kichwa of Sarayaku, Ecuador
  • Carlos Lareas, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar
  • Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Tantoo Cardinal, Actress, Activist, Tar Sands, Canada
  • Valerie Cabanes, End Ecocide on Earth

Prosecutors for the Earth:

  • Ramiro Avila, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar
  • Linda Sheehan, Earth Law Center

International Rights of Nature Tribunal Paris Secretariat:

  • Natalia Greene, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
  • Grant Wilson, Earth Law Center

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  http://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.
IMG_4975
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.