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Archive for Tom Brenan

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?’.

Wild law: Recognising the rights of Nature by Tom Brenan

Environmental lawyer, Tom Brenan introduces the concept of Wild Law in Permaculture – Inspiration for Sustainable Living blog on October 5, 2011. Brenan argues that we need to persuade governments to endorse the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and that permaculture is a natural ally of the movement for Thomas Berry’s ‘Earth Jurisprudence’.

Polar bears: could we prevent the extinction of this magestic creature with a law?

Polar bears: could we prevent the extinction of this magestic creature with a law?

Tom opens with: “As an environmental lawyer I am very aware of the shortcomings of our current environmental laws in preventing the degradation of the Earth. One of the reasons for this is our disconnection with the Earth and failure to live within Her limits. This means that we see ourselves as separate from Nature and view the natural world in terms of ‘resources’ to be exploited for our own purposes rather than our life support system and source of wellbeing. The legal protection offered comes from this human-centred starting point.”

He expands on Rebalancing our relationship with the Earth through what Thomas Berry “called ‘Earth Jurisprudence’, to re-envision our governance systems by placing Earth back at the centre.”

Speaking of Peramaculture and Earth Jurisprudence, Tom sees “much overlap with the Deep Ecology approach and it is this recognition of ourselves as part of the natural world rather than outside it that we need to embrace. To me, permaculture thinking, working with natural processes, forming guilds etc, resonates strongly with Earth Jurisprudence principles and practice.”

As a member of Wild Law UK and the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature, he offers What you can do to help protect nature…

Read the complete post at Wild law: Recognising the rights of nature

Further information

To read the Declaration and more about the campaign click here.

You could also sign the petition to ‘Value Nature as a living being’ by clicking here.