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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.
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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.

International Rights of Nature Tribunal – Lima Dec 5-6

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR THE RIGHTS OF NATURE
NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT: Natalia Greene +593 (0) 99944-3724/nati.greene@gmail.com
Robin R. Milam +1.530.263-1483/Nature@TheRightsofNature.org

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL
Lima, Peru, December 5-6, 2014

GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR RIGHTS OF NATURE
COMMITS TO DEEPEN AND EXPAND THE WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT

As the world looks to Lima, Peru for the 20th UN COP on Climate Change, the International Rights of Nature Tribunal will convene in Lima. The Tribunal will hear twelve international cases that are aligned with UNFCCC COP 20 priorities. What is unique to this hearing is that each case will be reviewed within a framework based on Rights of Nature and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.

“We the people assume the authority to conduct an International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature. We will investigate cases of environmental destruction which violate the Rights of Nature.” Prosecutor for the Earth, Ramiro Avila declared during the opening of the world’s first Tribunal on the Rights of Nature on Friday January 17, 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.

The diverse international panel of judges on the Tribunal in Lima includes:

Alberto Acosta, Tribunal’s President, economist and former President of the Constituent Assembly from Quito, Ecuador

Verónica Mendoza, Peru Congress member, representative of the region of Cusco.

Raúl Prada Alcoreza, Philosopher, sociologist, author, former member of the Bolivian Constituent Assembly of 2006-2007, Bolivia

Hugo Blanco director of the monthly publication “Lucha Indígena”, Perú.

Tantoo Cardinal, actress (e.g., Dances with Wolves) and activist from the Tar Sands of Canada.

Blanca Chancoso, Kichwa leader and educator from Cotacachi, Imbabura, Ecuador.

Edgardo Lander, sociologist, professor, from Venezuela.

Tom Goldtooth, Dine’/Dakota, director of Indigenous Environmental Network from MN, USA

Anibal Quijano, sociologist and humanist thinker. Professor of critical theory, Perú.

Francios Houtart, professor, philosopher, theologian, member of the Permanent People’s Tribunal, Belgium.

Osprey Orielle Lake, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network, USA.

Rocío Silva Santiesteban, National Human Rights Coordinator, author, professor, Perú

Atossa Soltani, founder and Executive Director of Amazon Watch, USA

Terisa Turner, professor Sociology and Anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist, Canada

Ramiro Ávila, environmental attorney from Ecuador serves as the Prosecutor for the Earth.

Natalia Greene and Robin Milam, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, serve as Secretariat.

The cases and lead presenters include:

Climate Change and False Solutions Pablo Solón, Bolivia: Nnimmo Bassey, Nigeria

BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Esperanza Martínez, Ecuador

Hydraulic Fracking Shannon Biggs, United States; Martin Vilela, Bolivia

Chevron/Texaco Oil Devastation Pablo Fajardo, Julio Prieto, Ecuador;

Yasuní-ITT Oil Development Elena Galvez, Yasunidos, Ecuador

Great Barrier Reef Michelle Maloney, Australia

4 River Basins, Corrientes Peru Jose Fachin, Sarah Kerremans, Peru​​

Belo Monte Dam Leila Salazar-López, Sônia Guájajara, Brasil

Bagua Defenders of Earth Ismael Vega, Zebelio Kapap, Perú

Conga-Cajamarca Mine Milton Sanchez, Marco Arana, Máxima Chaupe, Perú

Forests and REDD+ Ivonne Yanez, Casandra Smithie,

Condor Mine Open Pit Copper Domingo Ankuash, Ecuador

Indigenous rights activist Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca from Oklahoma, USA) and Patricia Gualinga, an indigenous of the Amazon and director of Sarayaku, will provide expert witness testimony on the critical importance of Rights of Nature.

“What will happen if the temperature increases more than 2 °C? “A third of the population of animals and more than half of the plants on Earth could disappear.” Listing violations to the Rights of Mother Earth related to climate change, Pablo Solon went on to add, “We need a new system of harmony between human beings and Mother Earth that replaces the capitalist system of infinite growth for the accumulation of capital.”

The International Tribunal will be held at the Gran Hotel Bolivar on Plaza San Martín, Jirón de La Unión 958, in the historic district of Lima. The Public is invited to attend free of charge. The Tribunal begins at 8:30am and concludes at 19:00 on Friday December 5 and Saturday December 6, 2014. Six cases will be heard with closing responses from the Tribunal judges each day.

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 and Bolivia passed its Law of the Rights of Mother Earth. Across the United States dozens of communities have adopted local rights of nature laws within the framework of a Community Bill of Rights in recent years.
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.
More information available at http://therightsofnature.org/lima-2014-tribunal/
In Spanish at http://therightsofnature.org/tribunal-internacional-derechos-de-la-naturaleza/

WECAN International at the UNFCCC COP20 2014

Women's Earth & Climate Action Network

For a printable flyer click: WECAN Lima Flyer #1

Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change-Lima 

A convening of women leaders joined in solidarity to speak out against environmentally and socially destructive activities and policies, and to present the diverse array of visions and strategies with which they are working to chart another course. Panels and strategy circles will focus on extractive industries and mega-dams, forest protection and territory rights, renewable energy alternatives, new economic frameworks, rights of nature, systemic change, and how relationships between women of the Global South & North are furthering the climate justice movement. The Women’s Climate Action Agenda will be explored as a tool for implementing solutions.

Free & open to the public.

More information on related events at WECAN International at the UNFCCC COP20 2014 Para información en español, haga clic aquí.

WECAN International formal UN side event at the UNFCCC COP20

Women's Earth & Climate Action NetworkEvent in collaboration with allies at Amazon Watch and TakingItGlobal. WECAN will present the Women’s Climate Action Agenda as a blueprint for our path forward and showcase examples of youth and women as agents of local and global change. Particular focus will be on Indigenous women on the frontlines of climate change and solutions building. December 9, 2014. 16:45-18:15. Caral Room.

 

 

 

WECAN Agenda

International Rights of Nature Ethics Tribunal – Lima

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature will adjudicate various cases linked to COP20 proceedings, including threats to the Great Barrier Reef and oil and mineral extraction in South America. The Tribunal is a model and potent tool to help communities working to defend the Earth and their health and heritage. WECAN is on the Global Alliance Steering Committee and will be participating in the Tribunal. For more information and registration, visit www.therightsofnature.org/events/ron-ethics-tribunal-lima

December 5-6, 2014.

Gran Hotel Bolivar, Jiron de la Union 958.

Free & open to the public. 

Advocacy work inside the UNFCCC COP20

In partnership with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) and the Women and Gender Constituency.  December 1-12, 2014.

The Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network (formerly IWECI) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. For Our Earth and Future Generations

Join us in Lima at the International Rights of Nature Tribunal

International Rights of Nature Tribunal

Around the world, people are realizing that our laws fail to respect nature’s rights to exist, thrive and evolve. Treating nature as merely property is harming both people and the environment. Parallel to the UN Climate Change Convention, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature will host its second International Rights of Nature Tribunal.

The Tribunal will review a diverse selection of cases aligned with UN FCCC COP20 priorities within a Rights of Nature context. The various cases will address the impacts of Climate Change, destructive oil and mineral extraction in Peru and South America, threats to the Great Barrier Reef, hydraulic fracking, and protection of Defenders of the Earth such as the Bagua massacre that is on trial this year in Peru. A distinguished cross-cultural panel of judges from around the world will hear the cases presented by a diverse collection of experts and victims. The rulings of the Tribunal will focus on violations to the Rights of Nature based on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and where appropriate, the Ecuadorian Constitution.

The two day Tribunal will be held Friday 5 – Saturday 6 December at Gran Hotel Bolivar in the historic district of Lima and a few minutes walk to the Alternative Peoples Conference near Parque de la Exposición in central Lima.

For more information, visit International Rights of Nature Tribunal – Lima at http://therightsofnature.org/lima-2014-tribunal/

Click for a print quality poster

Re-Visioning Our Relationship with the Earth: Lessons from ‘Rights of Nature and Systemic Change in Climate Solutions’

Deeply aware of the crisis of socio-ecologic injustice created by a dominant system that values growth and profit above all else, an extraordinary group of panelist gathered to speak out at ‘Rights of Nature and Systemic Change in Climate Solutions’ in New York City on September 22, 2014. The event, presented by WECAN International and the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature as part of the mobilization surrounding the People’s Climate March and U.N. Climate Summit, focused on the need to redesign our social, political, economic and legal structures to function with respect to the rights of the Earth and the knowledge systems of the original stewards of the land, the worlds indigenous peoples.

Osprey Orielle Lake opening Rights of Nature NY “If our environmental law system was working we would not be in this crisis,” explained Executive Director of WECAN International, Osprey Orielle Lake, in her opening statement. “Our current laws do not stop pollution, they ‘regulate’ it and allow it to continue. We must disrupt this broken framework.”

Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network), Shannon Biggs (Global Exchange), Gloria Ushigua (Association of Sapara Women, Ecuador), Linda Sheehan (Earth Law Center), and Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation, Indigenous Environmental Network) joined Lake to expose fundamental flaws in our current laws and management schemes, while presenting bold strategies for re-visioning these paradigms. The issue could not be more critical, speakers explained, as a shift to a system that treats the Earth as a rights bearing entity is a requirement for any genuine solutions to the climate crisis.

Rights of Nature Panel NY Church Center

Tom Goldtooth NYTom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network took the floor first, focusing on the need to learn from and re-allign with indigenous knowledge systems which conceive of the Earth as a vibrant, living Mother who must be cared for and respected. Tom explained how many climate action plans currently being considered, such as REDD carbon projects and biotechnology schemes, continue to violate the laws of nature and rights of the Earth in attempts to divide, conquer, and profit, ultimately making them false and highly destructive proposals. He emphasized that communities across the globe must reject twisted climate policies which continue to commodify and manipulate, instead coming back to “our true nature of working in harmony with Mother Earth.

Linda Sheehan Earth Law CenterLinda Sheehan of the Earth Law Center spoke next, reaffirming and expanding up Tom Goldtooths sentiment that our plans of action, movements, and policies must function with respect to the Rights of Nature.

According to Linda, our current legal structure overwhelmingly views the Earth as an entity to be traded, exploited, and degraded, leading to the continued failure of environmental law and policy. “We think we can chop up nature, we can control it. This is simply a misunderstanding,” she explained.

Working to challenge this flawed vision, Linda and allies at the Earth Law Center have been working with groups across the U.S. to create and instate new laws that put the rights of the Earth and communities above those of corporations, including notable successes in Santa Monica, California this year.

Gloria Ushigua - Sapara NYFrom the frontlines of the fight to end fossil fuel development in the Amazon Basin, Gloria Ushigua of the Association of Sapara Women, Ecuador shared her story next.

“We are here to defend our rights, our spirits, our forests,” Gloria explained, highlighting the ways that indigenous communities across the world, embedded firmly in a tradition that sees the Earth as a flourishing and living being, are already challenging conventional models and leading the way towards climate solutions

Gloria’s words however, also functioned to shake up the conversation as she explained how, despite the fact that the law in Ecuador officially gives rights to Nature, massive corporate and political violations continue. Thus, she implored, changing our legal framework much be but the first step, to be followed up with ceaseless civil society action to insure that those rights are respected on every level.

Shannon Biggs, Global Exchange  - NY Climate Summit on Rights of NatureShannon Biggs of the Global Exchange spoke next, expanding upon Gloria’s declaration that systemic change in climate solutions and our relationship with the Earth must come not only at the policy level, but at the level of communities and individuals across the globe.

“It all comes down to community, it is up to out communities to be stewards of the land,” Shannon explained, “we must challenge unjust law that says nature is property.”

Shannon continued on to detail the concrete ways that the Global Exchange and its partners are working to expand local ability to implement and enforce the Rights of Nature, focusing on community applications of these principles as tools for climate resiliency and the protection of the Earth.

Casey Camp Horinek-NYCasey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation and Indigenous Environmental Network took the floor as the final presenter of the day. Her speech was one of hope, explaining to the audience that while the task of uprooting and re-visioning the dominant system seem daunting, this is only so when constrained under the false impression that politicians and economists are the center of ultimate power.

“If the sun did not rise today, would you be here? If you did not have a drink of water, would you be here today? THAT is the true power,” Casey explained, the audience erupting in applause.

Following the series of presentations, audience members and speakers engaged in a question and answer session that kept many enthralled in discussion for more than an hour after the official end of the event. Expanding upon earlier discussion surrounding mal-alligned climate policy that seeks to control and subdue nature, Linda Sheehan poignantly remarked, “they call it ecosystem management as is the earth has been unruly. No. We need to regulate ourselves.”

Notebook full of inspiring quotes, bitts of wisdom, strategies, ideas and tools, I set out after the event, eager to return home and start building alliances and making plans to enact the Rights of Nature in my community.

For more information about the Rights of Nature movement, check out: therightsofnature.org/ and wecaninternational.org/pages/rights-of-nature-international-advocacy-trainings

Also follow the Women Speak: Climate Justice and Solutions blog.

Submitted by and photos by Emily Arasim, WECAN International Special Projects & Communications Coordinator

Why I’m going to the People’s Climate March

Pat SiemenI’m showing up. As a baby-boomer from the U.S. As a person of faith.   I am going to the People’s Climate March in New York on September 21.

The security of our home, planet Earth, is threatened. That’s why I’m going. It is not the terrorists, nor the immigrants, nor people who are poor that is causing this threat to Earth’s viability. It’s the continued excessive emissions of greenhouse gases created by those of us who live in highly industrialized, corporatized and technology-rich countries.

We baby-boomers in the U.S. are uniquely responsible for this major climate disruption. We have benefitted enormously from a way of life that provides every convenience, gadget and technology unimagined by our parents. We bought into the increased consumerism and easy access to a way of life made possible by increased use of fossil fuels. We taught our children to do the same. We didn’t know to teach them that Earth has capacity limits, just like every family.

Thousands are marching to reinforce the critical importance of the United Nations Climate Summit. I’m showing up with young and old, indigenous and immigrants, conservatives and liberals, business and labor, and people of every race, color and creed from all 50 states. Together we will march, sing and pray along the 26 blocks of the march route. We hope that our presence will demonstrate to the world leaders that they must take urgent action to prevent further ecological threats and mitigate the damage already done.

We are marching to demonstrate our solidarity with everyone who has a commitment to change the environmentally destructive ways we are living as a people – for the sake of our children and a viable future. We will march on behalf of all our kin: the threatened and endangered species, ecosystems and watersheds that are dying because of shifting climate patterns.  Read more …

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.