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International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Bonn Findings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : 10 November 2017
Media Contact:
Robert Wager (media contact) robert@endecocide.eu + 49 160 8104348
Cabot Davis (general inquiries) cabot@movementrights.org + 1 (831) 854-7634
Natalia Greene (Tribunal’s Secretariat) nati.greene@gmail.com + 593 9944-3724

Press release Bonn Tribunal (final)-ES (Print Spanish)

Press release Bonn Tribunal (final) (Print English)

BONN, Germany – The 4th session of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, held concurrently with the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP23), exposed the significant role which legal systems play in enabling climate change and global environmental degradation. The Tribunal heard seven cases from around the world which collectively demonstrated that global and national climate change commitments cannot be met without fundamental changes to the legal systems which legalise the activities that cause climate change and the destruction of the ecological systems on which life depends. This is a global problem – one of the cases concerned a massive lignite mine approximately 50 kms from the COP 23 negotiations.

The Bonn Tribunal consisted of 9 judges from 7 countries, and was presided over by the prominent indigenous climate and environmental justice leader, Tom Mato Awanyankapi Goldtooth. Over the course of two days, 53 people from 19 countries speaking over 7 languages presented cases regarding violations of the rights of Nature. A range of experts who testified before the Tribunal explained that whatever is agreed at the COP 23 and subsequent meetings, action to combat climate change will be ineffective while governments continue to authorise coal mines, oil wells and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), and the mining of groundwater, and allow corporations to use investor state dispute settlement mechanisms in trade agreements to prevent the taking of effective measures to protect life.

Witnesses gave first-hand accounts of what it is like to live near fracking operations, oil wells and refineries, and coal mines, about how those who defend Mother Earth are persecuted, attacked, criminalised and have their homes burnt. It heard of the anguish of indigenous and other peoples from local communities who live in intimacy with Nature as it is destroyed by roads, mines or industrial agriculture in order to benefit a small elite.

Indigenous peoples from around the world played a prominent role throughout the Tribunal as experts and witnesses. The Tribunal opened with deeply moving ceremonies and evocations of Mother Earth by representatives of the Sámi people of Europe, the Sarayaku community in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and the indigenous peoples of North America. Indigenous peoples from Africa, Russia, Bolivia, Ecuador, French Guyana, and the USA/Turtle Island presented testimonies that drew the Tribunal’s attention to the sacredness of Earth – a dimensions ignored in the COP 23 negotiations.

The Tribunal found that in each of the seven cases, serious and systematic violations of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth (UDRME) had occurred, often accompanied by human rights violations, and in several cases the harm was so severe as to constitute ecocide. In each case the legal system did not provide adequate remedies to prevent on-going harm. In most cases the harm was caused by activities such as deforestation and mining which could only take place because they had been authorised by law. It was abundantly clear those legal systems that elevate property rights and the rights of corporation above the rights of water, air and ecosystems to exist and contribute to the ecological health of the planet, are exacerbating climate change by clothing destructive activities in a cloak of legal legitimacy. The Tribunal noted that carbon, biological and conservation offsets and ecosystem services are financialisation processes that enable Nature to be privatised, commodified and traded in financial market systems. Carbon market are false solutions that do not cut emissions at source.

The Tribunal and panel of Judges

The Tribunal considers cases from the perspective of what is in the best interests of the Earth community as a whole, and hears cases involving alleged violations of the UDRME and international human rights law. The Tribunal was established in 2014 by the members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and was formally constituted in 2015 in Paris when a wide range of civil society organizations and indigenous communities signed a Peoples’ Convention to establish the Tribunal. Cases are heard by a panel of eminent legal and environmental experts from around the world. The Bonn panel consisted of 9 distinguished judges from 7 countries: President – Tom Goldtooth (Indigenous Environmental Network, Turtle Island – USA); Osprey Orielle Lake (Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network – USA); Alberto Acosta (former president of the Constitutional Assembly – Ecuador); Fernando “Pino” Solanas (senator, Argentina), Ute Koczy (Urgewald E.V., former Parliamentarian, Germany); Cormac Cullinan (Wild Institute Law- South Africa); Simona Fraudatorio (Permanent People’s Tribunal, Italy); Shannon Biggs (Movement Rights, USA), Ruth Nyambura (African Biodiversity Network – Kenya).

Cases heard by the Tribunal in Bonn

Climate Change and False Energy Solutions.

Expert witnesses testified about how corporations such as Exxon not only profit from activities which they know cause dangerous climate change, they have also deliberately promoted false solutions to climate change (e.g. nuclear energy and gas from fracking operations) and are impeded the introduction of renewable energy and other climate change mitigation measures. In some cases corporations have spread false propaganda about indigenous peoples and others opposing the fossil fuel industry.

The Tribunal heard disturbing evidence from witnesses about the severe health impacts of living in places polluted by the coal, oil and gas industries. Evidence was presented about how energy industry operations had contaminated water, air and ground in many parts of the world in violation of the rights of Mother Earth and of human rights. Witnesses from Mauritius and Texas gave evidence of the impacts of severe hurricanes and cyclones caused or exacerbated by climate change. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, homes were damaged, environmental restrictions were suspended and people had to breathe toxic fumes.

The Tribunal found that gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), nuclear energy and carbon markets are all false solutions used to delay the transition to low-carbon societies. For example, fracking “breaks the bones of the Earth” and only perpetuates the destructive dependence upon oil, and gas. Carbon trading commodifies nature and allows the wealthy to buy the right to exceed national emission limits. The Tribunal decided that promoting and undertaking these activities violates the rights of Nature, including the right to integral health.

Financialization of Nature and the REDD+

Evidence was presented that REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) framework and other carbon market frameworks and payment for ecological services have resulted in more ecological destruction and pollution and facilitated the establishment and continuation of destructive industries. Witnesses explained how systematic mechanisms, such as REDD+ were resulting in indigenous and local peoples who had not degraded their lands being disposed and losing their rights in order to enable a polluting company elsewhere in the world to continue exceeding air emission limits.

The Tribunal found that that systems such as REDD+ that commodified Nature failed to recognise the reality that human beings are an integral and inseparable part of a living Earth community and that the exploitation, commodification and financialization of Nature is detrimental to all. Those who established these systems or who traded in carbon or biodiversity “credits”, were violating the rights of Nature and failing in their duty to ensure that the pursuit of human wellbeing contributes to the wellbeing of Mother Earth.

Lignite mining in the Hambach Forest

Witnesses gave evidence of how a massive lignite mine near Bonn has created the largest hole in Europe, and as it expands is destroying whole villages and the ancient Hambach forest. The forest has existed for 12,000 years, contains 800 year old trees and is home to 142 protected species. Only about 7 square kilometres of the original 60 square kilometres are left. The Tribunal heard evidence about how burning the lignite from the mine will exacerbate

global warming and cause severe pollution and health risks as well as diminish and pollute the groundwater which sustains the forest and other ecosystems. It also heard evidence from young people who are living high up in the trees in an attempt to protect them from destruction, and of how they now have an intimate relationship with the trees and the forest.

The Tribunal found that further expansion of the mine must be stopped immediately, that the site should be rehabilitated as far as possible and that Germany should recognise the rights of Nature in law in order to prevent such projects in the future. The Tribunal also drew attention to the fact that it is necessary to cease all coal mining as soon as possible in order to mitigate climate change, and particularly its effects on future generations.

Defenders of Mother Earth

The UDRME requires all human beings and institutions to defend the rights of Mother Earth and of all beings. Evidence from around the world exposed the wide-spread disregard for this duty and how people, particularly indigenous peoples, in the United States of America, Russia, Latin America and Africa are being persecuted for defending Nature from harm. In many cases the persecutions of indigenous peoples such as the Sámi peoples over long periods of time were clearly designed to destroy cultural understandings and practices that respect and protect the rights of Mother Earth and other beings.

Witnesses who testified included water protectors from Standing Rock in the United States, and representatives of indigenous peoples from Sweden (Sámi), and Russia (Shor). The Tribunal heard how indigenous people using peaceful means to defend water and Mother Earth are met with violence as governments protect corporate interests as occurred at Standing Rock. The Lakota Sioux tribe was never adequately consulted about the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline across their land. The evidence showed that the pipeline would diminish the quality of life of indigenous peoples minorities, specifically in relationship to the sacredness of water and sacred and cultural significant areas.

The Tribunal noted the ongoing history of systemic violations of the rights of the indigenous peoples. And reiterated that everyone has the duty to defend those who protect the rights of Mother Earth and to break the pattern of violation and abuse of indigenous peoples.

Almeria –deprivation of water

In the Almeria waters case the Tribunal found that the abstractions of huge quantities of water from aquifers in the Almeria region of Spain, primarily to irrigate large-scale intensive olive plantations is a violation of the rights of the rivers and ecological systems of Almeria, and a violation of the human rights of local peoples. The Spanish State and the government of Almeria must act immediately to stop the abstraction of groundwater to enable the ecosystems to recover, and the intensive cultivation of olives in Almeria must cease.

This case illustrates the consequences of treating water as a commodity that can be monopolised by the wealthy instead of recognising water as a vital source of life, which must be respected and afforded the highest level of protection. Although this case focused on a specific area, it is an example of what is happening in many areas of the world, and the principles are universal. Those human societies that do not respect water as life and which fail to take whatever measures are necessary to protect the ecological systems and cycles that generate water, destroy life and ultimately destroy themselves. Water is priceless – societies that sacrifice water sources for money, will pay a terrible price.

Threats to the Amazon

The Tribunal decided to hear a number of cases from different parts of the Amazon simultaneously in order to consider threats to the Amazon ecosystem in a holistic way. It heard evidence of widespread violations of indigenous rights and the rights of Mother Earth throughout the greater Amazon region. This included testimony about the huge mine proposed in French Guyana, and from communities in Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador. It is clear that this vital ecosystem that is a reservoir of life, home to many peoples and an essential part of maintaining global climatic stability, is being subjected to many attacks which violate its right to exist and maintain its vital cycles. The extractivist global model inevitably results in violations of the rights of the Amazon as a whole and diminishes the quality of life of all organisms in the region.
The Tribunal heard allegations of violations of the rights of Mother Earth arising from the proposed construction of a major road through the TIPNIS protected area in Bolivia and from oil exploitation in the area. Evidence about the victimization and intimidation of those opposing the construction of the road was also placed before the Tribunal. The Tribunal noted this evidence with great concern, particularly because the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth was proclaimed in Bolivia in 2010 and Bolivia has championed rights of Nature internationally.

The Tribunal decided that it wished to gather more evidence from all concerned, including the State of Bolivia, and if possible to send a delegation on a fact-finding mission to Bolivia. It also decided to request the Bolivian government to impose a moratorium on construction of the proposed road and bridges through TIPNIS and on further oil exploration in or near TIPNIS, until the Tribunal has completed its work. The Tribunal was of the view that the imposition of such a moratorium would be an appropriate precautionary measure to avoid possible violations of rights of Mother Earth while a resolution to this dispute is being sought.

Trade Agreements and their Implications on Nature

Expert witnesses from Canada, Germany, South Africa and Puerto Rico testified that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are the drivers of an unsustainable economy based on fossil fuels, privatization, commodification and legalized enslavement of all life on Earth. FTAs are legally binding and take precedence over non-binding commitments made under the Paris Agreement. States can even be prevented from passing new laws to protect ecosystems if the tribunals established under Investor State Dispute Settlement Mechanisms (ISDSMs) in FTAs decide that they are “barriers to trade”. Indigenous peoples pay the highest price under schemes like NAFTA. Because they have protected and live close to the land, they are targets for displacement in the quest for pristine untapped “resources” for drilling, clear-cutting water mining, etc. For example, 50% of the groundwater has already been depleted in NAFTA affected areas in Mexico.

The Tribunal found that Free Trade Agreements result in systemic violations of the Rights of Nature and are based on the delusion that trade is more important than life. The provisions of these agreements must be regarded as null and void to the extent that they conflict with the rights and duties in the UDRME.

Notes

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature (GARN) is a network of organizations and individuals committed to the universal adoption and implementation of legal systems that recognize, respect and enforce “Rights of Nature – see https://therightsofnature.org/ The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature is available at http://therightsofnature.org/universal-declaration

Movement Rights issues new report for Bonn

Movement Rights in Bonn, Germany
Rights of Nature and Mother Earth Rights Based Law by Movement Rights-WECAN-IEN
Movement Rights is in Bonn Germany with colleagues to present Rights of Nature as an alternative framework for justice and climate rights. Today they are launching their new report for Bonn, Rights of Nature & Mother Earth Rights Based Law, which Movement Rights, co-edited with partners Women’s Earth and Climate Network (WECAN) and the International Environmental Network (IEN).

With contributions from global leaders including Pablo Solon (Bolivia); Cormac Cullinan (South Africa) Maude Barlow (Canada) and many others, this report explores not just the idea of a radical shift toward recognizing rights of ecosystems (and our responsibilities to the Earth) but includes global examples from around the world where these new laws are taking root. They are inviting readers to Please download and share this new report.

Movement Rights, WECAN and IEN are organizing members and active participants in the 4th International Rights of Nature Tribunal hosted by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) November 7-8 in Bonn, at the LVR-Landesmuseum with an informative teach-in event to follow.

Click to read Movement Rights Announcement newsletter.

Bonn Tribunal Program and Brochures

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) will hold the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Bonn, at the LVR Landesmuseum on the 7th and 8th of November 2017.

To learn more about the Bonn Tribunal, click the title of a document to download the selected PDF document.  Note: Documents are prepared in ISO A4 format.  Please scale to 90% for US letter format.

Press Release: Cases at the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Bonn

Bonn Tribunal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  3 November 2017

Media Contact:
Robert Wager (media contact) robert@endecocide.eu + 49 160 8104348
Cabot Davis (general inquiries) cabot@movementrights.org + 1 (831) 854-7634
Natalia Greene (Tribunal’s Secretariat) nati.greene@gmail.com + 593 9944-3724

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                            

Bonn RoN Press Release – One Week Away-Nov3
Presseerklärung – Internationale Tribunal für die Rechte der Natur in Bonn, Deutschland

CASES AT THE INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL in BONN, GERMANY

BONN, Germany – From November 6th until the 17th, during the 23rd United Nations Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn, the world’s nations will reach new agreements on climate change.

In four days (November 7th-8th) the 4th International Rights of Nature Tribunal will hear 7 cases from a new socio-economic perspective based on the interdependence between humans and nature. 50 people will be on stage coming from over 19 countries and speaking in over 7 languages. Cases will be presented regarding violations of nature’s rights from all over the world. Presenters include prominent voices from indigenous communities.

Immediately prior to the opening ceremony, there will be a welcoming from the Deputy Mayor of the city of Bonn, Reinhard Limbach.

The Tribunal will begin with an opening indigenous ceremony.  The ceremony will be performed by Åsa Simma of the Sámi People, Tom Goldtooth of the Dine’ Dakota, Mirian Cisneros and Yaku Viteri of the Sarayaku people.

The Tribunal will then consider seven cases over the next two days. The cases are as follows:

  1. A case on Climate Change focusing on False Energy Solutions. This case will concern violations of  the rights of nature caused by fracking, nuclear energy and the consolidation of fossil fuels in North America. The judge will be Osprey Orielle Lake and the prosecutor will be Ramiro Ávila. The case will be presented by Tadzio Mueller. Experts providing testimony will be Enrique Viale, Rheinhard Uhrig and Ben Beachy. The Tribunal will also hear from affected persons Kashmira Banee and Bryan Parras.
  2. The tribunal will then consider violations of the rights of nature caused by the Financialization of Nature and the REDD+ framework. The judge for this case will be Ruth Nyambura, while the prosecutor will be Linda Sheehan. The case will be presented by Jutta Kill, the expert is Melissa Moreano with the affected person being Ken Henshaw.
  3. The third case will concern Lignite Mining and the Hambach Forest in Germany. Ute Koczy will be the judge and the case will be prosecuted by Ramiro Ávila. The presenter is Emilio Alfred Weinberg. The experts in this case will be Eva Töller and Alberto Saldamando.
  4. A case will be presented concerning violations of the rights of nature concerning Defenders of Mother Earth. The judge for this case is Simona Fraudatario and the prosecutor is Linda Sheehan. Specifically, the case will concern violations of the rights of the indigenous peoples in the following areas:

Standing Rock, USA. Presented by Dallas Goldtooth. The expert and impacted person is Kandi Mossett.

The Shor People, Russia. Presented by Vladislav Tannagashev. The expert and impacted person is Yana Tannagasheva.

The Sàmi People, Scandinavia. Presented by Stefan Mikaelsson. The expert and impacted person will be Åsa Simma.

  1. The fifth case will concern water deprivation in Almería, Spain. The judge for this case will be Cormac Cullinan, while the prosecutor will be Ramiro Ávila. The presenter for this case will be David Dene. The expert in this case will be Ion Holban and the affected person in this case will be Sheila Andion García.
  2. The Tribunal will consider a case concerning various threats to the rights of nature in the Amazon. The judges will be Alberto Acosta and Fernando “Pino” Solano and the prosecutor will be Ramiro Ávila. The case will concern the following areas:

Ecuador’s Amazon and Sarayaku. This aspect of the case will be presented by Esperanza Martinez. The expert is Mirian Cisneros, while the impacted person will be Yaku Viteri.

Brazil’s Amazon. This part of the case will be presented by Sônia Guajajara. The expert will be Ninawa Yawanawa.

Tipnis in Bolivia. The presenter will be Martin Viela. The expert will be Fabian Gil Rocha and the impacted person is Marqueza Teco Moyoviri de Maleca.

Montagne d’Or in French Guyana. Presented by Marine Calmet, the expert is Patrick Monnier and the impacted person is Christophe Pierre.

  1. The final case concerns Trade Agreements and their Implications on Nature. The judge for this case will be Shannon Biggs and the prosecutor will be Linda Sheehan. This case will be presented by Maude Barlow.  The expert will be Jörg Haas and the affected people will be Ndivile Mokoena, Makoma Lekalakala and Alberto Saldamando.

The cases will be presented in multiple languages, including German, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese (with simultaneous translation)and the indigenous languages of the affected persons.

On November 7th and 8th, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) will hold the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Bonn, at the LVR-Landesmuseum with an informative teach-in event to follow. This approach is based on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature, which recognizes the rights of ecosystems to exist and thrive and the duty of humanity to respect the integrity of their life cycles.

For more information, please visit https://therightsofnature.org/ron-tribunal-bonn/  #RONTribunalBonn

# # #

The International Rights of Nature Tribunal will be held at LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, Colmantstr. 14-16, 53115 Bonn, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm (0800 to 1900).

About the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature (GARN) https://therightsofnature.org/

GARN is a 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 the idea of Rights of Nature an idea whose time has come.

 

Rights of Nature Updates – October 20, 2017

Bonn Rights of Nature Tribunal 2017

The fourth International Rights of Nature Tribunal will hear cases from a new socio-ecosystem perspective, which is based on the interdependence between humans and nature. The Tribunal will hear presentation of evidence of nature’s rights violations from all over the world, and will particularly encourage presentations from indigenous communities.
The current ecological crisis requires that we transform our international and domestic legal systems to nurture the Earth Community, rather than allow its destruction. The International Rights of Nature Tribunal is a unique, citizen-created initiative that gives people from all around the world the opportunity to testify publicly as to the destruction of the Earth. 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. An esteemed panel of international Tribunal judges will make recommendations for Earth’s protection and restoration.
Featuring cases on:

Climate change – false energy solutions • Financialization of Nature • Water rights in Madrid • Defenders of Mother Earth •  Lignite Mining in Germany • Amazon threats (Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia-Tipnis and French Guyana) • NAFTA’s implication on Nature

Please Register now!

For more information and upcoming registration details, see http://therightsofnature.org/.

INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNALLVR Museum Bonn map

November 7th – 8th 2017 – 8am- 7 pm

LVR-Landesmuseum Bonn, Colmantstr. 14-16, 53115 Bonn

Registration: http://therightsofnature.org

UN Harmony With Nature Celebrates International Mother Earth Day April 21 2017

INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON HARMONY WITH NATURE IN COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY

THEME: EARTH JURISPRUDENCE

21 April 2017, United Nations HQ

Event: Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature in commemoration of International Mother Earth Day

For Programme click: Harmony with Nature Programme 10April2017

Theme: Earth Jurisprudence

Date: Friday, 21 April 2017

Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York City

Objective   –  For more information click: UN Harmony with Nature Concept Note 10April2017

The Dialogue will examine the key characteristics of, and implementation strategies for, an Earth-centred paradigm. It will advance the importance of the inclusion and application of Earth jurisprudence principles in the implementation of Agenda 2030 and all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Panelists will draw from the recommendations of the experts’ report from the 2016 virtual dialogue, showcase how Earth jurisprudence is currently being applied across different disciplines, and offer new Earth jurisprudence implementation strategies consistent with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.  The Dialogue will explore how Earth-centred governance policies could ensure sustainable development patterns consistent with Earth jurisprudence principles.

Questions

  1. How can Earth jurisprudence help us to better implement the Sustainable Development Goals?
  2. What promising approaches and actions should be implemented, replicated or scaled-up to advance an Earth-centred approach to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals?
  3. How would a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Nature help guide implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals?

! SECURITY NOTE | PLEASE REVIEW CAREFULLY !

Guests without a valid UN Grounds Pass

To obtain a special event ticket, send an e-mail to Ms. Ariane Benrey at: hwndialogue2017@gmail.com indicating your first and last name as it appears on your valid government-issued ID. Your request should be received no later than Monday 17 April, noon.

Plan to arrive at the DC1 Building/One UN Plaza (located at the corner of 1st Avenue and 44th Street) between 8:30 and 9:45 am on Friday 21 April – to pick up your special event ticket to attend the Dialogue. Please pick up your special event ticket no later than 9:45 am. Colleagues will be holding signs with the name of the event. Kindly keep your special event ticket with you at all times.

  • Please carry a valid government-issued ID with you.
  • Please bear in mind that the passes are name-specific and non-transferable.
  • You will then go through a security screening similar to the airport. Please do not carry anything with you that you would not take through airport security.
  • Note that if you leave the UN grounds, you will need to be security screened again.
  • If for any reason you are not able to arrive to the UN premises before 9:45 am, please contact the focal point, Ms. Giovanna Maselli at (786) 901- 0070. She will kindly assist you with your event ticket.

Guests with a valid UN Grounds Pass

You do not need a special event ticket to access the Dialogue.

Broadcast: Live and on-demand webcast coverage to be available on the UN Web TV website at:

http://webtv.un.org

She is alive ~ Recognize Rights of Mother Earth

Sign our petition at http://petition.rightsofmotherearth.com

She’s our mother …
She’s worth loving …
She’s worth protecting …
She’s worth defending …

You can make a difference.  Take action now and be 1 of a million standing for the UN and all nations to recognize Rights of Nature ~ Rights of Mother Earth.

She is alive is being re-released with thanks to Vivek Chauhan, SanctuaryAsia, Greenpeace, and Timescapes for rights to use this video.

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?’.