Cormac Cullinan spoke to the Annual General Meeting of the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) in Durban, South Africa. The focus of the event was Global Climate Talks 2011 (COP17) to be hosted in Durban, in December of this year.
An environmental lawyer and thinker on Earth jurisprudence, Cormac originated the term “wild law”. He has advised the Bolivian government and helped to draft the landmark Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. Cormac spoke about how granting legal rights to living beings such as animals, plants and trees, and to natural systems and ecosystems, such as rivers, can help secure an environment that is also safer for humanity. Wild laws have not yet been instituted in South Africa – but they are being introduced in Bolivia, where rivers now have “the right to flow” and by local ordinance in parts of the US.
In preparation for the UN climate conference to be held in Durban in December, SAFCEI is working energetically to raise awareness and understanding of climate issues in our region, and working with our partners to increase pressure on the world’s nations to come to a fair, ambitious and legally binding outcome in Durban. SAFCEI will host a Mass rally of the faithful on Sunday, November 27, the day before the 2011 COP commences, a major gathering of faiths, led by prominent religious leaders in Durban. The purpose is to issue a clear call to the political leaders of the world that for the sake of our people and our planet, and in obedience to our Creator, COP 17 must arrive at an agreement based on moral principles that help protect and preserve the world for future generations.