Mountain on a Train – a call for Rights of Nature

by Dylan McGarry

While an indigenous Venda community in South Africa battles an Australian coal company to protect their sacred mountain, containing sacred forests and rivers from being sucked dry for coal mining in the area, a single train transports 2760000kg or 2760 tons of coal in a single trip. That is a 2760 ton mountain of coal on one train. It is literally a mountain being transported on a train.

This film inspires us to imagine a situation where we gave a mountain rights. We allowed the mountain to be a mountain, to let the rivers that run down it to be rivers, and to let the forests the rivers feed to be forests. It asks us to imagine if we could recognize the rights of nature, as countless indigenous communities do.

To learn more about the Venda community visit the Mupo Foundation website To join the global community respecting and protecting the rights of nature visit Also to be part of the first global children’s charter visit

For a Case Study about Venda and other communities download Opening Pandor’s Box: The New Wave of Land Grabbing by the Extractive Industries and the Devasting Impact on Earth by commissioned by Gaia Foundation.