We fail to respect nature’s rights at our own peril, new global report warns

From Carine Nadal

Earth Jurisprudence Resource Centre Coordinator and legal researcher
The Gaia Foundation
6 Heathgate Place
Agincourt Road
London NW3 2NU
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 74280053
Fax: +44 20 74280056

Dear All,

Good news to share – a report on rights of Nature by Global Exchange,
Council of Canadians and Fundacion Pachamama which highlights how we
are breaking the laws of Nature, offers positive legal precedents and
calls for a movement to practice a mutually enhancing presence on Earth.

For more information please see press release below…..

Do continue sharing your stories and materials which contribute to the
growing philosophy and practice of governance systems which complies
with the laws of the Earth for the benefit of the whole Earth
Community (aka Earth Jurisprudence/Earth law/Wild law/Community
Ecological Governance).

Happy reading, and warm wishes,

 For Immediate Release
 Contact: Jeff Conant, 998 165 7349 (UK phone number)
 We Fail to Respect Nature’s Rights at Our Own Peril, New Report Warns
 Report released at COP 16 offers paradigm shifting climate solutions
 December 6, 2010, Cancun, Mexico – As the COP16 climate talks
 entered their second week, three civil society groups released a
 report entitled, “Does Nature Have Rights: Transforming Grassroots
 Organizing to Protect the People and the Planet.” The report,
 compiled by Global Exchange, the Council of Canadians and Fundacion
 Pachamama, sheds light on “the Rights of Nature,” a paradigm-
 shifting approach to legislating resource use. Illuminating essays
 by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, social and environmental
 activists Maude Barlow, Shannon Biggs, and others demonstrate the
 need to broaden legal frameworks to recognize ecological limits,
 natural laws, and the interdependency of all life.
 Out of a landmark gathering of social movements in Bolivia last
 April emerged the Cochabamba People’s Agreement, honoring the Rights
 of Nature; this document was later merged into the UNFCCC
 negotiating text. When the text was released to delegates at COP 16,
 however, all reference to Cochabamba had been removed.
 Shannon Biggs, Community Rights Director with Global Exchange,
 states, “The Rights of Nature offers a platform for action to
 challenge the market-based approach that dominates the UN COP
  As the report outlines, “Entire human societies, our global economic
  system and indeed our structures of law, place humans not just apart
  from, but actually above nature. But what is climate change but
  Nature telling us we have lived beyond the limits of nature’s law?”
  This report calls for action from the community-level to the U.N.,
  and offers case studies of legal changes already underway in favor
  of the Rights of Nature. Last month, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania became
  the first major U.S. city to ban natural gas drilling while
  elevating community decision-making and the rights of nature over
  corporate ‘rights.’”
  While the number of communities taking this approach to ecosystem
  protection is growing, it is also being actively pursued at the
  national level. In 2008, Ecuador became the first nation to include
  the Rights of Nature in its Constitution.
  “As a country devastated by oil exploitation, industrial agriculture
  and international debt, Ecuador needs a bulwark against the
  corporate plunder of our natural riches. Recognizing the Rights of
  Nature in our national laws begins to provide that protection,” said
  Belen Paez of Fundacion Pachamama.
  “In order to survive, we need a change in the human relationship
  with the natural world from one of exploitation to one of democracy
  with other beings,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson with the
  Council of Canadians, “If we are members of the earth’s community,
  then our rights must be balanced against those of plants, animals,
  rivers and ecosystems.”
  Copies of the report in English, “Does Nature Have Rights:
  Transforming Grassroots Organizing to Protect the People and the
  Planet” and a summarized version in Spanish, can be downloaded at:

  “Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river
has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then
will you find that money cannot be eaten.” 
As said by Chief White Cloud, USA, 1900

The Gaia Foundation is very pleased to be able to share "Reviving Our
Culture, Mapping Our Future", a short film produced in collaboration
with our partners the Mupo Foundation and the African Biodiversity
Network. Please visit https://vimeo.com/channels/gaia to watch.



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