Bolivia’s Historic ‘Law of Mother Earth’ Grants Nature Equal Rights to Humans

Would you like to know what Transition Consciousness is like when the President of country has it?  Evo Morales was elected in 2005 as Boliva’s first indigenous President, and is a great champion not only of Human Rights but of the rights of Mother Earth.  How different his consciousness is compared to those of our European “leaders” who can only think of growth, exploitation and invasion, and not love, protection and guardianship of our planet.

As PV Pulse reported in April of this year:

With the cooperation of politicians and grassroots organizations, Bolivia is set to pass the Law of Mother Earth which will grant nature the same rights and protections as humans. The piece of legislation, called la Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra, is intended to encourage a radical shift in conservation attitudes and actions, to enforce new control measures on industry, and to reduce environmental destruction.

The law redefines natural resources as blessings and confers the same rights to nature as to human beings, including: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered. Perhaps the most controversial point is the right “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

On 22nd April 2009, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly which had just declared 22nd April “International Mother Earth Day” Morales said “If we want to safeguard mankind, then we need to safeguard the planet,” he said, stressing that social movements, regular citizens and presidents the world over needed to understand and support the rights of Mother Earth. “That is the next major task of the United Nations”.

Speaking at a press conference that afternoon, he said previous centuries had witnessed a permanent ongoing battle for human rights. With those human rights now secured, it was time to fight for those of the planet, including the right to life, the right to regeneration of the planet’s biodiversity, the right to a clean life free of pollution, and the right to harmony and balance among and between all things.

“Mother Earth cannot be a piece of merchandise”, he argued, stressing that it was necessary to correct humanity’s historic mistake of buying and selling the planet. Human beings could not exist without Mother Earth, but changes in climate and the environment were already beginning to threaten that existence in some places. In the Andes, mountain peaks were losing their white snow-caps, lakes were drying up, and fish were disappearing from the Orinoco.

Vice President Alvaro García Linera also made some interesting observations too.

It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all. It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.

And Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca reminded us that as always, it boils down to simple human values, which are reflected in Bolivia’s traditional indigenous respect for the Pachamama was vital to prevent climate change.

Our grandparents taught us that we belong to a big family of plants and animals. We believe that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. We indigenous people can contribute to solving the energy, climate, food and financial crises with our values.

Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth

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