Bolivia Set to Pass ‘Law of Mother Earth’
I don’t really want to keep posting newgrabs and would prefer to just post interesting news to my accounts on facebook and twitter, but some news is just so fantastic that I can’t help but get excited and repost it! With Earth Day coming up on Good Friday, Bolivia is showing us all what we should have done decades ago. As more and more environmental disasters kill off all species and mining for uranium, gas, oil, lumber etc create huge abscesses into our mother’s flesh, I pray that every country follows Bolivia’s example.
Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth: Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation. Please read the full article here.
John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day.
In the indigenous philosophy, the Pachamama is a living being.
Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.
The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: 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.
Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.
“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”
The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.
But the abstract new laws are not expected to stop industry in its tracks. While it is not clear yet what actual protection the new rights will give in court to bugs, insects and ecosystems, the government is expected to establish a ministry of mother earth and to appoint an ombudsman. It is also committed to giving communities new legal powers to monitor and control polluting industries.