Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Mother Earth rights
Last post, I showed a local example of the complete disregard for the rights of Mother Earth's creatures. Bolivian President Evo Morales is tackling this sort of abuse of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants by calling for Earth Rights. As Vanessa Baird writes, Morales is taking a lead in tackling rich world inertia. He has called for a People's World Conference, and one of the areas of discussion will be:
Discuss and agree on the project of a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights.
If corporations are treated as persons in the current policies, trade agreements, and legal documents of capitalist empire, why not legislate the rights of Mother Earth and her inhabitants, like those smelts the local angler killed for no reason but his/her own pleasure and laziness?
As Vanessa Baird explains:
“Bolivia’s position on climate change has not come out of the blue. It has its roots in Andean thought and belief with its key concepts of Sumaq kawsay or Vivir bien (living well) and respect for Pachamama (Mother Earth).
These principles could provide the basis for an alternative development path that is not driven solely by ideas of growth, profit and capitalist accumulation. Pablo Solón explains: ‘We use terms like “living well” to describe a way of life that seeks not to live “better” and at the cost of others and nature, but in harmony with all.’1
This seems so far removed from the way that most of the world operates as to suggest dreamy idealism. But in recent years indigenous people and social movements in Latin America have managed to get such perspectives enshrined in the new constitutions of both Bolivia and Ecuador. The concepts are also gaining traction around the world with non-indigenous people who are concerned with environmental and social justice.”