Mother Earth Also Has Rights According To Bolivia’s Law

Who has a right to life?  Only one species?  Do humans have the right to exterminate any species they want to kill?

Today, we are living in the age of the greatest wave of extinctions since the Permian extinction 250 million years ago.

There are those who call this “progress”.  There are others, however, that have a different vision.

Around the world many people are coming to see the present world system as a form of suicidal madness.

In Bolivia there is a government that has a creative vision of life, a vision that goes back to original views of life from ancient times.

Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, is a controversial person.  We don’t agree with all he says.

However we believe that his vision of the value of life, all life, has merit.

We believe that we cannot survive on this planet if we fail to see that human life cannot exist outside of nature.

This Bolivian law is a creative vision to put into law a system that preserves the biological foundations of life.

We don’t endorse all aspects of this law but we do see it as a revolutionary step forward in terms of global thinking

Enter Bolivia, where in December 2010, in response to an understanding of the impacts of climate change on the nation’s economic and community health, the National Congress voted to support an act to protect the well-being of its citizens by protecting the natural world—its resources, sustainability, and value—as essential to the common good. The act was supported by Bolivian President Evo Morales; revisions of the national legal code were explored; over 2,900 specific conservation programs and anti-pollution projects, conceived as expressions of the practical application of the law, were implemented in all 327 municipalities; $118 million was invested; and full legislation enabling this new social and economic model is expected to be ratified soon.

The language contained in the legislation is astonishing. Here are the binding principles that govern:

1) Harmony: Human activities, within the framework of plurality and diversity, should achieve a dynamic balance with the cycles and processes inherent in Mother Earth;

2) Collective Good: The interests of society, within the framework of the rights of Mother Earth, prevail in all human activities and any acquired right;

3) Guarantee of Regeneration: The state, at its various levels, and society, in harmony with the common interest, must ensure the necessary conditions in order that the diverse living systems of Mother Earth may absorb damage, adapt to shocks, and regenerate without significantly altering their structural and functional characteristics, recognizing that living systems are limited in their ability to regenerate, and that humans are limited in their ability to undo their actions;

4) Respect and defend the rights of Mother Earth: The state and any individual or collective person must respect, protect and guarantee the rights of Mother Earth for the well-being of current and future generations;

5) No Commercialism: Neither living systems nor processes that sustain them may be commercialized, nor serve anyone’s private property:

6) Multiculturalism: The exercise of the rights of Mother Earth require the recognition, recovery, respect, protection, and dialogue of the diversity of feelings, values, knowledge, skills, practices, transcendence, science, technology and standards of all the culture of the world who seek to live in harmony with nature.

The legislation continues: Mother Earth has the following rights: to life, to the diversity of life, to water, to clean air, to equilibrium, to restoration, and to pollution-free living. And it further outlines the obligations of the State and the people to these principles and rights as a binding societal duty.

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