Posts Tagged ‘Mother Earth Rights’


Thursday, April 26th, 2012

By René Orellana Halkyer, Bolivia governmental delegation, UN

The Bolivian delegation has been working hard for several months in the inclusion of the Mother Earth thematic in the G77+China text. A first version, that we can call the zero version of the G77+China, was a document of this group that came to light in November 2011. This version did not include all the key aspects of the Bolivian proposal or that of ALBA, many of them emerging from the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth held in Cochabamba (Bolivia); but over the months, as part of a process of proposition and cooperation with all countries of the G77 + China we were able to include several strategic issues in the construction process of a document that changes the worlds view of nature and development.

It is important to note that the negotiations have not concluded and there are no rigid rules that would impede to include further texts. Thus, Bolivia continues to introduce texts as the process carries on as we approach June 2012, month of the Rio+20 conference. It is also important to express that is essential to maintain the unity of the G77 + China to achieve greater impact, an alliance that is central to Bolivia and to developing countries.

Topics already included in the document of G77 + China

Among the many relevant paragraphs included in the G77 + China text we find it pertinent to exemplify the relevance of: the human right to water; harmony with nature; the holistic approach; food security as a goal in this historical period; recognition of the role of indigenous peoples in seed conservation, agro-biodiversity and the environment, as well as respect and strengthening of their rights; recognition of the high vulnerability of the mountains to climate change and the fact that these are home to indigenous peoples, threatening their survival; a deep reform of the global financial architecture; transformation of unsustainable patterns of consumption and production; recognition and respect of the existence of different models, visions, policies and tools, as defined by the sovereignty of each country; recognition that economic growth strategies that are market-based are insufficient and do not guarantee or ensure equitable economic growth and do not solve the problems of poverty, health, education, employment; in short.

G77 + China includes in its proposal texts on Mother Earth

With respect to Mother Earth, from mid-April 2012, Bolivia, with the allied countries of the ALBA, have managed to position the topic having got the approval of a proposal by the G77 + China recognizing that the most important challenges towards sustainable development are poverty eradication, achieving the right to development, promoting a life in harmony with nature, and taking into account the need for a more holistic approach to sustainable development.

On the other hand, the document reaffirms the need to promote sustainable integrated management of natural resources and ecosystems that ensure economic growth while allowing ecosystem restoration, regeneration and adaptation of the same. In this context, the concept of Mother Earth reaffirms the conception of our planet and nature to the countries that ratify this text, demonstrating a deeper sense of interdependence between humans, other species of life and the planet we all inhabit.

Moreover, the G77 + China proposition establishes that we are aware that the Earth and its ecosystems are our home and we are convinced that in order to strike a fair balance between the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature.

Finally, the document establishes that natural cycles of the Earth that produce life on the planet should be safeguarded. Development should occur in the context of the regeneration cycles of the earth.
These texts (listed in paragraph 71bis as well as those proposed by Bolivia) were presented at the plenary meeting on the 25th of January by the coordination of the G77 + China as a proposal for the whole group.

Bolivia has several paragraphs on Mother Earth in the section of Harmony with Nature

In addition to the proposal of the G77 + China, Bolivia, in its national capacity, presented a proposal supported by Ecuador expressing that we are aware that Mother Earth is a living system with limited resources, and that we are concerned about the deterioration of Mother Earth today.
Given this context, the second paragraph states that we are committed, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, to take action to defend our home and source of life, and therefore, we recognize the rights of Mother Earth as an instrument for achieving Living Well and Harmony with Nature, and citing among others the following rights of Mother Earth: the right to life, right to regenerate bio-capacity, the right to continue vital cycles and processes, among them, the water cycle, the right to maintain the diversity of its components, to be free from contamination or pollution, and the right to be restored from the damage caused on to her.

Conclusion: Mother Earth figures in negotiating documents of Rio +20

In conclusion, the G77 + China have submitted a proposal that mentions the rights of Mother Earth with a formulation that highlights their importance and Bolivia has also done the same in negotiating texts.
The texts of Bolivia and the G77 + China on Mother Earth are already included in the compilation that will surely be made available on the 25th of April, 2

Calls for NGOs to sign Petition to G77 Member States: ‘Mother Earth’ in the Rio+20 negotiation text!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Dear Friends,

For the first time ‘Mother Earth’ has appeared in the Rio+20 negotiation text!

This represents a potential shift in the negotiations which have thus far been weighted dramatically towards the economic over the environment… but we must act quickly and strongly to support this initiative.

Please circulate this request widely!

Last night the G77 proposed language referencing Mother Earth and the interdependence between Human Beings, other living species and the planet we inhabit.
There is, however, a big debate within the G77 on just how far to go with these concepts, under the section on Harmony with Nature.

This is a critical moment in these negotiations as governments are deleting, bracketing or integrating items and our voice needs to be heard as civil society and social movements. Much of the debate is happening behind closed doors in sessions between blocks like the EU or the G77 and this is where decisions are made to retain elements or remove them.

If we want the Rights of Mother Earth and these broader concepts to appear in the text, we must move quickly and show that we support this initiative by the G77!

This is a message that must be heard by all G77 Member States, and by all UN Member States, before the Harmony with Nature section is again negotiated in a few days.

I am asking you to sign the following statement to support – putting forward concepts and frameworks that put human-centered activities in the larger context of Mother Earth and the environmental systems we must protect.

This is probably the most important step we can take to counter the narrow and dangerous focus of the false Green Economy that is based on markets, pricing, commodification and financialisation of nature; completely without respect or regard for Mother Earth!

We must protect human rights, the Rio Principles and other safeguards in the negotiating text, but going beyond a focus solely on people and narrow economic interest is critical.

If no voice speaks for nature in these negotiations, then we are leaving future generations and Mother Earth completely vulnerable; Rio+20 must be the moment for a bold new vision of our common future and it must include the Rights of Mother Earth!

If you agree, please sign the following statement by Sunday April 29th, we will fax in signature before the negotiations begin again on Monday April 30th.

Send your name, organization and country to

Dear Ambassador,

We, the undersigned representatives of civil society organizations and social movements,

Encouraged by the vision of the G77 to include the concept of Mother Earth in the Rio+20 negotiations,

Commend this step as a sign of commitment to a just and sustainable future for people, all species and for our Mother Earth,

Request that all UN Member States work vigorously to retain and expand the sections on the Rights of Mother Earth and Harmony with Nature,

Ambassador, Rio+20 is the moment to define ‘The Future We Want’ and that future must include the Rights of Mother Earth as well as safeguards for people and nature, especially in the context of an ill-defined Green Economy.

We therefore call upon you to continue to respect your obligations to Human Rights, the Rio Principles, Equity and to support further efforts to defend Mother Earth!


In solidarity,

Anil Naidoo
Blue Planet Project
Council of Canadians
From the Rio+20 Negotiations in New York, April 24, 2012

VIDEO: The Rights of Mother Earth conference (4 April 2012)

Friday, April 6th, 2012

In April 2010, a historical moment occurred. More than 32,000 people, including Indigenous Peoples, social movements, small farmers and some world governmental leaders, converged in Cochabamba, Bolivia for the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Two outcomes of this conference were the Cochabamba Peoples Accord and the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. The Accord and Declaration gave voice to peoples of the world experiencing the effects of climate chaos and its many accompanying issues, including depletion of freshwater and other natural resources and the problems of food security, poverty and environmental crises, along with the financial meltdown within the United States and globally
To watch video clickhere