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LAW OF MOTHER EARTH
THE RIGHTS OF OUR PLANET
A VISION FROM BOLIVIA
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
LAW OF THE RIGHTS OF MOTHER EARTH
OBJECT AND PRINCIPLES
Article 1. (SCOPE). This Act is intended to recognize the rights of Mother Earth, and the obligations and duties of the Multinational State and society to ensure respect for these rights.
Article 2. (PRINCIPLES). The binding principles that govern this law are:
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 the regeneration of Mother Earth. 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 requires the recognition, recovery, respect, protection, and dialogue of the diversity of feelings, values, knowledge, skills, practices, skills, transcendence, transformation, science,
technology and standards, of all the cultures of the world who seek to live in harmony with nature.
MOTHER EARTH, DEFINITION AND CHARACTER
Article 3. (Mother Earth). Mother Earth is a dynamic living system comprising an indivisible community of all living systems and living organisms, interrelated, interdependent and complementary, which share a common destiny.
Mother Earth is considered sacred, from the worldviews of nations and peasant indigenous peoples.
Article 4. (LIVING SYSTEMS). Living systems are complex and dynamic communities of plants, animals, microorganisms and other beings and their environment, where human communities and the rest of nature interact as a functional unit under the influence of climatic, physiographic, and geological factors, as well as production practices, Bolivian cultural diversity, and the worldviews of nations, original indigenous peoples, and intercultural and Afro-Bolivian communities.
Article 5. (LEGAL STATUS OF MOTHER EARTH). For the purpose of protecting and enforcing its rights, Mother Earth takes on the character of collective public interest. Mother Earth and all its components, including human communities, are entitled to all the inherent rights recognized in this Law. The exercise of the rights of Mother Earth will take into account the specificities and particularities of its various components. The rights under this Act shall not limit the existence of other rights of Mother Earth.
Article 6. (EXERCISE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE MOTHER EARTH). All Bolivians, to join the community of beings comprising Mother Earth, exercise rights under this Act, in a way that is consistent with their individual and collective rights. The exercise of individual rights is limited by the exercise of collective rights in the living systems of Mother Earth. Any conflict of rights must be resolved in ways that do not irreversibly affect the functionality of living systems.
The Plurinational State, at all levels and geographical areas and across all authorities and institutions, has the following duties:
Establishing the Office of Mother Earth, whose mission is to ensure the validity,
promotion, distribution and compliance of the rights of Mother Earth
established in this Act. A special law will establish
OFFICIAL BOLIVIAN SOURCES
Bolivian Government Presidential Page (Spanish)