Law of Mother Earth from Bolivia
The Kindred Spirits Project goal to assist in creating a world based on loving kindness and compassion for all beings has reached a milestone with the creation of the “Law of Mother Earth”, by thePresident of Bolivia, Evo Morales, the first indigenous leader of Bolivia on International Earth Day 2011. This is the world’s first legislation that grants to nature rights equal to humans, The Law of Mother Earth. Wikipedia offers the best summary I have seen of the Law of Mother Earth.
According to the Guardian, Bolivia’s Foreign Minister, David Choquehuanca, states that “In Bolivia we seek a return to balance, a harmonious life not only between individuals but between man and nature, so today must be a day of reflection of awareness of all to care for our Mother Earth and take timely means to bring our mother back to its natural balance”.
The first article of the Law of Mother Earth says that every human activity has to “achieve dynamic balance with the cycles and processes inherent in Mother Earth.” This Law defines Mother Earth as “a unique, indivisible, self-regulating community of interrelated beings that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.” Mother Earth is considered a conscious being and sacred according to most indigenous cultures.
President Morales shares some prescient thoughts such as “the planet can live without humans, but humans can not live without the planet”. The Bolivian Government plans on establishing a Ministry of Mother Earth to implement the Law of Mother Earth.
Wikipedia states that “The law enumerates seven specific rights to be enjoyed by Mother Earth, constituent ecosystems, and human systems:
1. The right to life including the integrity of ecosystems and natural processes, and the necessary conditions for regeneration
2. The right to biodiversity which should be preserved without genetic modification
3. The right to water in sufficient quantity and quality to sustain life, protected from pollution
4. The right to clean air
5. The right to equilibrium through “maintain[ing] or restor[ing]] the interrelation, interdependence, complementarity, and functionality” of all parts of the Earth
6. The right to restoration of ecosystems damaged by human activity
7. The right to live free of pollution including toxic and radioactive waste”.
In addition, the law proposes “harmony” and “peace” and “the elimination of all nuclear, chemical, biological” weapons.
According to the Guardian, as part of this vision, President Morales is announcing the “dismantling of the privatization model”. This euphemism, privatization, often seems to reflect a plan for corporate greed and profit, at the expense of nature, animals and human beings. Though this appears to have temporarily impacted on foreign private investment in Bolivia, it seems like a natural step in re-creating a world based on respect for all living beings.
Kudos to President Evo Morales and Bolivia for having the vision and courage to create such a Law honoring the rights of Mother Earth. This is a pivotal foundational moment for the re-creation of a more harmonious world based on respect for all beings.