PRE CONFERENCE OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS IN BOLIVIA ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND MOTHER EARTH’S RIGHTS

(Cochabamba, 29 and 30 March 2010)

The representatives of the following organizations: Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia (CSUTCB), Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias de Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa”,  (CNMCIOB “BS”), Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Markas del Qollasuyo (CONAMAQ), Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia (CIDOB), Confederación Sindical de Comunidades Interculturales de Bolivia (CSCIB), Central Obrera Boliviana (COB),  and other participants of Subgroup 3: MOTHER EARTH’S RIGHTS

Mother Earth being a living being, of which all life forms, both animate and inanimate are part, and aware of its benefits for living well-in good health-, we assume the responsibility and the generational role in cultivating balance and harmony in our lives and with our Mother Earth.

We call the world to regain our ancestral spiritual essence and raise community and universal awareness, practicing and generating:

-       Acknowledgement and respect for Mother Earth’s rights

-       Actions in daily community life, in balance and harmony with Mother Earth

-       The recovery of our Mother Earth’s health for humanity, practicing the health principles and values of our ancestral peoples and putting into practice ancestral actions acknowledging and respecting our own forms of living, forms characteristic of the indigenous peoples, with respect to Mother Earth.

-       Daily ancestral actions recognizing each other as brothers and sisters and acknowledging the duty to take care of Mother Earth in order to live well.

We put forward the following Draft Universal Declaration of Mother Earth’s Rights, for the peoples, nations, States and governments in the whole world:

Preamble

We, the peoples and nations of the world:

Considering that all and everyone is part of a system and a community that is interdependent and interrelated;

Gratefully acknowledging that Mother Earth gives us life, nourishes and teaches us and provides us with all that we need to live well

Convinced that Mother Earth is an indivisible community of diverse and interdependent beings with whom the peoples and nations of the world share a common destiny;

Recognizing that human beings under the capitalist system of predation, exploitation, abuse and pollution of Mother Earth have caused great destruction, degradation and disturbance of harmony with nature by putting at risk LIFE as we know it, as a result of phenomena such as climate change;

Convinced that in an interdependent system it is not possible to acknowledge the rights of the human part only without provoking imbalances in the whole system;

Noting that in order to guarantee human rights it is necessary to recognize and guarantee the rights of Mother Earth and reestablish harmony with nature;

The General Assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration of Mother Earth’s Rights as a common purpose that requires the endeavors of all peoples and nations of the world, regardless of their economic, social, religious and cultural rights must, so that both individuals and institutions, constantly being inspired by it, can promote, through teaching and creating awareness, respect for these rights and for them to guarantee, through measures and progressive mechanisms of national and international recognition, their universal and effective application, among peoples and nations of the Member States.

Article 1

Mother earth is a living system.

Mother Earth articulates everything to reproduce life. Mother Earth is an indivisible, self-regulated community of interrelated beings that are defined by their relationship with the system as a whole.

The fundamental rights of Mother Earth derive form the same source of existence and are inherent to all beings, and are therefore inalienable and uninfringeable.

All the components that integrate the Mother Earth system have the right to all fundamental rights acknowledged in this Declaration, without any kind of distinction, or discrimination such as organic and inorganic beings, species, origin, use for human beings, or any other condition.

Just as human beings have rights, all the components of Mother Earth also have rights that are specific for their condition and appropriate for their role and function within the systems in which they exist.

The rights of each part of the system are limited by the rights of other parts as far as what is necessary to maintain integrity, balance and the health of the system they share.I

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF MOTHER EARTH

Article 2

Right to life.

Article 3

Right to be respected, preserved, protected and looked after.

Article 4

Right to the regeneration of its biocapacity and the continuation of its cycles, structures and vital processes. Right to the respect of its essential processes. Each organism, according to its nature, has a place and a fundamental role in nature that must be respected for the adequate functioning of the system.

Article 5

Right to maintain their identity and integrity as differentiated, self-regulated and interrelated entities.

Article 6

Right to water as source of life.

Article 7

Right to clean air.

Article 8

Right to integral health.

Article 9

Right not to be contaminated, to be free of pollution, toxic and radioactive waste, not to be genetically altered and modified in its structure threatening  its integrity or vital and healthy functioning.

Article 10

Right not to suffer destruction provoked by war and nuclear and chemical weapons.

Article 11

Right to life in harmony. Mother Earth and everyone that integrates her must live in balance with one another according to their nature.

Article 12

Right to fair repair for the infringements of human beings of her rights acknowledged in this Declaration.

II

FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF HUMAN BEINGS OWED TO MOTHER EARTH

Article 13

Human beings and States have the responsibility of preventing from infringement of this Declaration and must:

  1. promote the acknowledgement, application and execution of the rights and obligations established in this Declaration;
  2. not affect the rights of Mother Earth through human actions;
  3. ensure that the search of human well being contributes to the well being of Mother Earth, now and in the future;
  4. elaboration and effective application of norms and laws for the defense, protection and preservation of Mother Earth;
  5. protect, restore and preserve the integrity of ecological systems;
  6. have the obligation not to cause damaging interruptions for the cycles, processes and vital ecological balances, that compromise genetic viability and continues survival of the species;
  7. guarantee that the damages cause by human infringements of the fundamental rights in this Declaration can be rectified and that those responsible account for the restoration and preservation of the integrity and healthy functioning of the affected parts of Mother Earth as a whole;
  8. allow and guarantee the right of people to defend the rights of Mother Earth and her different components.
  9. guarantee the measure of precaution and restriction of activities that may lead to the extinction of species, destruction of ecosystems or permanent alteration of natural cycles;

10.  promote production, protection and consumption systems in harmony with Mother Earth for living well;

11.  guarantee peace to preserve the integrity of nature and balance with Mother Earth;

12. balanced, responsible management and no overexploitation of natural resources;

13. promote and receive integral education with regards to Mother Earth and how to live in accordance with this Declaration;

14. express acknowledgement of Mother Earth in accordance with their ways and means.

15. guarantee the well being of every living being, regardless of their species as well as the right to live free of torture, cruelty and/or punishment.

Article 14

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted in a way as to derogate from the acknowledgement of other fundamental rights, liberties and duties of all beings or any being in particular.

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