Bolivia To Grant Nature Equal Rights To Humans

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

CA TreeHugger writes this morning at dKos that “Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.”

According to an article at, the law will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.

The law will enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

The Guardian’s article also notes that:

“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro GarcĂ­a Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”

The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.


Evo Morales, Latin America’s first indigenous president, has become an outspoken critic in the UN of industrialised countries which are not prepared to hold temperatures to a 1C rise.


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    • Edger on April 11, 2011 at 15:29

    Somebody has to stop these goddamn socialist freaks before they wreck everything!

    — Haf Thewerld

    Hav You Ever Seen The Rain?

    Do you have any f’ing idea what the rain can do? Do You? It’ll wash away all the pavement fer gawdsakes!”

  1. what she deserves.  This should be called “Mother’s Day.”

  2. crosspost at GOS?

  3. passed a similar law about two years ago. I am overjoyed

    that we see the spirit of indigenous people making its presence felt. The love and respect of nature carries over to other human beings as well. This is a joyous occasion.

    Que viva el espiritu de la tierra!

  4. for giving judicial recognition to nature.

    Here’s a quote from Justice William O. Douglass’s dissent in Sierra Club v. Morton.  “Standing” means that the plaintiff has a sufficient interest in the outcome of a case to meet the standard under the Constitution that there be a “case and controversy.”  Justice D argued that natural features should be recognized as capable of such protecdtion:

    In his dissenting opinion in the landmark environmental law case, Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972), Justice Douglas famously, and most colorfully argued that “inanimate objects” should have standing to sue in court:

    The critical question of “standing” would be simplified and also put neatly in focus if we fashioned a federal rule that allowed environmental issues to be litigated before federal agencies or federal courts in the name of the inanimate object about to be despoiled, defaced, or invaded by roads and bulldozers and where injury is the subject of public outrage. Contemporary public concern for protecting nature’s ecological equilibrium should lead to the conferral of standing upon environmental objects to sue for their own preservation. This suit would therefore be more properly labeled as Mineral King v. Morton. …

    Inanimate objects are sometimes parties in litigation. A ship has a legal personality, a fiction found useful for maritime purposes. The corporation sole – a creature of ecclesiastical law – is an acceptable adversary and large fortunes ride on its cases…. So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life. The river, for example, is the living symbol of all the life it sustains or nourishes – fish, aquatic insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear, and all other animals, including man, who are dependent on it or who enjoy it for its sight, its sound, or its life. The river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological unit of life that is part of it.


    I was going to write a full essay about this, but alas, my time for the next few days is extremely limited.  Hence, this comment.

  5. beautiful and so heart-warming.  

    Bravo to those people who choose to pay homage to the earth!

    Would that we could believe . . . . . other than wars!

  6. I have been saying for years, we need to look South if we want to change the World. We need to listen and learn from our Southern American brothers and sisters.

    No matter how much we interfere, the people always come back in favor of one another, and in favor of sane sustainabilty rather than exploitation.

    Gotta love Evo and Hugo.

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