Posted On Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 02:58:57 AM
|Lapaz: Bolivia, a country long suffering from rising temperatures, melting glaciers, extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and mudslides, is set to pass the world’s first laws granting nature equal rights to humans.
The Law of Mother Earth, when passed, is expected to usher in a radical new conservation policy against pollution and exploitation.
Agreed upon by politicians and social groups, it redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings”, according to The Guardian.
Perhaps most beautifully, the law will enshrine nature’s right “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.
The proposed law underlines 11 new rights for nature. These 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 structures modified or genetically altered.
“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all,” said Bolivia’s Vice President, Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature.”
The law forms has been influenced by an indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity, known as Pachamama, at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities, The Guardian report said. According to the philosophy, the Pachamama is a living being. The draft of the new law states: “She is sacred, fertile and the source of life that feeds and cares for all living beings in her womb. She is in permanent balance, harmony and communication with the cosmos.”
While it is unclear what protection the new law will give in court to the ecosystems, the report said the government is expected to establish a ministry of mother earth and will grant communities new legal powers to monitor and control polluting industries. With President Evo Morales’s party enjoying a comfortable majority in parliament, the law is not expected to meet with any opposition, the report added.