Bolivia's Government has been attracting alot of attention lately and as it gets set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans it will attract a lot more . The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and social groups in Bolivia is a massive redefinition of rights. It redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings”, and it is expected to lead to a major shift in conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry in a country that has been ravaged for its resources for years.
At the Cancun talks Bolivia was a sole voice when it proclaimed that the entire process was farcical and that the developing nations were not only bearing the brunt of climate change but the new guidelines meant that they were cutting their carbon emissions more as well .
The Law of Mother Earth will establish 11 new rights for nature including: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. It will also ensure 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”.
Vice President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.Earth is the mother of all ”
Bolivia's constitution was changed in 2009 after Evo Morales’s won both houses of parliament. This is not such a radical move as it may be in the US or elsewhere as this was the 17th time it had been changed.Evo Morales is Latin America's first indigenous president and he is an outspoken critic in the UN of industrialised countries which are not prepared to hold temperatures to a 1C rise. Understandably as the impact of the current degree of warming ( as per Cancun) would be 3.5 to 4 degrees increase and this means major desertification for much of Bolivia.
This change and these laws reflect a resurgent indigenous Andean world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life.This world view considers humans equal to all other entities.
Bolivia has long suffered from serious environmental problems from the mining of tin, silver, gold and other raw materials.
Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said Bolivia’s traditional indigenous respect for the Pachamama was vital to prevent climate change. “Our grandparents taught us that we belong to a big family of plants and animals. We believe that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. We indigenous people can contribute to solving the energy, climate, food and financial crises with our values,” he said.
In the indigenous 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. She is comprised of all ecosystems and living beings, and their self-organisation.”
This is almost Avatar come written into a legal form!
Bolivia has, like many developing nations , gotten the raw end of the climate change battle. As a country they face melting glaciers and more extreme weather events including more frequent floods, droughts, frosts and mudslides.This was the point being made by the Bolivian Ambassador.
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