Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting "Mother Earth" equal rights to humans

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    Apr 12, 2011 5:23 AM GMT
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/10/bolivia-enshrines-natural-worlds-rights

    Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation

    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.

    The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, 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.

    Controversially, it will also 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".

    "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.

    But the abstract new laws are not expected to stop industry in its tracks. While it is not clear yet what actual protection the new rights will give in court to bugs, insects and ecosystems, the government is expected to establish a ministry of mother earth and to appoint an ombudsman. It is also committed to giving communities new legal powers to monitor and control polluting industries.
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    Apr 12, 2011 8:42 AM GMT
    this is awesome man USA should take notice . .

    man that's just pure beauty right there . .
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    Apr 12, 2011 10:30 AM GMT
    Love it! But I just can't see something like this ever taking place in the US.
  • alphatop

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    Apr 12, 2011 10:49 AM GMT
    This law should be implemented worldwide....but I guess that US will be against it, like it was against that Kyoto agreement..
  • sea_buddy

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    Apr 12, 2011 3:34 PM GMT
    Awesome!!! It starts with one. icon_smile.gif
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    Apr 12, 2011 3:50 PM GMT
    This is awesome.

    Don't forget that a similar revolution was the American adoption (in the 19th century) that gave corporations the same rights as natural persons. It changed thinking and thoroughly shaped our world.

    This is a step forward for humanity.
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    Apr 12, 2011 4:14 PM GMT
    It's a bunch of ludicrous double-talk and nonsense. Just another batshit crazy religion.
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    Apr 12, 2011 7:32 PM GMT
    But I support Father Earth.
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    Apr 12, 2011 9:42 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidIt's a bunch of ludicrous double-talk and nonsense. Just another batshit crazy religion.


    Wow, you miust really well understand what you're talking about
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    Apr 12, 2011 9:43 PM GMT
    O well, its not much dif from Bhutan, leave it to mountain people to have the most respect for the earth i guess
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    Apr 12, 2011 9:44 PM GMT
    True_Blue_Aussie saidBut I support Father Earth.


    Doesnt make much of a difference... its just a name, the principal of the thing is the same
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    Apr 12, 2011 10:59 PM GMT
    Sounds fascinating and awesome. If Bolivia can manage to find a balance between economy and nature, that might actually have some effect on the rest of the world's political decisions concerning climate and environment issues. *hopeful*
  • alphatop

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    Apr 13, 2011 5:39 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidIt's a bunch of ludicrous double-talk and nonsense. Just another batshit crazy religion.


    Aren't you lovely?icon_rolleyes.gif
  • commoncoll

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    Apr 13, 2011 6:16 AM GMT
    Can Bolivia afford this when it truly needs to industrialize itself especially with production of minerals and petroleum?

    More to the point, is this new law just lip-service? or does it confer actual limits?
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    Apr 13, 2011 6:27 AM GMT
    commoncoll saidCan Bolivia afford this when it truly needs to industrialize itself especially with production of minerals and petroleum?

    More to the point, is this new law just lip-service? or does it confer actual limits?

    I wonder that too.
    Read and understand carefully before giving "rights to trees". Giving mother earth equal rights is wonderful and all but you who are used to seeing food in your grocery stores, and gas in your petrol pumps, and function sewerage systems, and running cars and A/Cs and refrigerators can't do without mega-infrastructure or genetically modified food or the "blessings" from earth.

    Rather than stopping progress and damaging further its unstable economy, perhaps Bolivia should set out to make compromises between industries and make real and measurable goals for itself that may actually mean something.

    Protecting the environment is very important, but does this law represents an extreme case where the law really means nothing? How far will the ombudsman go in actually protecting the earth? You could argue farming also harms Mother Earth. How does that sound to you?
  • TrentGrad

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    Apr 13, 2011 6:28 AM GMT
    commoncoll saidCan Bolivia afford this when it truly needs to industrialize itself especially with production of minerals and petroleum?

    More to the point, is this new law just lip-service? or does it confer actual limits?


    I'm inclined to say it's probably the former...but as I haven't read the bill, I can't say for sure what is being proposed.
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    Apr 13, 2011 6:39 AM GMT
    Nature worship enshrined as law.

    Sounds pretty, but ultimately counter-productive.

    Man is greater than bugs or trees (although all have their place in the world)