Mother Earth To Be Given Rights Equal to Humans In New Bolivian Law


Pachamama, the goddess revered by indigenous Andean people as 'Mother World'. Image: Wikipedia.

A brief update on a story from a year ago: Bolivia is about to pass laws granting all of nature equal rights to human beings. The laws were first proposed after the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth and show the deep differences in zeitgeist between Bolivia and, well, pretty much every other nation-state on the planet.Rights enshrined into law 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".(The Guardian)

The new law goes on to articulate how Mother Earth, Pachamama 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-organization."

That view is rooted in the indigenous beliefs of the Bolivian people and has much in common with the beliefs of indigenous peoples throughout the world--and while described somewhat differently, is roughly similar to traditional Hindu beliefs about all of existence being sacred, worthy of reverence, as well as pre-Christian beliefs of European peoples.

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Tags: Bolivia | Environmental Justice | Religion

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