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Law of the Rights of Mother Earth


Cat Fletcher (founder of Freegle) signs petition

Satish Kumar (Indian activist and Editor of Resurgence) signs petition

Christine & the yarn bombing crew at work

To get involved in this project;

  1. Join the team on the 3rd Saturday of the month at the Green Centre. See details in our Green Diary.
  2. Join our Facebook page: Law of the Rights of Mother Earth - UK
  3. Volunteer remotely. Contact us:motherearth@thegreencentre.co.uk

Read more about this project;

On the 15th October 2012, Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, officially declared the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth. The law establishes a bill of rights for the natural world. The law identifies 7 specific rights to which Mother Earth, including ecosystems and human communities, is entitled to;

  • To life
  • To the diversity of life
  • To water
  • To clean air
  • To equilibrium
  • To restoration
  • To live free of contamination

The law is considered to be the first instance of environmental law that gives legal personhood to the natural system. An effort is underway to have the United Nations pass a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights based on the Bolivian Law.

Bolivia is a developing country and has a poverty level of 53%, despite being one of the richest countries in South America in terms of minerals and natural resources. The natural environment is extremely diverse and includes tropical rainforest, altiplano, salt flats and tropical savannah,and has one of the highest biodiversity levels on the planet. Its main economic activities include agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining. The Bolivian population is multi-ethnic, with 38 official languages hinting at the cultural diversity.

It is no wonder, then, that Bolivia has recognised the importance of its natural resources which not only provide the majority of Bolivianos with their living, but are also of worldwide importance due to one of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet and the essential rainforest carbon storage.

What are we doing at the Green Centre?

The Green Centre has followed the progress of the Bolivian Government since 2010. We are campaigning for better protection for the UK environment. The UK depends on agriculture for roughly 60% of our food needs. The UK may not list rainforest among its ecosystems, but there are a number of unique species and habitats including cold water coral reefs, salt marshes and chalk downlands.

Some protection of habitats and species is provided by the EC Habitats Directive; however we feel that this does not go far enough as it only provide protection for listed areas and species. The Law of the Rights of Mother Earth UK would provide coverage of the whole of the country, including off-shore areas, which would safeguard our country against unsustainable and destructive processes such as fracking, GM modified crops and intensive farming.

So far the Green Centre has;

  • Pursued a political camapign for 18 months, inlcuding discussion with MP Caroline Lucas, the submission of a Parliamentary Question from MP Mike Weatherley including an answer from Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Lord de Mauley, a Government e-petition and a paper petition raising awareness of the campaign.
  • Following a review in 2015, we decided to refocus our energies and pursue a bottom up approach to our campaign. We have chosen Law 3, the Right to Water, as the focus of our campaign, beginning with the protection of our water personally, locally and globally.