Rights of Nature:
Paris: an inspirational visit!
April 16, 2014
Dear reader, lately I have been traveling a lot, mainly to Paris, for new projects and developing others. Working on for instance Rights of Nature. What and how? You'll find out here off course.
Let me first start with a bit of a history about my ties to Paris. Back in 2009, I was campaigning for Yasuni-ITT in Copenhagen during the climate change conference of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC). There, I met a very inspiring women; Samantha Novella from Nature Rights, living and working in Paris. So, in 2010, somewhere in March, I went to Paris to meet her and see what we could do together for Yasuni-ITT. We started a campaign and organized an event during the Cannes film festival. It was inspiring and fun, with people being painted with two stripes of green and blue on their cheeks. An inspirational event and time.
Since then I hardly spoke with her due to our own (career and personal) lives. However, three weeks ago, I ended up in Paris and met her again. It was too long ago and I realized what amazing work we did together and what possible other inspiring initiatives lie ahead. I could only stay for two days since I had to go back to the Netherlands on wednesday to present the Hivos bioslurry publication at Pakhuis de Zwijger during a debate on the topic of waste, water, and poo. However, a week later I took the train back again, because it was too short and so Samantha and I worked on our ideas for Rights of Nature and Yasuni-ITT 2.0. Well, about Yasuni-ITT I have written already in other blogs (The Yasuní-ITT Initiative: forgone, but not forgotten! & Into the jungle: a travel diary of Yasuní) and on another website (The Broker Online), so I won't go into details. But I will say something about Rights of Nature, because Yasuni-ITT is related to that.
So what is rights of nature?
The rights of nature often refers to that nature has itself intrinsic rights to be as it is and not to be violated or destructed by human means and acting. It seemed an idealistic utopia, but this is no longer the case since it is step by step becoming a reality through many initiatives in different domains and regions. What may seem like an ideal and irrealistic dream is now becoming an absolute necessity in a couple of years. Back in 2008, when Ecuador included the rights for nature in its constitution (Art. 71), it seemed to be lonely in the desert. Yet, it was the inspiration for the beginning of a worldwide shift in terms of consciousness and legal possibilities.
Moreover, it was followed by the conference of Cochabamba in Bolivia (2010) where the rights of mother earth were declared by the name of “Pachamama” and has been signed and promoted worldwide by many different organizations and personalities, including Vandana Shiva. These initiatives may have sprung from spiritual and ethical values, the rights of mother earth seem also to be embedded within human rights. Indeed, these initiatives, and similar ones, spurred other legal and pragmatic initiatives all over the globe in order to protect the rights of nature and the basic right to a healthy and clean environment.
These visions and ideas seem to become more common by the day, even in politics and political parties. This sheds light and gives me hope and positive energy in times when we are about to fall over the cliff of ecosystem, economic, and society collapses. My idea has been already for a while to write a book about these initiatives on rights of nature while also campaigning for it together with those already involved. And so, Samantha and I meet each other for this. Therefore, my trip to Paris seems to have been a worthy one, driven by positive eco solutions. I wonder, what's next? What will come to us? What will become to our planet? Will we be able to be on time? I believe we can! Let's do this! The time is now to act!
So, I ask you here: what is your solution? Comment below and win a special prize from LES which is off course sustainable in terms of ecology and time.