Bolivia Gives Legal Rights To Mother Earth [video]

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Many people today will say that humans have grown disconnected from nature. My question is why? What causes people to have a thought process like that when we ourselves are nature? Most studies on human behavior will tell you that the surrounding environment you are in shapes who you are. In this case it seems to tie back to our socio-economic system and the encouragement it creates for companies to exploit the natural world for corporate gain.

With that said, we seem to be living through a shift in human consciousness driven out of sheer need now. The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) states that we are already feeling the pressure of climate change.

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Protest at the World People's Conference

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The people of Bolivia are struggling with rising temperatures, melting glaciers and extreme weather such as floods, droughts, mudslides and more. For decades now negative environmental and health consequences from mining silver, gold, tin, copper, lead and other commercially prized metals has been well-known. According to Science Daily “Wind erosion of the spoil heaps and transport of ore by uncovered trucks or trains, or even in taxis or private cars, from the mines to the processing plants and foundries outside the town, spread metal trace elements in the form of particles. These, often extremely fine and the most highly toxic form, are dispersed over quite long distances.”

Bolivia now aims to make revolutionary changes by becoming the first country ever to give legal rights to nature. The legislation was developed by grassroots social groups and agreed on by lawmakers/politicians. The Law of Mother Earth gives the natural world equal status to humans.

The idea of this new legislation is beautiful because it is based on values of living in harmony with the Earth and prioritizing the “collective good”. Basically, putting life first, not monetary gain. The core of these changes is born from the native Andean peoples worldview that everything in nature from people to plants is intimately connected as one. This is known as “Pachamama”.

The doors opened for full legislation when Bolivia’s national congress passed the initial act that outlined these rights in 2010. Mother Earth is defined as an “indivisible community of all living systems and living organisms, interrelated, interdependent and complementary, which share a common destiny.”

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