A remarkable step has been taken by Bolivia to recognize the Earth as a source of life, one that is entitled to rights of protection to flourish.
Ley de Derechos de La Madre Tierra: The Law of Mother Earth. In a rather poetic fashion, Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly has passed a law that holds the land as sacred, a living system with rights to be protected from exploitation. The law outlines several distinguished rights for the environment throughout its ten articles, and was derived from a longer draft bill presented by the Pact of Unity in 2010.
The rule aligns with the philosophy of Pachamama, and states that:
“[Mother Earth] 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-organisation.”
Below are the seven specific rights guaranteed to Mother Earth and her constituent life systems, including human communities:
- Life: It is the right to the maintenance of the integrity of life systems and natural processes which sustain them, as well as the capacities and conditions for their renewal
- Diversity of Life: It is the right to the preservation of the differentiation and variety of the beings that comprise Mother Earth, without being genetically altered, nor artificially modified in their structure, in such a manner that threatens their existence, functioning and future potential
- Water: It is the right of the preservation of the quality and composition of water to sustain life systems and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Mother Earth and all its components
- Clean air: It is the right of the preservation of the quality and composition of air to sustain life systems and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Mother Earth and all its components
- Equilibrium: It is the right to maintenance or restoration of the inter-relation, interdependence, ability to complement and functionality of the components of Mother Earth, in a balanced manner for the continuation of its cycles and the renewal of its vital processes
- Restoration: It is the right to the effective and opportune restoration of life systems affected by direct or indirect human activities
- Live free of contamination: It is the right for preservation of Mother Earth and any of its components with regards to toxic and radioactive waste generated by human activities
Perhaps what resonates the most with this law is the idea that Mother Earth should be regarded as a life source, one that allows for us and countless other types of life to be sustained. In order to continue to access her goods that allow for us to exist, it is necessary that we protect and respect her.
We do not have a future if she does not survive. The mentality shown in Bolivia’s government could arguably serve the rest of the world well, bringing an end to the constant assault on Mother Earth.
Can we all adopt this mentality? Please comment, like, and share!
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