Photo courtesy of Wake Up World
On July 15th Global Exchange released a (free!) report, Rights of Nature: Planting Seeds of Real Change, on Rights of Nature versus the Green Economy. Each of the 13 chapters features a different author, providing an in-depth look at why Rights of Nature is a truly “green” and sustainable answer to preserve our planet and its natural resources.
Why the Green Economy Is Not the Best Answer
The Green Economy is a new strategy that will commodify Nature through the sale of “ecosystem services.” The report’s introduction points out that “the human connection to the rest of our living system is not contained in the calculation of the ‘flow of value to human societies.’ And intensifying the same failed strategies [through the Green Economy] that have driven us to the tipping point will never protect nature.”
The first chapter explains that as long as we stick with the mindset that Nature is a “thing” for human use and benefit, “we are limited to merely slowing down the rate of destruction.” Rights of Nature changes this mindset by granting Mother Earth “the right not to be destroyed by human activity.”
Ecuador as an Example of Implementing Rights of Nature
As you may know, Ecuador is the first country to have implemented Rights of Nature into its constitution. The report cites Ecuador as an example of the benefits and challenges of implementing Rights of Nature into law.
While positive progress has been made in terms of respecting Rights of Nature, there have been some infringements. For example, a Provincial Court ruled in favor of the Vilcabamba River that was negatively affected by a road widening project and a “Judiciary for Nature” has been created. On the other hand, oil extraction and metal mining is still allowed to take place, despite its direct infringements on the rights of Mother Nature.
Take Action for a Better Relationship with Nature
The report also points out how the stark contrast between the Green Economy and Rights of Nature is representative of the contrast between Western schools of thought and those of indigenous peoples. Not only does the Green Economy insult the indigenous people’s connection with and valuing of Mother Nature, but directly affects and harms their livelihood.
Now check out the incredibly informative report that we sampled from in this blog post. Your next step is to take a stand for Nature by signing the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature’s petition to say yes to Rights of Nature!