Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ponca Casey Camp at Rights of Nature Summit Tribunal in Ecuador

Opening Ceremony of Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature – January 14, 2014 - Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca), Osprey Orielle Lake, Elise Garcia, Silver Donald Cameron and Cormac Cullinen.
Photo by Sister Patricia Siemen, OP
Update: Rights of Nature Tribunal hears 8 cases on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2014/01/ecuador-rights-of-nature-tribunal-hears.html

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
The Rights of Nature Summit and Tribunal is now underway in Ecuador. It follows the Rights of Mother Earth Conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010, and brings together Indigenous Peoples from around the world in defense of Mother Earth. Casey Camp, Ponca, is among those present.
Sister Elsie Garcia is providing news coverage of the summit and tribunal, which ends Friday, in Ecuador. Ecuador was the first country to enact the Rights of Nature as law.
“In our language, the word ‘rights’ doesn’t exist,” said Blanca Chancoso, a Kichwa leader from Cotacachi, Ecuador. “For us it translates to the power to live.” Read more of today's coverage http://ncronline.org/blogs/eco-catholic/indigenous-peoples-work-save-land-extinction
The Global Alliance for the Emergent 'Rights of Nature' movment announced the international summit and tribunal being held in Otavalo and Quito, Ecuador, Jan.. 13 -- 17, 2014. This statement was issued:
Key leaders of the emergent nature rights movement are holding an international summit in Ecuador on January 13-17, 2014. Its twofold purpose is to analyze the experiences of communities in Ecuador, Bolivia, and United States that have already implemented “Rights of Nature” laws and to devise a unified global strategy for advancing the Rights of Nature movement around the world.

The summit will conclude on Friday, January 17, with a public Tribunal in Quito where key Rights of Nature cases will be heard, including the Chevron/Texaco case in Ecuador, the oil exploitation of Yasuní-ITT in Ecuador’s rainforest, and the threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Drawing on precedents established in other successful Rights of Nature cases – such as the one finding that the rights of the Vilcabamba River had been violated by pollution – the Tribunal will model how to adjudicate the rights of nature in courts of law.
The four-dozen principals attending the summit represent diverse disciplines, cultures, nations, and bioregions as part of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. Among the attendees are Indian physicist Vandana Shiva, South African lawyer and author Cormac Cullinan, North American indigenous leader Tom Goldtooth, former Bolivian U.N. ambassador Pablo Solón, Canadian aboriginal actress Tantoo Cardinal, and U.S. community rights attorney Thomas Linzey. The group as a whole is comprised of economists, lawyers, scientists, indigenous leaders, community activists, nuns, actors, authors, and public officials hailing from Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, Spain, Canada, India, Romania, Bolivia, Argentina, and England, as well as Ecuador.
The summit marks the first time leaders of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature are coming together since 2010 when they created the organization as a vehicle to help advance the cutting edge work that each was carrying out in his or her home country. The historic 2010 gathering that forged the Global Alliance also was held in Ecuador, the first nation in the world to adopt Rights of Nature in its Constitution, in 2008.
The Tribunal will be held on Friday, January 17, at Hotel Quito, in Quito, where the Global Alliance will also host a Press Conference to report the results of the summit and next steps for the Rights of Nature movement. The Press Conference is at 10:30 am. The Tribunal will consider seven cases and run from 8:30 am to 17:00 pm. Press kits for the Tribunal will be available.
“The Rights of Nature movement is a response in the order of magnitude necessary to end the legalized plundering that is ravaging our planet and imperiling our young and the young of all species,” says Robin R. Milam, Administrative Director of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature. “By recognizing nature’s right to exist and thrive, people can assert those rights on nature’s behalf, rejecting actions that permit harmful, unwanted development in their communities.”
Rights of Nature: Background
The Rights of Nature movement draws on indigenous wisdom in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.
“A 40-year regime of environmental laws in the United States and other industrial nations has failed to protect against the escalating ravages evident around the world, including decimated species, depleted forest reserves, water shortages, and record-breaking hurricanes,” says Robin R. Milam, Administrative Director of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature. “An entirely new approach is needed.”
Recognizing the rights of nature, which humans would have standing to enforce, reflects a shift in consciousness away from a legal system that treats nature as property for human use. “It is akin to the shift in consciousness – and change in laws – that took place when people said we should stop treating women, enslaved, or indigenous people as property,” Milam said. “And it is foundational: Human rights are meaningless without fresh water to drink, clean air to breath, safe food to eat.”
Local municipalities in the United States were the first to adopt laws establishing legal structures that recognized Rights of Nature, beginning in 2006 with Tamaqua Borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Since then more than two-dozen U.S. communities have adopted local laws recognizing Rights of Nature, including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which in November of 2010 became the first major municipality in the United States to do so.
In September 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize Rights of Nature in its constitution and Bolivia enacted a law that recognizes rights of Mother Earth.
Nearly 100 grassroots organizations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe are members of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature, advancing the Rights of Nature movement in their municipalities, counties, provinces, and countries.
The Rights of Nature movement is grounded conceptually in an understanding that humans are one part of an interdependent community of life on Earth. Human existence—in all its social, economic, industrial, cultural, and governmental manifestations—is wholly dependent on the health of rivers, plants, animals, oceans, forests, atmosphere, microbes, and other ecosystems and beings that with us comprise our living planet.
Beyond enlightened self-interest, the Rights of Nature movement also emerges philosophically and spiritually out of a sense of the wonder and awe that the natural world has inspired in humans for millennia, captured in art, music, and poetry—and our sense of the sacred.
For more, see Global Alliance for Rights of Nature at www.therightsofnature.org
CONTACT: Robin R. Milam
530.272.4322/Nature@TheRightsofNature.org

AUSTRALIA: NEWS RELEASE - AUSTRALIA'S GREAT BARRIER REEF TO FEATURE IN WORLD FIRST 'RIGHTS OF NATURE' PEOPLE'S TRIBUNAL AT INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT, ECUADOR

OTAVALO and QUITO, ECUADOR: JANUARY 13-17, 2014

Key leaders of an emergent legal rights movement are holding an international summit in Ecuador on January 13-17, 2014. Its twofold purpose is to analyze the experiences of communities in the United States, Ecuador and Bolivia that have already implemented “Rights of Nature” laws and to devise a unified global strategyfor advancing the Rights of Nature movement around the world.

The summit will conclude on Friday, January 17, with a public Tribunal in Quito where key Rights of Nature cases will be heard, including the Chevron/Texaco case in Ecuador, the oil exploitation of Yasunni-ITT in Ecuador’s rainforest and the threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Drawing on precedents established in other successful Rights of Nature cases, such as Ecuador’s Vilcabamba River case, which found that the rights of the river had been violated by pollution, the Tribunal will model how to adjudicate the rights of nature in courts of law.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is being featured in one of the hearings, as government sanctioned coal port expansion and other industrial developments along the Queensland coast threaten the world’s largest reef system. In 2012 and 2013, UNESCO issued warnings to the Australian government that if these developments continue, the reef might have to be added to the ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list. The Federal Government, and Queensland State Government, have continued to approve development plans along the Queensland coastline. The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA), an Australian based NGO and founding member of the Global Alliance, will lead the hearing at the public Tribunal in Quito, Ecuador.

The four-dozen principals attending the summit represent diverse disciplines, cultures, nations, and bioregions as part of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. Among the attendees are Indian physicist Vandana Shiva, South African lawyer and author Cormac Cullinan, North American indigenous leader Tom Goldtooth, former Bolivian U.N. ambassador Pablo Solón, Canadian aboriginal actress Tantoo Cardinal, and U.S. community rights attorney Thomas Linzey. The group as a whole is comprised of economists, lawyers, scientists, indigenous leaders, community activists, nuns, actors, authors, and public officials hailing from Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, United States, Spain, Canada, India, Romania, Bolivia, and England, as well as Ecuador.

The summit marks the first time leaders of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature are coming together since 2010 when they created the organization as a vehicle to help advance the cutting edge work being carried out in their home countries. The historic 2010 gathering that forged the Global Alliance also was held in Ecuador, the first nation in the world to adopt Rights of Nature in its Constitution, in 2008.

The Tribunal will be held on Friday, January 17, at Hotel Quito, in Quito, where the Global Alliance will also host a Press Conference to report the results of the summit and next steps for the Rights of Nature movement. The Press Conference is at 10:30 am. The Tribunal will consider seven cases and run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Press kits for the Tribunal will be available.

“The Rights of Nature movement is a response in the order of magnitude necessary to end the legalized plundering that is ravaging our planet and imperiling our young and the young of all species,” says Robin R. Milam, coordinator of the summit and Administrative Director of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature. “By recognizing nature’s right to exist and thrive, people can assert those rights on nature’s behalf, rejecting actions that permit harmful, unwanted development in their communities.”

RIGHTS OF NATURE - BACKGROUND

The Rights of Nature movement draws on indigenous wisdom in positing a new jurisprudence that recognizes the right of nature in all its forms to exist, persist, evolve and regenerate.

“A 40-year regime of environmental laws in the United States and other industrial nations has failed to protect against the escalating ravages evident around the world, including decimated species, depleted forest reserves, water shortages, and record-breaking hurricanes,” says Robin R. Milam, Administrative Director of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature. “An entirely new approach is needed.”

Recognizing the rights of nature, which humans would have standing to enforce, reflects a shift in consciousness away from a legal system that treats nature as property for human use. “It is akin to the shift in consciousness – and change in laws – that took place when people said we should stop treating women, enslaved, or indigenous people as property,” Milam said. “And it is foundational: Human rights are meaningless without fresh water to drink, clean air to breath, safe food to eat.”

Local municipalities in the United States were the first to adopt laws establishing legal structures that recognized Rights of Nature, beginning in 2006 with Tamaqua Borough in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Since then more than two-dozen U.S. communities have adopted local laws recognizing Rights of Nature, including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which in November of 2010 became the first major municipality in the United States to do so.

In September 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize Rights of Nature in its constitution and Bolivia is in the process of implementing laws recognizing these rights.
Nearly 100 grassroots organizations in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe are members of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature, advancing the Rights of Nature movement in their municipalities, counties, provinces, and countries.

In Australia, the Australian Earth Laws Alliance is working with local communities to explore the potential of locally based Rights of Nature frameworks in the local context.

The Rights of Nature movement is grounded conceptually in an understanding that humans are one part of an interdependent community of life on Earth. Human existence—in all its social, economic, industrial, cultural, and governmental manifestations—is wholly dependent on the health of rivers, plants, animals, oceans, forests, atmosphere, microbes, and other ecosystems and beings that with us comprise our living planet.

Beyond enlightened self-interest, the Rights of Nature movement also emerges philosophically and spiritually out of a sense of the wonder and awe that the natural world has inspired in humans for millennia, captured in art, music, and poetry—and our sense of the sacred.

CONTACT - Michelle Maloney, National Convenor, Australian Earth Laws Alliance (convenor@earthlaws.org.au)

For more information, see the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature atwww.therightsofnature.org and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance atwww.earthlaws.org.au

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