By Catherine Eade
Last updated at 9:41 PM on 12th April 2011
Bolivia is drawing up a draft UN treaty which would give Mother Earth the same rights as humans, including the right to life, to pure water and clean air.
The South American country wants the UN to recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to ‘dominate and exploit’.
It aims to establish 11 new rights for nature which include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.
Bolivia’s large indigenous population is ruled by Latin America’s first indigenous president Evo Morales, who was elected in 2006.
Morales is an outspoken critic in the UN of countries which are not prepared to limit climate change by holding temperatures to a 1C rise.
Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, Pablo Salon, says his country seeks to achieve harmony with nature, and hinted that mining and other companies would come under greater scrutiny.
The treaty will also enshrine the right of nature to ‘not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities’.
The radical new conservation measures have been drawn up to reduce pollution and control industry.
In a pamphlet circulated soon after his election Morales drew up 10 ‘commandments’ as part of Bolivia’s plan to save the planet, beginning with the need ‘to end capitalism.’
Bolivia has suffered from serious environmental problems from the mining of tin, silver, gold and other raw materials, and the government has admitted that existing laws are not strong enough to protect the country.
Perhaps if Mother Earth gets some rights and recognition…women will as well…without having to fight and struggle.