24 Apr 2010
One of the key initiatives to emerge from the Bolivian 'World Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth' attended by 15,000 delegates from around the world is the 'Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth'. South African environmental lawyer, Cormac Cullinan, arrived at the summit this week with the draft declaration that has formed the basis of the discussions in Tiquipaya. He explains its purpose.
The conference, which has been very poorly covered by the international media, was convened by Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, as a challenge to the problematic Copenhagen Accord, which is threatening to dismantle the Kyoto Protocol.
Cullinan, who is also author of the book "Wild Law," says there's been widespread participation from many delegates at the conference who've made inputs into the drafting of the declaration that aims to establish the rights of the planet Earth, and is intended to compliment the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The current UN declaration only recognizes that human beings have inherent rights. What this proposed new declaration argues is that everything on planet Earth, including plants and animals have inherent rights too. Much of this declaration is about human responsibility to mother earth as well as the rights of the planet, says Cullinan.