Bolivia Creates Legal Rights for the Earth

January 24, 2016 Law Research

Bolivia has taken a big step for environmental law. According a recent report, Bolivia has become the first country to give nature legal rights. This was put in place as an effort to put an end to climate change, exploitation of the environment, and improve the quality of life for all people in Bolivia. The new law is to be called the Law of Mother Earth.

Bolivia’s idea for the law

The idea of giving nature legal rights was created by grassroots social groups that worked together and presented their ideas to politicians. In the Law of Mother Earth, Bolivia has agreed to recognize the rights of all living beings, plant and animal, and to give equal status to all human beings.

bolivia grants legal rights to the earth

 

The proposal for the new law states:

“Living Well means adopting forms of consumption, behaviour and conduct that are not degrading to nature. It requires an ethical and spiritual relationship with life. Living Well proposes the complete fulfilment of life and collective happiness.”

 

The plans for this law are still developing. So far, legislation has agreed to provide the Earth with:

  • The rights to life and regeneration
  • Liberation from genetic modifications and biodiversity
  • Naturally balance systems
  • Complete the restoration from the effects of human activity
  • Freedom from continual contamination
  • The right to pure water and clean air

 

The most important part of this legislation is the understanding that the Earth is a sacred space, and we should be moving toward a more harmonious way of living. The Earth is especially sacred to the indigenous people of the Andean mountains who still view the Earth as a living being. There are roughly over 3 million people belonging to 36 different indigenous groups, and a majority of them are small scale farmers. Creating a bill to protect the environment will improve their livelihood and reduce the impact of industrial areas on the environment that surrounds them.

 

The Bolivian government is working to get other countries onboard when it comes to providing legal rights to the Earth, and to recognize the effects that global warming, climate change, and waste has on the environment. In addition, their government has become an advocate for peace and the elimination of all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons worldwide.
Bolivia is taking a big step forward when it comes to environmental law. Creating these laws will help to preserve and restore what the Earth has already given to the people of this area for future generations to enjoy. We will continue to watch and see if their laws to protect Mother Earth will influence other countries to follow suit.

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