The Council of Canadians and partners will be launching in New York City – likely on Thursday April 21 – a new book titled The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. The book includes writings from movement leaders and activists, including Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, Vandana Shiva, Cormac Cullinan, and Pablo Solon. The book has been produced in partnership with Global Exchange, Navdanya, EnAct International, and Fundacion Pachamama.
Barlow recently stated, “We hope that one day a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth will stand as the companion to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as one the guiding covenants of our time.”
On April 22, 2009, Bolivian President Evo Morales called on the United Nations General Assembly to develop a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. On December 22 of that year, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution that called on all countries and the Secretary General to share their experiences and perspectives on how to create ‘harmony with nature’. A draft Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth was then developed at the ‘World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth’ in Cochabamba, Bolivia on April 19-23, 2010. That draft declaration was presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York on May 7 of that year. The UN General Assembly session on how to create ‘harmony with nature’, first proposed in April 2009, is now expected to take place at the UN General Assembly this Wednesday April 20. The Council of Canadians will be present at this historic debate and reporting on the proceedings.