Bolivia's Law of Mother Earth's Rights
Dec 20, 2010

The Plurinational State of Bolivia has passed the Law of Mother’s Earth Rights on December 7th. This Law had to be presented in Cancun with the aim of strengthening Bolivia’s position in climate change negotiations. However, it seems that the Bolivian President Evo Morales did not have the opportunity to deliver it in the COP16.

Although we don’t believe that humans can give rights to the planet, it reflects the cosmic vision of some indigenous peoples for which the planet is a living system that deserves respect and care. This Law is important for environmental ends because it can be used by environmentalists to demand better environmental policies from the government, particularly for halting the highly damaging projects that the government is carrying on, the increasing rates of deforestation, loss of biodiversity and land degradation.

In our opinion the most important provision of this Law is the creation of the Mother’s Earth ombudsman. The idea of an Environmental Ombudsman was included in PRODENA’s proposal for the new Constitution. However this proposition did not got enough support by the Constitutional Assembly.

The new ombudsman has the mission of taking care of the rights of the Mother Earth, and for their promotion, dissemination and enforcement. This is a very positive step forward because it creates the possibility to advocate and defend environmental issues in a more effective way, in a country where environmental conflicts are rising, environmental justice doesn’t exist and the judiciary system is totally controlled by the executive power.

Attached is the Spanish version of this Law.

1 Comment
Great work!
6:11pm - Dec 22, 2010

Hi Teresa,

This seems like a real step in the right direction. Let us know how the position of the Ombudsman turns out. We may be able to share the experience of other countries which have tried this model based on our research.

Keep up the good work!

  • joe

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