Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth

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Bolivia's Law of Mother Earth (Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra) is a law passed in 2011 that is "the world's first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country's rich mineral deposits as "blessings" and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.enshrines the rights of nature."[1]

Language of the Law

This law stipulates:[2][3]

Article 1. (OBJECTIVE) This law has the objective of recognizing the rights of the Mother Earth, and the obligations and duties of the Plurinational State and society has to ensure respect for these rights.
Article 2. (PRINCIPLES). Binding principles that govern this law are:
1. Harmony. Human activities within the framework of plurality and diversity, must achieve dynamic balance with the cycles and processes inherent in Mother Earth.
2. Collective Good. The interest of society, within the framework of the rights of Mother Earth, are prevalent in all human activity and any right obtained.
3. Guarantee of Regeneration of Mother Earth. All levels of the state and society, in harmony with the common interest, must ensure the necessary conditions so that the diverse life systems of Mother Earth can absorb damage, adapt to shocks, and regenerate without significantly affecting their structural and functional characteristics, recognizing that living systems are limited in their ability to regenerate, and that humankind is limited in its ability to reverse its actions.
4. Respect and defend the rights of Mother Earth. The State and any individual or collective respects, protects, and guarantees the rights of Mother Earth so that all current and future generations can Live Well.
5. No commercialization. Systems of life cannot be commodified, nor can the processes that support them, nor can they serve as anyone’s private property.
6. Multiculturalism. The exercise of the rights of Mother Earth requires the recognition, recovery, respect, protection and dialogue of the diversity of values, knowledge, skills, practices, skills, transcendence, transformation, science, technology and standards, of all world cultures who seek to live in harmony with nature.
Article 3. (MOTHER EARTH). Mother Earth is a living system, dynamically shaped by the community, an indivisible part of all living systems and living beings, interrelated, interdependent and complementary, which shares a common destiny.
Mother Earth is considered sacred, from the cosmology of indigenous peasant nations and peoples.
Article 4. (LIFE SYSTEMS). These are complex and dynamic communities of plants, animals, micro organisms and other beings and their environment, where human communities interact with the rest of nature as a functional unit under the influence of climatic, physiographic and geological as well as the productive practices, and cultural diversity of the Bolivians, and the cosmology of peasant indigenous peoples and nations, intercultural, and Afro-Bolivian communities.
Article 5. (LEGAL STATUS OF MOTHER EARTH). For purposes of protection of her rights, Mother Earth takes on the character of the collective subject of public interest. Mother Earth and all its components including human communities own all the inherent rights recognized in this Act. The implementation of the rights of Mother Earth take into account the specifications and particularities of its various components. The rights established in this Act do not limit the existence of other rights of Mother Earth.
Article 6. (EXERCISE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE MOTHER EARTH). All Bolivians and Bolivia, as part of the community of creatures that make up Mother Earth, exercise rights under this Act, in a form compatible with their individual and collective rights.
The exercise individual rights and individual rights are limited by the exercise of collective rights in the life systems of Mother Earth, and any conflict between these rights should be resolved in a manner that does not irreversibly affect the functionality life systems.
I. Mother Earth has the following rights:
1. A life: The right to maintain the integrity of the systems of life and natural processes that sustain and the capacity and conditions for regeneration.
2. A diversity of life: It is the right to preserve the differentiation and variety of creatures that make up Mother Earth, without genetically altering or modifying its structure artificially, in such a form that it threatens their existence, functioning and future potential.
3. Water: The right to preservation of the functionality of water cycles, of its existence in the quantity and quality necessary to sustain life systems, and protection against pollution, for the reproduction of the life of Mother Earth and all components.
4. Clean air: The right to preservation and composition of air quality for sustaining the livelihoods and protection from pollution, for the reproduction of life of Mother Earth and all its components.
5. Equilibrium: The right of maintenance or restoration of the interrelation, interdependence, complementarity and functionality of all of Mother Earth’s components in a balanced way for the continuation of their cycles and the reproduction of their life processes.
6.Restoration: The right to timely and effectively restore the livelihoods affected by direct or indirect human activities.
7. Life Free of Pollution: The right to preservation of Mother Earth free of pollution or any of its components, as well as toxic and radioactive residuals generated by human activities.
Article 8. (PLURINATIONAL STATE OBLIGATIONS). The Plurinational State,at all levels and geographical areas and across all its authorities and institutions, has the following duties:
1. Develop public policies and systematic preventive actions, early alerts, protection, precaution, to prevent the human activities that cause the extinction of living populations, alteration of cycles and processes that ensure the life or the destruction of life systems, systems that include the cultures that are part of Mother Earth.
2. Develop ways of production and balanced consumption patterns for the satisfaction of the needs of the Bolivian people to live well, while safeguarding the integrity and regenerative cycles, processes and vital balance of Mother Earth.
3. Develop policies at the multinational and international levels to protect Mother Earth from overexploitation of its components, the commodification of life systems or processes that support life, and from the structural causes of Global Climate Change and its effects.
4. Develop policies to ensure long-term energy sovereignty through conservation, increased efficiency, and the gradual incorporation of alternative clean and renewable sources of energy.
5. Demand the international recognition of the environmental debt through funding and transfer of clean technologies that are effective and the rights of Mother Earth, and through other mechanisms.
6. Promote peace and the elimination of all nuclear, chemical, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.
7. Promote the recognition and protection of the rights of Mother Earth in multilateral, regional and bilateral international relations.
Article 9. (DUTIES OF THE PEOPLE) The duties of persons, natural or legal, public or private:
1. Uphold and respect the rights of Mother Earth.
2. Promote harmony on Mother Earth in all areas relationships with the rest of human communities and the rest of nature in life systems.
3. Actively participate, individually or collectively, in the creation of proposals oriented to the respect and defense of the rights of Mother Earth.
4. Assume production practices and consumer behavior in harmony with the rights of Mother Earth.
5. Ensure the sustainable use of components of the Mother Earth.
6. Denounce all acts that threaten the rights of Mother Earth, its life systems, or their components
7. Come to the rescue and summon all competent ahtorities and civil society organizations for the realization of actions oriented toward conservation and/or the protection of Mother Earth.
Article 10. (DEFENSE OF MOTHER EARTH) Establishing the Defense of Mother Earth, whose mission is to ensure the validation, promotion, distribution and fulfillment of the rights of Mother Earth established in this law.

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