Saturday, June 16, 2012

Confronting the Rio+20 “greed economy:” Calls for rights for Mother Earth

Global  Justice Ecology Project
June 16, 2012

“Green economy is about cheating nature while making profit out of it.” – Pablo Solón, Former Bolivian Ambassador to UN, Director Focus on the Global South

With over 50,000 accredited participants registered, Rio+20 is expected to be the largest gathering in the history of the UN. The Green Economy put forward by the United Nations Environment Program (nicknamed the “Greed Economy” by many) is about promoting the idea that we can only “save” nature by putting a price tag on what nature “does” for us. Proponents call it “ecosystem services” and from forests generating the air we breathe to the decomposition process resulting in the ground we walk upon, everything has its price, and corporate executives are wringing their hands with anticipation of what the Greed Economy could do for profit margins.

The Peoples Summit – hosted by Civil Society Organizations challenging the direction of the UN and its members – will run in parallel in Flamengo Park with the aim of not simply protesting the so-called Green Economy, but presenting viable alternative, sustainable solutions, including recognizing legal rights for nature. “In 2008, Ecuador led the world by becoming the first country to recognize legal Rights of Nature in its constitution – the right to exist, maintain and restore its vital cycles, and regenerate integrally. Recognizing Rights of Nature allows us to truly protect ecosystems and sets the stage for a sustainable future. Rights of Nature gives social movements the opportunity to reunite on what brings us together – Mother Earth.” says Natalia Greene, President CEDENMA, Ecuador.

Rights of Nature as the Foundation for Sustainability Panel Dialogue & Universal Declaration for Rights of Mother Earth Signing Event

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature has mobilized to be an active voice for a new world view that recognizes our interrelatedness with the ecosystems that sustain us and develops a new framework of governance aligned with the laws of nature. The Alliance and its members are hosting and participating in strategic events both “inside” RioCentro and “outside” at the Peoples Summit and elsewhere. These events including the Universal Declaration for Rights of Mother Earth Signing Ceremonies will demonstrate the prominent, global support for Rights of Nature and Rights of Mother Earth. People from 110 countries have already signed and more are expected to sign in Rio. In addition to prominent Rights of Nature advocates in attendance at Rio, distinguished signatories include Leonardo Boff, Eduardo Galeano, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Paul Hawken, Joanna Macy, David Suzuki, Annie Leonard, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, Atossa Soltani, Jack Canfield, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Daniel Wildcat, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and numerous orders of Catholic Orders of Sisters.

Rights of Nature: Planting Seeds of Real Change

Alliance member Global Exchange is publishing Rights of Nature: Planting Seeds of Real Change, a report for Rio that not only challenges the “Greed” Economy but also seeks to examine how Rights of Nature offers new ways to advance the well-being of people and planet. Contributions from Pablo Solon, Tom Goldtooth , Vandana Shiva, Natalia Greene, Alberto Acosta, Anne Petermann, Jeff Conant, Maude Barlow, Osprey Orielle Lake, and others. The report will be launched at the signing of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth on June 17th. To read report articles by Pablo Solon and Tom Goldtooth:

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