Earth Rights

The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth

The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
(Presented to the United Nations by Bolivia – drafted by international lawyers)


We, the peoples and nations of Earth:

           considering that we are all part of Mother Earth, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny; gratefully acknowledging that Mother Earth is the source of life, nourishment and learning and provides everything we need to live well; recognizing that the capitalist system and all forms of depredation, exploitation, abuse and contamination have caused great destruction, degradation and disruption of Mother Earth, putting life as we know it today at risk through phenomena such as climate change; convinced that in an interdependent living community it is not possible to recognize the rights of only human beings without causing an imbalance within Mother Earth; affirming that to guarantee human rights it is necessary to recognize and defend the rights of Mother Earth and all beings in her and that there are existing cultures, practices and laws that do so; conscious of the urgency of taking decisive, collective action to transform structures and systems that cause climate change and other threats to Mother Earth; proclaim this Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and call on the General Assembly of the United Nations to adopt it, as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations of the world, and to the end that every individual and institution takes responsibility for promoting through teaching, education, and consciousness raising, respect for the rights recognized in this Declaration and ensure through prompt and progressive measures and mechanisms, national and international, their universal and effective recognition and observance among all peoples and States in the world.

Article 1. Mother Earth

(1) Mother Earth is a living being.

(2) Mother Earth is a unique, indivisible, self-regulating community of interrelated beings that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.

(3) Each being is defined by its relationships as an integral part of Mother Earth.

(4) The inherent rights of Mother Earth are inalienable in that they arise from the same source as existence.

(5) Mother Earth and all beings are entitled to all the inherent rights recognized in this Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as may be made between organic and inorganic beings, species, origin, use to human beings, or any other status.

(6) Just as human beings have human rights, all other beings also have rights which are specific to their species or kind and appropriate for their role and function within the communities within which they exist.

(7) The rights of each being are limited by the rights of other beings and any conflict between their rights must be resolved in a way that maintains the integrity, balance and health of Mother Earth.

Article 2. Inherent Rights of Mother Earth

1: Mother Earth and all beings of which she is composed have the following inherent rights:

(a) the right to life and to exist;

(b) the right to be respected;

(c) the right to regenerate its bio-capacity and to continue its vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions;

(d) the right to maintain its identity and integrity as a distinct, self-regulating and interrelated being;

(e) the right to water as a source of life;

(f) the right to clean air;

(g) the right to integral health;

(h) the right to be free from contamination, pollution and toxic or radioactive waste;

(i) the right to not have its genetic structure modified or disrupted in a manner that threatens it integrity or vital and healthy functioning;

(j) the right to full and prompt restoration the violation of the rights recognized in this Declaration caused by human activities;

2: Each being has the right to a place and to play its role in Mother Earth for her harmonious functioning.

3: Every being has the right to well-being and to live free from torture or cruel treatment by human beings.

Article 3. Obligations of human beings to Mother Earth

(1) Every human being is responsible for respecting and living in harmony with Mother Earth.

(2) Human beings, all States, and all public and private institutions must:

(a) act in accordance with the rights and obligations recognized in this Declaration;

(b) recognize and promote the full implementation and enforcement of the rights and obligations recognized in this Declaration;

(c) promote and participate in learning, analysis, interpretation and communication about how to live in harmony with Mother Earth in accordance with this Declaration;

(d) ensure that the pursuit of human wellbeing contributes to the wellbeing of Mother Earth, now and in the future;

(e) establish and apply effective norms and laws for the defence, protection and conservation of the rights of Mother Earth;

(f) respect, protect, conserve and where necessary, restore the integrity, of the vital ecological cycles, processes and balances of Mother Earth;

(g) guarantee that the damages caused by human violations of the inherent rights recognized in this Declaration are rectified and that those responsible are held accountable for restoring the integrity and health of Mother Earth;

(h) empower human beings and institutions to defend the rights of Mother Earth and of all beings;

(i) establish precautionary and restrictive measures to prevent human activities from causing species extinction, the destruction of ecosystems or the disruption of ecological cycles;

(j) guarantee peace and eliminate nuclear, chemical and biological weapons;

(k) promote and support practices of respect for Mother Earth and all beings, in accordance with their own cultures, traditions and customs;

(l) promote economic systems that are in harmony with Mother Earth and in accordance with the rights recognized in this Declaration.

Article 4. Definitions

(1) The term “being” includes ecosystems, natural communities, species and all other natural entities which exist as part of Mother Earth.

(2) Nothing in this Declaration restricts the recognition of other inherent rights of all beings or specified beings.

Laws of Mother Earth – Spanish
Ley Marco de la Madre Tierra y Desarrollo Integral para Vivir Bien

Click on a banner to go to the website










3 comments on “Earth Rights

  1. Jac Larsen on said:

    This is the way forward. A collective intention to balance out the destructive ways we are choosing or allowing at present. A conscious focal point that will inform our decisions to improve the survival and enjoyment of all the beings now and who will follow. O fully support this wonderful work !!

  2. Nils Sens on said:

    I totally love your mission. One big problem, however, is the part where peace is set as normative value. I think it’s safe to say that species have been wiped out all the time – even way before humans have existed. It’s an evolutionary thing. You’re unable to survive all these predators, or climate changes around you, you’ll go extinct. Nature is kind and loving and all that, maybe, but above all it’s cruel, in the food chain sort of way. Yes, in a pretty straightforward and predictably survivalist-selfish way, but not always ‘just’ (venom, outnumbering etc).

    It might be ‘normal’ in nature that out of the primordial soup of carbon-based life, those species prove fittest for survival that have a certain metabolism, manipulators (tentacles or fingers), detailed perception and mammalian intelligence to use all this. This species – on our planet homo sapiens – will inevitably arrive at the top of the food chain and totally dominate everything. The tools – once used for hunting elsewhere in that food chain were then used against fellow homo sapiens when resources became limited (or the perception of possession thereof developed).

    Later, when culture becomes more and more refined (being an added skill in biological fitness, ‘cultured’ males and females enjoying higher mating success – actually not, because stupid people multiply really fast, but it seems that fitness has been taken out of the original survival and DNA-context with memes being the new genes…), dominance and resources include cultural and economic power.

    This latter then leads to more and more exploitation and finally destruction of the surrounding ecosystem and only if scientific development goes in the right direction before physics and antagonism leads to total annihilation, space travel and asteroid-defense are developed, enabling a species to survive itself.

    This seems to be the normal evolution of any dominant species on any planet.
    Understanding, in many ways, depends on cutting things open, taking things apart.
    Whether the intelligent species is totally destructive like modern humans with all this debt and growth and interest and power-nonsense, or a wiser species that lives together peacefully. But then again, will that peaceful species develop the necessary instruments for taking things apart? Weapon and tool development seem to go hand in hand, starting with blades, compensating for our very limited natural cutting-skill.

    Is there a way out of imminent doom? Well, the best thing is probably to study the brain real fast – to develop synapsis-perfect copies on less wasteful storage entities (computer chips), complete with consciousness and all (first as extensions as we have already created in some forms; then rudimentary life-support for the remaining areas of the brain and its biological basis for consciousness; then without even that last bit), whole new ways to connect, merge consciousness into super-consciousness and develop ideas instantaneously without the need to compete over resources or the basic fear that comes with mortality.

    We can then leave the rest of the environment (what’s left) to nature. The only thing we’ll need is energy (solar, geothermal, fusion, whatever), dwell in picture-perfect environments, true gardens of eden, in cyberspace, and fly little drones if (our perfect copy in) cyberspace isn’t enough.

    Or should we? There is actually the point of re-introduction of competition over the natural environment. It has to be ensured that energy will be sufficient and freely available, and that humans, at some point, will stay completely out of nature’s business to allow the planet to recover.

    Another ‘way out’ I see in strict population control together with more sustainable ways of meeting our material needs.

  3. Yvonne Hummel on said:

    What an awesome declaration!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.