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Since December 2010 they have in Bolivia the unique “Law on the Rights of Mother Earth”. It gives to our planet – as a living system – rights in the same rank as the Human Rights. The indigenous population of this mountainous country has always known how sensitive the Earth is, whom we are all dependent on. That’s why they call her reverently Mother Earth: Pachamama. The current government is the first that recognizes and values the culture, belief and rights of the indigenous people.
The law states that all Bolivians are part of Mother Earth, and a little further:
The exercise of individual rights of is limited by the exercise of collective rights in the life systems of Mother Earth. Any conflict between the rights must be solved in a way that these do not affect irreversibly the functionality of the living systems.
El ejercicio de los derechos individuales está limitado por el ejercicio de los derechos colectivos en los sistemas de vida de la Madre Tierra, cualquier conflicto entre derechos debe resolverse de manera que no se afecte irreversiblemente la funcionalidad de los sistemas de vida.
The rights of the life systems (Mother Earth) therefore have priority. With such a law in Germany for example, open-cast mining would be unlawful because it damages the “functionality of the living systems” forever.
The law enumerates seven specific rights to which Mother Earth and her constituent life systems, including human communities, are entitled: