Bolivia’s Leadership

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In April 2009  the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 to be International Mother Earth Day.  Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma and the Bolivian delegation had taken the lead in presenting the proposed resolution to the UN General Assembly.

“Sixty years after adopting the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights], Mother Earth is now, finally, having her rights recognized,” said President Morales, immediately following the Assembly’s unanimous adoption of a resolution designating 22 April each year as International Mother Earth Day (A/63/L.69).

Bolivia continues its push for the univeral adoption and recognition of the Rights of Mother Earth.  After the failure of Copenhagen COP 15 in December 2009 to make substantive progress, President Evo Morales declared that he would host the first People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  During the 3 day conference the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth was crafted. On International Mother Earth Day April 22, 2010, over 35,000 people from around the world participated in the closing celebration cheering as the Declaration was presented.

The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth is being taken forward to the United Nations.  On April 20, 2011, the UN General Assembly hosted an Interactive Dialogue:  Ways to promoting a holistic approach to sustainable development in harmony with nature. Panelists Cormac Cullinan, lead author of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and Vandana Shiva introduced the Declaration and presented the case for the UN to adopt the Declaration.

Bolivia has developed its own historic Mother Earth Law which gives nature ‘rights’ and mandates a radical ecological transition of Bolivia’s economy and society.  On April 21, 2011 Nick Buxton interviewed Raul Prada, one of the key advisers to social movements on the law, and documented the interview in The Law of Mother Earth: Behind Bolivia’s historic bill.

Related articles of interest about Bolivia’s push for Rights of Nature: