Lawrence, KS - Events Local News Groups Contact
Big Idea: Rights for Nature
By Indy Media / filmsforaction.org
Mar 4, 2009
Last September Ecuador approved a constitutional amendment that protects the rights of Pachamama, Mother Earth. By affirming the rights of nature, “where life is reproduced and exists,” Ecuador is offering the world a way out of one of the blindest of the many blind alleys Western thinking has created.

As the first nation to officially recognize rights for anything other than humans, Ecuador is setting a monumental precedent in the struggle to protect the world’s ecosystems. The constitution compels the state to protect and restore Pachamama and endows every citizen with the right to demand that she be honored.

In passing this amendment, Ecuador is calling on the developed world to abandon its misguided assumption that it deserves a free pass from Pachamama (Gaia, Mother Nature or the biosphere if you prefer). Ecuador has also reminded us of this fundamental truth: the earth came before us and will very likely outlast us.

This tiny nation has achieved something that no Western nation has. It has shown us, in cogent terms fully compatible with Western legal platforms, how to reorganize our political institutions in a way that just may give civilization a fighting chance.

We’ve yet to see whether words are able to secure the Amazon from oil drills or the Galapagos from sightseers. The average lifespan of an Ecuadorian constitution is about a decade. But any setbacks will be temporary. If this particular legal maneuver doesn’t take root, another will be attempted. In the end, nature’s rights will be legally and permanently affirmed. The idea will take hold because it is true and it is necessary.

With time it will begin to sink in to our collective Western superego that our inherent superiority is a myth. This legal breath of fresh air has blown in from a place with few cities – a place that is home to both indigenous and mestizo peoples. A place that is bold enough to step outside the Western-made order and define its own priorities. Now that we’ve almost run out of world to wreck, it’s time to follow Ecuador’s lead.

In the 19th century, a Westerner visiting the Galapagos Islands unlocked the secrets of evolution and shattered humanity’s homocentric worldview (although many still cling to it). Charles Darwin revealed that the iron rule of natural selection is “adapt or die.” Now, nearly two centuries later, Ecuador has introduced a way for us to evolve: a viable, practical means by which to honor the rights of the earth. Let’s follow the people of Ecuador into this new evolution. Let’s learn from Pachamama.

Chris Wood is the author of Dry Spring: The Coming Water Crisis of North America.
Read more here
0.0 ·
0
Featured Pay Per View Films
The Staging Post: Courageous People Never Give Up! (2017)
61 min The Staging Post follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim. Stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats' and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which inspired a refugee education revolution. A real-life...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than looking in a traditional neighborhood, they...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the...
Trending Today


Love Films For Action? Become a Patron!

Our Patreon campaign is now live! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported. A monthly pledge of just $1 -5 dollars per month x a few thousand awesome people will ensure we can continue our work and grow our impact across the world. Click here to join.

Join us on Facebook
Big Idea: Rights for Nature