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Organizing for Community Rights

In this issue:
  • What happened when 21 activists convened for a Rights of Nature Summit?
  • The UN Earth Summit: 20 years later (Rio+20)
  • Upcoming speaking events: Bringing Nature's Rights into Law
  • Pablo Solón speaks on behalf of Nature at the United Nations
  • From the floor of the UN - watch the debate on nature's rights
  • How you can support rights-based organizing
Rights of Nature Strategy Summit

Last weekend Global Exchange hosted a Rights of Nature Strategy Summit. Global Exchange, along with 21 representatives from Climate Justice organizations both national and international including: Global Justice Ecology Project, Amazon Watch, CELDF, Institute for Policy Studies, Food and Water Watch, IDEX, The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, Council of Canadians, California Coastkeepers Alliance, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, and Fundación Pachamama discussed the future of the Rights of Nature and what needs to be done to move the idea of Rights of Nature to the forefront of the upcoming international meetings on Climate Change and Development including COP 17 in Durban, South Africa in December and Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro Brazil next summer.

To read an insiders perspective on what was covered at the Rights of Nature Strategy Summit, check out this post featured on the Global Exchange blog, written by Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians.

Above: Activists convene for Rights of Nature Strategy Summit

What the +20 means for Rio+20

The upcoming Rio+20 conference next summer will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, S.A. At the conference, world leaders are expected to agree on a political document that will guide action on sustainable development policy for decades to come and give birth to a World Environment Organization. Global Exchange, along with many of our environmental and Climate Justice activist partners, will be present at the conference with the intended goal of bringing the idea of Nature’s Rights to the negotiating table and civil society actions surrounding the conference. 

Upcoming speaking events on the Rights of Nature

Bioneers Conference 2011

Saturday October 15th Shannon Biggs along with several allies of the Community Rights Program will be speaking at the Bioneers Conference at the Marin Center in San Rafael, CA.

Shannon will be speaking as part of the Earth Jurisprudence: Driving The Rights of Nature Into Law panel. Once a common understanding among all traditional peoples- we belong to the Earth, not the other way around – “Wild Law” is taking hold and giving people legal standing on behalf of nature. Alongside Shannon in the panel are also four leaders who together are taking on the global movement, including the U.S. Ecuador and Bolivia. Natalia Greene, Program Coordinator of the Fundación Pachamama in Ecuador, Thomas Linzey, Executive Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), Mari Margil CELDF’s Associate Director and Bill Twist founder and CEO of The Pachamama Alliance.

Bioneers is a non-profit educational organization that has helped highlight breakthrough solutions for restoring people and the plant. For more information about the conference and to register please visit their website or contact them by e-mail or by phone (877) BIONEER (246-6337)

Local Democracy Convention

Later this month, August 24th-28th, a Local Democracy Conference will be held in Madison, Wisconsin to showcase the latest examples of communities that are creating a new way of making and implementing decisions. Kirsten Moller will be attending the conference representing Global Exchange and presenting on Community and Nature's Rights. For more information on the convention, please visit the website.

State of the World Forum

Next month, The Women's Earth and Climate Caucus is hosting a series of seminars on building Resilient Community September 30th-October 1st in Corte Madera. CA. Nature's Rights will be the topic of the first seminar in the series. For more information, please visit the website.

Nature's Voice is Heard at The UN

On April 20th, 2011 (Earth Day 2011) Community Rights Program Director Shannon Biggs and Former UN Ambassador of Bolivia Pablo Solón presented The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth to an international panel at the United Nations in a session on ‘Harmony with Nature.’ Shannon and several other contributing authors to the book discussed the importance of a Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth as an accompanying piece to the UN Declaration on Human Rights. This recognition of nature’s rights is a critical development to our existing structures of law if we as a species intend to live and thrive on the planet in harmony with nature’s right to exist, flourish, and regenerate. Check out this two-part webcast from the session on Harmony with Nature, straight from the UN floor:

Help Support Global Exchange

As a membership-based organization, Global Exchange counts on the support of individuals like yourself to further our work for Peace and Environmental and Economic Justice here in the U.S. and around the world.

By becoming a member, you will receive a 10% discount every time you shop at our fair trade stores as well as invitations to member-only 20% discount event in the fall, priority booking on our Reality Tours, invitations to special events and speaking engagements, free entry into Green Festival: the largest sustainability event in the world, this fall and next spring, as well as our quarterly newsletter and action alerts with updates about some of the incredible work being carried out by Global Exchange’s campaigns and programs.

If you are interested in becoming a member please visit our membership and donation page 

Or, contact our membership coordinator Corey Hill directly by e-mail or at 415.255.7296 ext. 208.

  • Interested in hosting a talk on Community Rights where you live? Bring Shannon Biggs to speak in your community: contact her by e-mail or by phone at (415) 575-5540
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