In Latin America, Nature has Rights. (Useful lessons from the margins.)

In the past few years, a political resurgence of Amerindian cosmologies and values regarding nature has spread throughout Latin America. Perhaps the most significant development in this was the recognition in the 2008 Ecuadorian Constitution of the inalienable rights of nature to “exist, persist, maintain and Regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions.” Bolivia has ratified a Law of Mother Earth in 2010 which rests on the principles of: “harmony,” “collective good,” “the guarantee of regeneration,” “respect and defense of the rights of Mother Earth,” “anti-commercialization,” and “cross-culturalism.”

Why is this interesting? Well. We need really creative thinking to get us out of the problems we've gotten ourselves into. And this way of seeing nature offers a lot of helpful insights. (The importance of creative thinking feels so obvious that it almost sounds like an after school TV special. Unfortunately, it often seems we haven't learned those lessons.)

I'm at COP21, the Paris Climate Conference, and I'll be attentive to how creative voices of the margins speak to larger issues of climate, nature, and environment. 

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