Published on 17 February 2009
Translations available in: français . Español .

Ecuadorian constitution gives rights to nature

by Nina GREGG
Associated Central Topics: Environment and responsibility .
Associated General Topics: Environment . Sustainable development .

Ecuadorian citizens have overwhelmingly approved a new constitution that gives nature the right to “exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate.” Theirs is the first nation to give legally enforceable rights to the natural world (Spain recently granted rights to apes, while the United States, for its part, confers legal rights on corporations).
The new Ecuadorian constitution requires the state to apply precaution in all activities that might lead to eco-system destruction, species extinction, or “permanent alteration of the natural cycles.” Indigenous Ecuadorians see nature as a maternal figure, known as Pachamama.

From Sierra magazine, January/February 2009

More information in the Winter 2009 (Issue 75) edition of the Global Exchange Newsletter, here (pdf document)

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