Years ago humans had no rights. In the times when slavery was legal, abuses to slaves were deemed an issue of property law, not an issue of human rights. From this relationship of owner to slave, you cannot have anything other than an exploitative relationship.
In this interview, Carl Chenery explains that this kind of thinking of human separation from, and domination over nature itself, is embedded into the very structure of our western legal system. Through our legal systems we attribute all the rights to humans as subjects, and everything else (except companies) as being objects or property to be owned.
Gaia, our living breathing planet that is home to all of us, does not have rights. And without rights, like an unfortunate slave, she, our only home, is being used and slowly destroyed.
On September 28, 2008, the people of Ecuador voted by an overwhelming majority (64%) to approve a new constitution which included Pachamama, nature, in the constitution, which was then ratified on Oct 20th 2008.
Carl Chenery went to Ecuador in 2012 and met with some of those who were central to the incorporation of the rights of nature into the constitution. He and others in the group from the organisation, Awakening the Dreamer, were keen to see if the ideas could be incorporated into a New Zealand constitution.
This progressive and conscious move by Ecuador is something that New Zealand would do well to look at.
Below are the Rights for Nature as written in the Ecuador constitution.
Article. 1. Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.
Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognitions of rights for nature before the public organisms (courts and government agencies). The application and interpretation of these rights will follow the related principles established in the Constitution.
Article. 2. Nature has the right to an integral restoration. This integral restoration is independent of the obligation on natural and juridical persons or the State to indemnify the people and the collectives that depend on the natural systems.
In the cases of severe or permanent environmental impact, including the ones caused by the exploitation on non renewable natural resources, the State will establish the most efficient mechanisms for the restoration, and will adopt the adequate measures to eliminate or mitigate the harmful environmental consequences.
Article. 3. The State will motivate natural and juridical persons as well as collectives to protect nature; it will promote respect towards all the elements that form an ecosystem.
Article. 4. The State will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles.
The introduction of organisms and organic and inorganic material that can
alter in a definitive way the national genetic patrimony is prohibited.
Article. 5. The persons, people, communities and nationalities will have the right to benefit from the environment and form natural wealth that will allow wellbeing.
'The environmental services cannot be appropriated; its production, provision, use and exploitation, will be regulated by the State.'
As well as talking about the constitution, Lisa puts some hard-hitting questions to Carl around the commodification of nature, and the very real downsides of replacing conservation with market based environmental management. Does the role of the emerging multi-billion dollar per year ecosystem market assist or inhibit conserving biodiversity and natural geographical features?
Carl works as a sustainability strategist, and has contributed to a range of local and national initiatives including 350 Aotearoa, Intersect, Awakening the Dreamer Aotearoa, and ReGeneration Networks.
Carl was North & South Magazine Young Achiever for 2011, and finalist in Kiwibank Young New Zealander of the Year in 2011.
Carl loves being in the outdoors and spending time with his family including his 9 month old daughter Abigail.
Carl Chenery twitter: @carlchenery
Here are some excellent links to some web sites on topics that are mentioned in the interview.
Pachamama Alliance / Awakening the Dreamer Symposium
‘New Thinking on Sustainability’ Conference 14-16 February 2014 in Wellington, including speakers on Rights of Nature:
NZ Constitutional Advisory Panel Report on the 2012-13 ‘Constitutional Conversation’ (including feedback on Environment rights p51 and recommendations p48)
Recent Waitangi Tribunal settlement developments:
Whanganui River Te Awa Tupua – “Agreement entitles Whanganui River to legal identity”
Te Urewera-T_hoe Bill: "Te Urewera declared to be legal entity"
Blogpost: Latest on the First International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature:
Rights of Nature Article - Quakers Newsletter November 2012
This interview was sponsored by The Awareness Party
Every large city on earth is gripped with limits to growth. Especially cars in gridlock and clogging motorways and roads. We witness it every day at rush hour as we sit frustrated in traffic, wondering when will this increasing problem ever be solved?
Enter A New Idea:
The concept of affordable personal rapid transport pods, travelling above ground that whisk you across the city along an environmentally benign 2-directional elevated guide-way to your destination, in comfort, safely, swiftly and cheaply.
Is this possible? What would be the cost? Is it environmentally benign?
The system is called the Metropolitan Individual System of Transportation on Elevated Rail (MISTER).
With over $3 Billion allocated for a tunnel from Britomart in Auckland to Epsom, are the rate payers willing to dig further into their pockets for an outdated transport system, when that amount of money would cover the totality of suburban Auckland with a Personal Rapid Transport System?
The fact that even today the NZ Government is balking at such extravagance, gives us time to pause and look at other options.
The PRT system, is a city-wide network linking all of the suburbs with each other and to the Central Business District and would transport people faster than rail or even car and directly to their destinations, without any need for transfers or parking space.
It would eliminate entirely the need for railway, light rail and buses in Auckland, while providing much more convenient, faster, safer and cheaper service, including it being available 24/7, all of the time without waiting and with no more than 2 minutes of waiting at peak times.
How does this compare with current 'solutions' ? At the same time, for the cost of building just this one underground tunnel system ($3B+) the PRT system would cover the entire Auckland area with over 300km of network, replacing all subsidised trains and all buses in the CBD and being capable of carrying 1 million plus rides per DAY, when current rail carries 10 million per YEAR !
PRT - Personal Rapid Transit See the video www.mist-er.com
Is a 50 year old concept, and as a result of inexpensive computing technology is now a feasible mode of mass transport.
It consists of :
Infrastructure consists of a light guide-ways suspended 10-15 meters above the ground, over city streets or along the curb side or in the central reservation of the freeways or wide streets. Small and frequent off-line stops. Automatic, small car sized vehicles transport one or a few passengers who know each other (family or friends) in luxury and comfort.
Travel is on demand and always available (24 x 7) Travel directly from start to destination with no stopping and no interchanges. High average speed of 50 km/hr or better.
Infrastructure development :
Let Auckland Rate Payers have a discussion here in Auckland and also across New Zealand.
Have Auckland be the Leading Livable City within the Pacific Basin.
Kailash is a sound therapist, artist and inner world musician - bridge maker to indigenous peoples.
He is also a photographer and teacher of Kailash Chi Movements and Songdances.
As a multi instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and producer he is an internationally requested studio- and guest musician playing a great variety of (wind) instruments ranging from Didgeridoo to (Native American) Flutes, as well as reed instruments, percussive soundscapes, drums, crystal singing bowls, string instruments and vocals.
Within the last 20 years Kailash Kokopelli has shared his INNER WORLD MUSIC on every continent touching many thousand people all over the globe.
Kailash performes in schools, universities, therapeutical institutions, conferences, festivals, private and in concert halls all over the world, guiding his audience on musical journeys to the inner source.
He has been recognized as a tribal brother and bridgemaker by indigenous people as well as a pioneer soundtherapist by medical practitioners and international doctors. Many therapists use Kailash Kokopelli's INNER WORLD MUSIC for its relaxing and healing qualities.
In this interview Kailash explains what the possibilities are and how we surmount certain challenges by understanding the language of the heart.
We are all related as a human family and if we are to survive as a species, we really need to wake up to this simple basic truth that we are all related to all living beings on this planet. That we are Guardians and just not children of the earth and we have a responsibility of care to preserve what lives within the biosphere and the need for mindfulness as to how we live and express ourselves.
As an extension of the earth we need to constantly remember that what we enjoy today has been lent to us by previous generations thus the imperative that we bequeath a healthy sustainable world onto our children and grandchildren is so important.
He tells how we can come back to a place of harmony and find within ourselves a place of reverence, which is through our heart. And our heart is the inner compass for our guidance.
Where as in todays world we’ve become so enmeshed in our mind, our schedules and daily survival mode that causes us to lose our focus - whilst on our hamster wheels of separation and from that which supports us is diminished and in most cases lost. When, if we take the time, and listen to our heart, this is the way to a direct connection to source. – the great mystery of life.
We are a rainbow nation of many colours and creeds, that we humans are guests here on the earth and here for a limited time being related to all biota we can step into the sacred circle of life and immerse ourselves into a unity consciousness of all beings.
It’s interconnection with all life.
Remember we are all students of life, even a master if they are true to themselves, will admit to being a student … being present to deep listening.
We are in a time of imbalance and our planet is in transition through a major shift in energy and awareness and to the awakened - a purification - for what we do to the earth we do to ourselves and to future generations as well.
We need to look into ourselves to re evaluate our values, our virtues the ethics of how we negotiate life.
Being thankful and being in gratitude, is a key to magnetising success into our existence and this abundance we can share with each other.
Through the door way of the heart we can also access the akashic records and tap into a greater knowing beyond time and space.
Reciprocity: Is another key to our survival, through co-operation and co-creation.
If we continue the mathematics of economics, or ecology as we are promulgating now, we inherently know where this will lead to, yet we still continue to do this, when we know we have to break this chain.
We have built a world today at a huge cost to nations and the earth itself.
We have self limiting belief systems and encage ourselves within this context of our own ignorance or unknowingness.
Acknowledging our ancestors – we have our lives today, that have been bequeathed to us from our forefathers and the birthings from countless mothers – we have them to thank for our very fortunate circumstances that we live in today and we are taking this for granted – some would say abusing the privelegde through over indulgence, waste, abuse, drunkeness, debauchery.
However when we tune in to the magnifence of our bloodline, our linage – then comes the gratitude.
Sun ceremonies – the sun is full and rounded and gives out its light unconditionally and this is an invitation for us all to be able to express ourselves from our heart and let the light of who we are express its fullness.
The imperative is for us to listen to the first nation peoples, the wisdom keepers of the earth, those people who are immersed in earth energies, living among forests, mountains, along side rivers and streams and higher latitudes. Deeply embedded in the pulse of life, often barefooted.
To walk the path of beauty to witness the magnificence of nature – at the same to keep a pure heart to walk in reverence and to walk in gratitude.
Blue Pearl Mother Earth:
We here in Aotearoa are lving in one of the last 'Gardens of Eden' on our planet – Kailash's call to we NZers is to please preserve this living earth and all that is sacred and be responsible in taking true guardianship of what has been bequeathed to us.
The power of prayer too is emphasised – with a pure intention within a unified field – that 'miracles can happen.'
Listen to a very knowing man who from his youth has walked his talk and experienced a fascinating life well beyond the daily understanding of the Western mind.
Appearing at Voices of the Sacred Earth Eco Festival - 21st, 22nd and 23rd of February 2014 at Albany Northshore at - Kawai Purapura Retreat Centre.
John Coombs interviews Patient Advocate and busy mother Tania Nevill and Wellness Coach and Lifestyle Mentor Susan Somerville on the practical benefits of well managed Holistic Health programs for people from all walks of life with many helpful hints and suggestions.
Tania Nevill founder of iconic corporate menswear company Working Style has a new working focus in life: helping optimise the wellness of the local community with obvious spin offs for her family.
Tania shares with you the process she went through to resolve long term fatigue from trying to balance family and a busy working life, as well as the long term benefits she and her family experienced from Holistic Health.
Having achieved her initial goal of more vitality Tania then focused on optimising her health which meant she can contribute more effectively to patient advocacy to benefit the whole community.
Susan Somerville has a science and psychology background which lead her to a diverse working career in accelerated learning, HR and environmental programs.
Having since trained in metabolic nutrition Susan follows Tania's thread with practical solutions to common health issues.
Her special interest is anti-aging and optimised wellness, which occurs when people initiate wellness lifestyle systems; including an obvious balance of exercise, sleep, nutrition and leisure with effective health care across the spectrum of physical, mental emotional and spiritual therapeutics.