Yesterday, Bolivian President Evo Morales addressed the United Nations in honor of Earth Day:
"Not just human beings have rights, but the planet has rights," he said. "What's happening with climate change is that the rights of Mother Earth are not being respected."
He told the U.N. delegates that "we have the challenge to agree on a universal declaration for the rights of Mother Earth." Morales outlined four principles that he asked them to consider:
- The right to life: "The right for no ecosystem to be eliminated by the irresponsible acts of human beings."
- The right of biosystems to regenerate themselves: "Development cannot be infinite. There's a limit on everything."
- The right to a clean life: "The right for Mother Earth to live without contamination, pollution. Fish and animals and trees have rights."
- The right to harmony and balance between everyone and everything: "We are all interdependent."
Morales pointed out how indigenous people in Bolivia have rites and rituals to honor the Earth. "We now must begin to realize that the Earth does not belong to us," he said. "It's the other way around. We belong to the Earth."