February 21, 2020

Earth Rights

By John Boy Jerry Csapo-Camu
Earth Rights - EcoShackNZ

It is believed that earth has existed way before we humans did. By virtue of our humanity, we are entitled to certain rights, which is fairly recognised all over the world. On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the 56 members of the United Nations. Everyone has a very good notion of what is existentially wrong and what is in violation of each and individual’s rights.

Though the Paris Agreement was a monumental move towards the right direction in safeguarding the earth and keeping the destruction level to a minimum, it is still criticised for treating nature as a mere property available to be degraded and exploited rather than a vital ecological partner with its own rights to thrive and exist. So I asked, why can’t there be specific rights for the earth identifying it as its own person? And why, despite the ongoing severe warnings of climate change, is there no Earth Rights yet?

After engaging into some good ol’ googling, I found out that Earth Rights do exist! In Bolivia! And it has existed for almost 10 years now! There are also Rights of Nature documents here and there, which are more guidelines than law.

If we are in the perfect world where everyone and everything has rights, what would the Earth Rights look like? What would it mean to have legislations actually protecting everything in nature, both living and non-living things?

Here’s what I envision Earth Rights would be:


Right Number 1: The Right To Life And Freedom 

Law that prevents the exploitation of the earth and its entire entity. It is the right to maintain earth’s life system organically and assist in instances where the natural processes are compromised.


Right Number 2: The Right To Balance  

Earth’s renewability should be at the forefront of any use of its resources; the ability to provide and replenish going hand in hand.


Right Number 3: The Right To Be Mended

This right calls for the restoration of Earth’s health from the damage it has incurred over the years; the right to heal and mend.


These three rights should be the overarching guide to all the legislations that are yet to be created and passed. International governing bodies should impose and mandate laws that are to be followed by all countries with no exemption. There should be strict implementation of these laws, and there should be relentless retribution for any defiance. 

Murder is a brutal crime in the human world. Let’s make Earth cruelty as big of a crime as murder.



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