“We, the peoples and nations of Earth: [considering that we] are all part of Mother Earth, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny…”
— Extract from the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
“Every component of the Earth Community has three rights:
The Right To Be,
The Right to Habitat,
The Right to fulfil its role in the ever-renewing processes of the Earth Community.”
— Thomas Berry
We believe that the ancient indigenous way of life, sumak kawsay (good living), is inherently protective of human and nature rights.
We subscribe to the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. This means enshrining the equality of all life within nature and ensuring respect for the self-determination of all our planet’s inhabitants. We believe that we must transcend the human-centered and profit-focused limitations of our current legal systems if we are to recognize, respect and enforce the rights of Earth and her peoples.
The indigenous organizations and other local groups in the Peruvian Amazon are our most important allies in this defense of human and nature rights. Indigenous people have traditionally maintained a deeply harmonious relationship with the land that supports them, demonstrating a cosmology of equality and respect for all beings. In that sense, they exemplify how to live the good life, or sumak kawsay, in symbiosis with nature. As the first peoples exposed to the destruction wrought by extractive industries in the Amazon and some of the first victims of global warming as a whole, they are also the first to stand up and guide us all towards a sustainable future.
We perceive the current global development model to be the major cause of growing inequality among people, and of violations of the rights of humans and nature.
It is a model that incurs unsustainable and unreasonable consumption levels, and the destructive, uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources across the planet. Extractivism, as it is known, is directly linked to poverty, ecological devastation, land theft, food insecurity, corruption, the criminalization of social protest, deforestation, climate change, armed conflict, forced migration, and countless other forms of environmental and social harm.
Most Latin American countries are resource exporters. The number of oil and mining concessions being granted is still increasing, while social, cultural and environmental safeguards are rarely implemented, respected or even deemed necessary. This leads to social and environmental conflict, severely affecting indigenous peoples of the Amazon and their ecosystems as whole.