Championing fundamental rights for all living beings
Within our Human and Nature Rights Program we work closely with the indigenous movement of Loreto to promote the fundamental human and nature rights in one of the world’s most diverse regions, both in terms of cultural and biological diversity. We combine research with activism, documentation, and audio-visual communications. We provide technical-legal support to our allies and suggest practical solutions that we incorporate into our Permaculture and Intercultural Education Programs. In this groundbreaking documentary, PASTAZA puts the spotlight on the reality of Amazonian indigenous peoples who are fighting to defend water, the land and life itself against Big Oil.
We believe that the ancient indigenous philosophy and way of life, sumak kawsay (“el buen vivir” or “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, 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
We believe that we must transcend the human-centred and profit-focused limitations of our current legal systems if we are to recognize, respect and enforce the rights of Earth and its peoples.
Indigenous nations have traditionally maintained a deeply harmonious relationship with the land that supports them, demonstrating a cosmology of reciprocity, equality and respect for all beings, exemplifying “el buen vivir”, living the “good life” in symbiosis with nature. As the first peoples exposed to the destruction wrought by extractive industries in the Amazon, and often the first ones affected by a changing climate, they are also the first ones to stand up and show the way to a sustainable future.
“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
Indigenous organizations and other local groups in the Peruvian Amazon are our most important allies in championing and defending Human and Nature Rights.
We perceive the current global development model to be the major cause of growing inequality among people, of violations of basic human rights as well as the rights of nature.
It is a model that incurs unsustainable and unreasonable consumption levels, and the destructive, uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources across the planet. In our region, as elsewhere, extractivism has led 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 socio-environmental conflict, severely affecting indigenous peoples of the Amazon and their ecosystems as a whole.
Our Human & Nature Rights Program focuses on three main areas: female leadership, The Right to Clean Water
and practical and ecological community solutions.