April 26, 2010

Bolivian conference recognizes the rights of Mother Earth

Initiated by Bolivian President Evo Morales, the gathering described by some as a "people’s summit" that has also been welcomed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has brought together more than 130 countries this week in Cochabamba.

Many of the participants represented the world’s indigenous communities, who contribute traditional values of sustainability and respect for nature even as they are often the first to be afflicted by global warming.

Supreme Master Television’s correspondent shares an update on the summit’s collaborative efforts, which culminated in a final document to be submitted to the United Nations Climate Change Conference leaders for the November 2010 meeting.

Correspondent (M): Day three of the "World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth", 17 different work groups have formed their conclusions.

These groups, ranging from topics such as action strategies, and agriculture and food policy, were open to all who came, and everyone was welcome to voice their concerns.

Now these conclusions will be compiled into a final document. Panels that convened today focused on the rights of Mother Earth and how communities can enact legislation that will recognize and protect those rights.

Mari Margil – Associate Director, Community Environmental Legal Defence Fund (F): And worked with them to draft and adopt a law which, as one of the first communities in the United States, recognized the legally enforceable and inalienable rights of nature within Blaine Township.

Correspondent (M): Scientists and community leaders continue to point to livestock as a primary cause of our environmental crisis.

Alberto Acosta – Equadorian politician and economist (M): I think it's one of the activities that cause more problems, in the way that produces a large amount of greenhouse gases, and also forces the assignment of large expanses of land to produce huge quantities of meat as demanded by the world market.

Correspondent (M): In a press conference, Bolivian President Evo Morales said that Mother Earth's rights are of the utmost importance, and humanity's interests are fundamentally tied to those of the planet.

Evo Morales – Bolivian President (M): Here, there is something deep, who gives us life, is Mother Earth, that’s why it is said Mother Earth. Now, it is more important to defend the rights of Mother Earth than defend human rights. Defending the rights of Mother Earth, we defend fundamentally human rights.

Correspondent (M): Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association members passed out over a thousand delicious vegan sandwiches to conference attendees.

Conference participant (F): Animals also have rights, they are living beings like us, and I also would agree because somehow it would lengthen our lifetime, right? We would have a much healthier kind of life.

Correspondent (M): May representatives of the world's peoples, international organizations, and government leaders coming together for dialog, lead the world into a new age of unity between Mother Earth, known here as Pachamama, and the peoples who rest in her arms. From Cochabamba, Bolivia, this is Supreme Master Television.

VOICE: Our appreciation, all leaders and delegations contributing to this fruitful conference. We pray that the swift and wise actions recommended by this forum will include the most Mother Earth-friendly remedy to climate change, that is, an organic vegan food policy.

In an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai once more urged for more eco-conscious lifestyles, referring to indigenous environmental wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The land is part of the great being we call Mother Earth which, in a higher sense, belongs to God. In fact, many religious beliefs describe the role of the humans as the stewards or caretakers of the planet.

For example, in the Native American tradition there is a saying, "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." Because of the critical state of the planet, if we don’t act quickly, there may be nothing left at all for us to even want to protect. At that time it might be too late.

The most important first step is to stop buying and eating meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and any animal products for you and for your family’s sake, for the natural resources’ sake, and to plant the seeds for a better agricultural system for everyone. In this way, everyone will prosper and enjoy a long and thriving life.


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