Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Rights of Nature & Beyond

Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Upcoming SlideShare
Environmental sustainability
Environmental sustainability
Loading in …3
×

Check these out next

1 of 30 Ad

Rights of Nature & Beyond

Download to read offline

In the midst of deep ecological and human crises, endangering life on earth, there are multiple responses trying to re-establish peace and harmony with the rest of nature. But this also requires fundamental transformations in economic, political, and socio-cultural paradigms, away from statist, capitalist, patriarchal, racist and anthropocentric approaches to more earth-centred, equitable, just ones. The 'rights of nature' movement is one element of this, but also needs to go beyond a narrow legalistic approach to the wider worldviews of being part of and mutually interdependent with nature. Presentation by Shrishtee Bajpai and I to Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 2 April 2022.

In the midst of deep ecological and human crises, endangering life on earth, there are multiple responses trying to re-establish peace and harmony with the rest of nature. But this also requires fundamental transformations in economic, political, and socio-cultural paradigms, away from statist, capitalist, patriarchal, racist and anthropocentric approaches to more earth-centred, equitable, just ones. The 'rights of nature' movement is one element of this, but also needs to go beyond a narrow legalistic approach to the wider worldviews of being part of and mutually interdependent with nature. Presentation by Shrishtee Bajpai and I to Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 2 April 2022.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More Related Content

Slideshows for you (20)

Similar to Rights of Nature & Beyond (20)

Advertisement

More from Ashish Kothari (20)

Recently uploaded (20)

Advertisement

Rights of Nature & Beyond

  1. 1. Confidential Customized for Lorem Ipsum LLC Version 1.0 Rights of Nature and Beyond Shrishtee Bajpai and Ashish Kothari (Kalpavriksh)
  2. 2. Crises of Environmental governance in India Five major issues 1. Colonial legacy 2. Regulatory Failure (centralised decision making, lack of real democracy) 3. Neo-liberal growth model 4. Limits to judicial activism 5. Assumption that conservation is environmentalism
  3. 3. What this has resulted into….. ● Diversion of natural ecosystems like forests (mining, dams), coasts (aquaculture, ports) … ● 50 percent of all species will face extinction by the end of the century (globally). ● In India, over 12% wild mammals and 3% bird species face extinction ● India has 45 critically polluted river stretches ● One-third of India’s wetlands lost in the past four decades. ● Earth facing its sixth mass extinction, 1st one driven by human industrialisation and consumption. ● Environmental destruction = livelihood, cultural, and physical displacement…for tens of millions of people
  4. 4. 1970s and 1980s: increase in people’s movements and NGOs (Chipko, Silent Valley, Narmada, Jungle Bachao Manav Bachao, fishworkers…) significant policy measures for the environment (Constitutional provisions, several Acts on wildlife/pollution/environment, Forest Policy, Dept/Ministry for Environment)
  5. 5. Crises of rivers in India ● Pollution ● Damming/diversions ● River interlinking projects ● Sand mining ● Privatisation of rivers ● Riverine conflicts between neighbouring countries – Kali River andTeesta ● Climate change, encroachments ● Underlying Inequalities
  6. 6. Background ● Current laws and policies are used as means to sanction env. destruction ● The ecological crises are demanding us to fundamentally rethink our dominant systems ● Signalling a shift from the extractive, colonial, and property-oriented mindset ● Rooting itself in indigenous and nature-dependent communities’ cosmologies and worldviews – Lepchas, Iwi, Sioux Tribe, Indian adivasis, and many others (reciprocity, interdependence, relational, pluriversal)
  7. 7. That humans are part of rest of nature. Nature is alive and thriving. Healthy, interconnected web of life on Earth.
  8. 8. Worldviews
  9. 9. Rights of Nature around the world 1. Earth-Centered Governance 2. ConstitutionalApproach 3. Indigenous/ RelationalApproach 4. JudicialApproach
  10. 10. World-wide movement 1. Ecuador: Rights of Nature in the constitution, Vilcabamba River 2. US: Rights of nature ordinances 3. Bolivia: Legislative assembly passed Law of the Rights of Pachamama 4. Colombia: Bio-cultural rights of River Atrato, 5. Rights of Amazon region: Rights of Future Generations 6. The Ho-Chunk Nation took a first vote for a rights of nature tribal constitutional amendment, the first tribal nation in the U.S. to do so. 7. New-Zealand: Te Urewera (National Park), Te Awa Tupua Act 8. Rights of Magpie river in Quebec, Canada 9. Rights of Wild Rice by Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Rights of Moon 10. Recently, Chile Constitutional Convention formally approved the Rights of Nature
  11. 11. What Happened in India? 1 2017: UHC order says “Rivers, Forests, Lakes, Water Bodies, Air, Glaciers and Springs have a right to exist, persist, maintain, sustain and regenerate their own vital ecological system. The rivers are not just water bodies. These are scientifically and biologically living. 2 3 In 2018, the same high court ruled that the entire animal kingdom has rights equivalent to that of a living person. IN March 2020, the Punjab and Haryana High Court passed an order declaring the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh city as a living entity, also with rights equivalent to that of a person.
  12. 12. Provisions in the Indian Constitution ● Directive Principles: the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.” ● Fundamental Duties [through Article 51A (g)], “to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.” ● The Apex Court of the land has repeatedly asserted the importance of preserving our environment and natural resources echoing the need of ecological consciousness in society, which is clearly reflected in the sensitivity of honourable judges of various courts.
  13. 13. Points to consider ● Rivers as a ‘Legal Person’- injury can be recognised, have the right to sue, and can be sued ● Have the rights and liabilities like a living person- what will be those rights? how do we define those? Who will be included in it? ● Considered a ‘minor’ – appointed ‘state’ guardians- role of local communities? ● In case of violation of rights: what is violation? What will be compensation/restitution? in what form? To whom?
  14. 14. Other concerns ● Governance Mechanisms –especially for transboundary rivers and other ecosystems? ● Potential of misuse- restricting the rights of dependent communities, offering technical fixes, and right-wing politics ● No grassroots movement
  15. 15. What is a river? River is a civilisation that includes aquatic flora and fauna, the biodiversity in its catchment areas, forests, its tributaries, groundwater, the rocks and soil in its bed and banks, and the human communities immediately dependent on it.
  16. 16. What are rights? The rights of rivers in that sense would mean that the ecological causes and conditions making up the natural habitat are to be protected to maintain a river’s identity and integrity. This does not put an end to fishing or other localised, subsistence-based human needs. ● Right to flow (unhindered), meander, and to flood in its floodplains. ● Right to have the soil and groundwater flow. ● Right of the river should include the rights of all that determine the health of the river. ● Right to all the aquatic flora and fauna. Hence, the species in the river, basin, catchment areas, and forests near the river etc. ● River has a right to sing ● The river has a right to behna, khelna and khelana (flow, to play and to feed)
  17. 17. Duties? The duties of the rivers will be defined based on their intrinsic nature. Hence, natural duties corresponding to the (entity specific) natural rights … and in fact can be said that since they have natural duties, they need to have rights.
  18. 18. Implementation 1. democratic system of custodianship 2. consultative processes at various levels and involve multiple set of actors 3. Custodianship or guardianship:a multi-scale or nested institutional framework
  19. 19. Define “Violations” Violation of the rights of rivers’ should be defined as ‘any obstruction or impediment that disables the entity from performing its essential ecological functions’. This includes, but is not limited to, any violation of the rights mentioned earlier.
  20. 20. Questioning the roots of crises a. Development-growth model b. Political Governance c. Legal framework d. Going beyond rights-framework
  21. 21. ● People’s movements against dams, mining, pollution, over- fishing, SEZs…. these are sustainability, human rights and justice movements, not anti-national! Resistance to destructive development… Protest against dams on Indravati, 1980s
  22. 22. Confidential Customized for Lorem Ipsum LLC Version 1.0 India: alternative initiatives for well-being Water Crafts Shelter Food Energy Governance Livelihoods Conservation Village revitalisation Urban sustainability Learning Health Producer companies Inclusion Sexuality Gender
  23. 23. Vikalp Sangams (Alternatives Confluences): practical collaborations, bottom-up visioning
  24. 24. www.vikalpsangam.org >1500 stories of positive transformation …
  25. 25. Ecological resilience & wisdom (rights of nature, conservation) Radical democracy (direct citizens’ power, accountable representative institutions, borderless world) Economic democracy (producer sovereignty, localised self-reliance, caring/sharing, commons) Social justice & wellbeing (justice, equity of genders, ethnicities, castes …) Culture & knowledge diversity (new learning, knowledge commons, celebrating creativity) Towards a just, sustainable, equitable society 5 interconnected, integrated spheres VALUES
  26. 26. RADICAL POLITICS & ECONOMICS Direct democracy (local to national): power & economic production & commons in hands of people: gram sabhas, urban area sabhas, adivasi assemblies, etc Localisation of economy, self-reliance (with struggles of justice & equality … gender, caste etc) Economy of caring & sharing, qualitative indicators of well-being beyond growth and GDP Bioregional governance across states and countries … political units aligned with ecological and cultural ones? Borderless world?
  27. 27. Renewed Relationship with Nature
  28. 28. What’s ahead of us? ● Awareness , campaigning, and advocacy and decolonisation ● Legal and policy strategies further rights of rivers in South Asia ● Using international law (CBD, Convention on Migratory Species, Ramsar Convention, etc) for legal rights of rivers ● Relationship of customary/traditional law with any such law on rights of rivers need to studied more. ● Groundwork for rights : education, cultural/religious, media ● Reimagining governance from ecological point of view- eco-regions or bio-regions ● Supporting local processes of lake revival and river protection
  29. 29. 1. Rights of Rivers South Asia 2. Global Alliance for the rights of nature (and its Youth Hub) 3. Earth Law Centre
  30. 30. Thank you shrishteebajpai@gmail.com ashishkothari@riseup.net

×