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Mother Earth Day celebration at the UN in New York

Last week on 21 April 2017 we celebrated Mother Earth Day in New York the 7th Interactive Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on Harmony with Nature, which had 'Earth Jurisprudence' as its overall theme. This is a remarkable milestone in securing rights for the Earth. 

 Group at New York event
A team of angels

Doris was present as one of the stakeholders to represent Rights of Mother Earth and Natures-Rights. We were able to ask the panelists when the UN will be able to draft a declaration of Rights of Nature. We also conveyed the message from the conference at the EU parliament that took place on 29 March 2017, where the inquiry was; “could Natures Rights be the missing peace of the puzzle in EU legislation for a sustainable future?” For more information on that please visit: The intervention can be seen here at position 2.8 hours. UN Web Tv Part 1).

Other panelists included Linda Sheehan, founder of the Earth Law Center and Executive Director of Planet Pledge, who commented that human rights “are meaningless if the ecosystems that sustain us do not have the legal right to exist”. 

Government representatives included Sr Fernando Huanacuni, Bolivia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who spoke passionately about Mother Earth and 'sumak kawsay' or ‘buen vivir’, a way of living a 'good life' in harmony with Nature. The full-day UN programme also explored recent Rights of Nature legislation in Mexico City, and the rights of the Whanganui River in New Zealand. We were delighted to enable Pallav Dav, co-founder of Kalpavriksh (see Part 2), to participate and talk about recent legislation in India on the rights of the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers. 

The dialogue itself was orchestrated by Maria Mercedes Sanchez, the dynamic focal point for UN Harmony with Nature. The full day's proceedings can be viewed on the UN Web TV website: Part 1 and Part 2. Thanks to all those who contributed, collaborated and supported along the way. 

It's encouraging to see how the Rights of Nature is gaining traction around the world with the granting of legal ‘personhood’ to rivers in New Zealand and India. In both cases the rivers are recognized as ‘living’ entities, with ’spiritual and physical’ characteristics. Mexico City is also a remarkable case, despite adoption of the Rights of Nature into its constitution now being overshadowed by a recent Federal Court challenge.  

I would like to thank the for parts of this report.

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On 22 April we joined the Science not silence Climate March in Manhattan. It was a peaceful and joyful march expressing love and care for Mother Earth.

UN General Assembly 
On Monday 24 April 2017 we attended the opening  ceremony of the 10th anniversary of the rights of Indigenous peoples in the beautiful UN General Assembly Hall.