Bolivia has made a monumental decision that will have far-reaching effects and benefits for our planet.  The Legislative Assembly has passed a new law called the “Law for the Rights of Mother Earth”.   Its aim is to hold the land as a living system and sacred, with its own rights to be protected from exploitation.

This decision is very much in accordance with the indigenous and ancient philosophies of the Bolivian people who believe in a deity called “Pachamama”.    The name, Pachamama, translates into English with pacha meaning earth, universe, cosmos, space, time, and mama meaning mother.  For the Andean people, She is considered to be the highest divinity as she is responsible for the feminine and fertility, generosity and ripening crops, and the understanding of plenty.  According to the Pachamama philosophy, “She is the source of life, fertile, and sacred.  She is in permanent harmony, balance, and communication with the cosmos.  All living beings and ecosystems contribute to her well-being.”

Bolivian Vice-President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, says “this decision will make world history.  Earth is the mother of all.  This Law will establish a new relationship between nature and man.  Preserving this harmonious relationship will guarantee its regeneration.”

According to this new Law, there are 7 particular rights to which Pachamama, the ecosystems, and humanity are entitled to:

  • Life: conservation of the integrity of the systems of life, and the natural processes which support them.  As well as the conditions and capacities for their revival.
  • Diversity of Life: conservation of the differences and variety of beings who make up Mother Earth. Without being artificially modified or genetically altered in any manner that would threaten their functioning, existence, or potential in the future.
  • Water: conservation of the composition and quality of water to preserve ecosystems, and their protection from contamination.
  • Equilibrium: maintain or restore the components of Mother Earth so as to complement and function. In an equitable manner for the perpetuation of Her cycles, and the revival of vital processes.
  • Restoration: Effective and timely renewal of life systems that have been affected by indirect or direct human actions.
  • Free of Contamination: safeguarding Mother Earth and all of Her components or parts with specific regard to radioactive or toxic waste that has been created by human actions.

This new Law truly is indicative of new thinking whereby free market and capitalism can find a harmonious balance that holds a reverence for Mother Earth, our planet, our home … our future.