The 5th International Rights of Nature Tribunal took place on Wednesday, November 3rd, and Thursday, November 4th at 4 pm (GMT) in Glasgow, alongside the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26). Due to COVID and traveling restrictions, this Tribunal was a hybrid event – online through Zoom and in person at the Auditorium of the University of Strathclyde.
The Fifth International Rights of Nature Tribunal heard two fundamental ecological cases facing the world today: the false solutions to the Climate Change crisis and the Amazon, a threatened living entity. The cases were presented by frontline, impacted communities and experts from around the world, and were heard by a panel of globally recognized judges, who examined and ruled on the cases from a Rights of Nature perspective: Enrique Viale (Argentina), Alberto Acosta (Ecuador), Nancy Yáñez (Chile), Atossa Soltani (EE.UU.), Rocío Silva Santiesteban (Perú), Osprey Orielle Lake (USA), Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria), Lisa Mead (UK), Carolyn Raffensperger (USA), Yaku Pérez (Ecuador), and Princess Esmeralda (Belgium), and the Tribunal was presided over by Leonardo Boff (Brazil).
FALSE SOLUTIONS TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE CRISIS
In the context of the current climate emergency and increasing global ecological breakdown, the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature, founded upon existing normative frameworks of universal law, which are inviolable, non-negotiable and applicable to all living beings, and applying the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth, has found that the practices set out violate a number of the rights of Mother Earth and members of the Earth Community of some of the living beings of which she is composed, including but not limited to the right to life and to exist, to be respected, to continue their vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions, to maintain its identity and integrity as a distinct, self-regulating and interrelated being, to integral health, to be free from contamination, pollution and toxic or radioactive waste, and the right to not have its genetic structure modified or disrupted in a manner that threatens it integrity or vital and healthy functioning.
Taking from this premise, the Tribunal gives recommendations on the following fields:
● Geoengineering and its various techniques
● Carbon Offsets
● Net Zero Emissions and Nature-Based solutions
● Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
● Rights of Future Generations
As regards the two cases brought before the Tribunal in relation to gas flaring and venting in Ecuador and the sacrifice zone of Quintero Bay in Chile, which both serve to demonstrate the
kind of extreme pollution that is being caused by fossil fuel extraction, the Tribunal gives further recommendations for the Sacrifice Zones in Chile and gas flaring and venting in Ecuador.
Read the full verdict here.
AMAZON, A THREATENED, LIVING ENTITY
The International Rights of Nature Tribunal is founded upon existing normative frameworks of universal law, which are inviolable, non-negotiable, and applicable to all living beings. The Tribunal, applying the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth has found in this case serious violations of a number of the rights of Mother Earth and of some of the beings of which she is composed, including but not limited to the right to life and to exist, to be respected, to continue their vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions, the right [of the Amazon region] to maintain its identity and integrity as a distinct, self-regulating and interrelated being, to integral health, to be free from contamination, pollution, and toxic or radioactive waste, and the right to not have its genetic structure modified or disrupted in a manner that threatens it integrity or vital and healthy functioning.
The Tribunal assessed the scale of the damages and impacts caused to the Amazon and condemns those directly responsible for the crimes of ethnocide, ecocide, and genocide against the Amazon and its peoples, namely: banks, financiers of megaprojects in the Amazon; transnational companies, including mining and agribusiness corporations; States, for permitting these criminal actions against the Amazon, violating international law and national legislation, and for the systemic violence that has installed itself in these territories, availing the actions of criminal organizations that operate at the fringes of the law and that invade the territories of the traditional peoples and are unpunished authors of murders and the kidnapping of indigenous leaders, activists, and defenders of human rights and the Rights of Nature.
The Tribunal thus proposes measures for:
● The recognition and guarantee of the Amazon as a Subject of Rights
● Its integral reparation
● De-Mercantilization of Nature
● The recognition of the Indigenous Peoples as Defenders of the Amazon
● Tribunal actions in territory
Read the full verdict here.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Rights of Nature Tribunal, click here.
● Josefina Mösle, Communications for the Tribunal, [email protected]
● Secretariat: Natalia Greene [email protected]