Photo: North Yungas Road (aka Road of Death) in Bolivian Andes
Accused by many in the UN of being idealistic, Bolivia is looking to save itself from the harmful effects of global warming by enacting a Law of Mother Earth.
The law refers to the country’s mineral deposits as “blessings” and gives nature rights usually reserved for humans. According to The Guardian, said included in those rights are: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.
However, the most controversial right of nature is the right “o not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.
Bolivia has dealt with environmental problems for some times now as a result of the tin, silver, and gold mining. The indigenous people of the Andes mountain area believe in the deity Pachamama, who is said to be the center of all life. It is also believed that humans are equal to everything in existence.
It is expected that the government will establish a ministry of mother earth and will appoint an ombudsman.
“Existing laws are not strong enough,” said Undarico Pinto, leader of the 3.5 million-strong Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia, the biggest social movement, who helped draft the law. “It will make industry more transparent. It will allow people to regulate industry at national, regional and local levels.”