The meeting commemorates the International Mother Earth Day. With a focus on Earth jurisprudence, the meeting is separated into two parts. The first part addresses how Earth jurisprudence is currently being applied across different disciplines. The second part examines how Earth jurisprudence and Rights of Nature can forge a thriving relationship between humans and the Earth.
In the first panel discussion, Chandhra Roy-Henriksen urged governments to include the indigenous peoples in the on-going dialogue. Liz Hosken agreed by sharing her experiences in working with indigenous peoples in Africa and Amazon since 2004. She encouraged governments to revive indigenous traditions and adapt them to the modern world. Klaus Bosselmann focused on the role of nation-states. In order to gain legitimacy, he prompted them to draw the examples of Germany and New Zealand, and act as “trustees of the natural environment”. Peter G. Brown and Linda Sheehan both condemned the current economic models as “absurd” and unsustainable. Instead of measuring GDP, they suggested taking the energy flow into consideration.
In the second panel discussion, Jean-Paul Mertinez encouraged the arts and media industry to transmit more Earth-central world views nationally and internationally. Germana de Oliveira Moraes discussed how harmony with nature is a precondition for all the 17 SDGs. Pallav Das referred to a recent court ruling from India. As innovative as the decision may seem, he argued that it could be counterproductive due to the difficulty of defining the rivers’ rights and responsibilities.
Throughout the meeting, a common theme that was re-emphasized is that human beings are not superior but depend on nature. The challenge is, however, how to get all the Member States involved.
Meeting: Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony with Nature in Commemoration of International Mother Earth Day
Date/Location: Friday, April 21, 2017; 10:00-18:00; Trusteeship Council, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Chandhra Roy-Henriksen, Chief of the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;
Liz Hosken, Director, The Gaia Foundation, South Africa;
Klaus Bosselmann, Professor of Law and Founding Director of the New Zealand Center for Environmental Law, University of Auckland; Chair, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Ethics Specialist Group;
Peter G. Brown, Director, Economics for the Anthropocene Project, McGill University, Canada;
Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of Planet Pledge, USA;
Jean-Paul Mertinez, Producer I Studio Director, Illumina Studios & Media Ltd., UK;
Germana de Oliveira Moraes, Professor of Constitutional Law in the Federal University of Ceará and Federal Judge in Ceará, Brazil; Co-founder of Pachamama Nation (Violeta Molina);
Pallav Das, Co-founder of Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group, India; Environment and Communications Consultant
Written By: WIT Representative Jadice Lau