Posted by: mariannedc | November 1, 2012

Protecting the Rights of Nature and Future Generations

By Pamela Haines, Quaker social justice educator with a concern for economics and the environment

This fall 150 women, at a conference in the desert town of Moab, Utah, called for a revision of our system of rights to protect whole ecosystems and future generations.  Five principles they articulated include:

1. Recognize nature’s inherent right to exist, building on a growing body of laws and ordinances that recognize nature as more than a resource, and acknowledge that ecosystems and species have the right to exist for their own sake, not only for the sake of humans.

2. Reserve political rights for living beings, not corporations, challenging the recent commodification of nature for industrial use, and holding that corporations’ privileges should be limited and able to be revoked if they violate the rights of present and future communities.

3. Build economies that benefit the world they inhabit, so that the value placed on human activity takes into consideration the long-term effects of that activity on future generations.

4. Practice restorative justice, considering the crime’s effect on the community as a whole, rather than on an individual victim, and involving the perpetrator of an ecological crime in the remediation process.

5. Organize through radical inclusion, to ensure that the rights we choose reflect the needs and wants of all humans and future generations as accurately as possible.

For the full article, go to


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