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United Nations, 2016 December 15th, Rights of Nature for Peace and Sustainable Development - Annual International Conference

5th International Annual Conference in United Nations See detailled presentation

United Nations, 2016 December 15th, Rights of Nature for Peace and Sustainable Development - Annual International Conference

5th International Annual Conference in United Nations See detailled presentation

Home > Records > Rights of Nature for Peace and Sustainable Development > United Nations, 2016 December 15th, Rights of Nature for Peace and Sustainable Development - Annual International Conference

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Minutes from the 2016 conference :

International Annual Conference on the Rights of Nature
December 12-16, 2016
United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Here is the page of Minutes of a former Conference. To see the Program of this year, please look on this Program of Conference

Thursday December 15, 2016
from 14:30 to 18:00

Presentations were in both English and French. Debates and questions took place in English and French.

Leading Projects of Education to Science and Citizen Sciences since 1992, and creating 1st Participatory Researches Camps in 2004, the NGO Objective Sciences International have the Special Consultative Status to United Nations. Active in all continents, the NGO organize every year, since 2012, the International Annual Conference on Rights of Nature in United Nations, at which one participate all Governments actives in this domain or interested by these works. The objective of this Conference organized into the heart of the United Nations hemicycle is to allow all the actors and operators in these domains to exchange, meet and share directly and at the largest international level.

Interactives Dialogues of the UN and Rights of Nature

The experts who are solicited annually by the Bureau of the United Nations in charge of the initiative Harmony with Nature, exchange already at national and continental levels (Europe, North America...) following diverse groups of themes. This Conference organised in December permit to work on the results of the High Level Interactive Dialogues that happened, and to prepare the objects of thinking for the next Interactive Dialogues. The one who want to exchange and share their ideas, practices and solutions, at worldwide level, meet at the end of the year for the International Annual Conference organized in United Nations.

Protection of Nature / Legal personality of Nature / Living Beings / Sustainable Development

Several public or associative organizations, and citizens, that are active in the domain of Rights of Nature, federated or organized, at the international level. The main national actors, the federations, and the specific operators, organized presently at the international level, and are called to meet annually at the end of the civil year, at the International Annual Conference on Rights of Nature, at United Nations, in Geneva.

This annual space of sharing results and pooling of skills allows those working in the domain to exchange practices, solutions, ideas, needs.

Your Annual Exchanges Resource

In the following of the national and continental meetings that are organized in each country and continent by the local federation, this International Annual Conference at United Nations allow the actors to implement in consultation, or to inform mutually, of progress and actions they lead during the year, or that they have in project.

The participants at this Conference were:

  • Local and regional actors of different countries
  • Thematic Actors by disciplines
  • Regional or national federations
  • Thematic Federations, by disciplines
  • Large Institutions of Rights of Nature
  • Associations of Defence and Protection of Nature
  • Government departments (Environment, Education, Research, Sustainable Development...) and international associations of Ministries
  • Specialized Journalists (law, science, environment, education, sustainable development ...)
  • UN agencies (UNDP, UNEP ...)

Subjects in the agenda of December 2016 were:

  • Earth-centered Law
  • Ecological Economics
  • Education for a natural behaviour of respect of Nature
  • Holistic Science and Researches
  • Humanities for Rights of Nature
  • Philosophy and Ethics
  • The Arts, the Media, Design and Architecture
  • Theology and Spirituality front of Rights of Nature

Detailed Program

Exchanges between stakeholders of the meeting happened in a round table between speakers and debates with the audience of the Assembly.

Organiser : NGO Objective Sciences International, Geneva
Chairman : Thomas EGLI, President of Objective Sciences International
Moderators :

14:00 – Opening of the Conference


14:30 - Introduction

14:30 - 15’
Opening Remarks
Reminder of concepts of the International Annual Conference
Thomas EGLI, President of the NGO Objective Sciences International


Sub-group 1

The UN to adopt the Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth

The Formation of an internal coordinating group amongst UN representatives/member States to admit a proposal to the UN General Assembly in 2018 (the 70th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration) for the adoption of The Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth by the UN and all member states.
Mrs Doris RAGETLI, Rights of Mother Earth, Switzerland

Presentation - Doris Ragetli ppt

Emerging jurisprudences: from natural community charters to an international law against ecocide.

I propose to provide an outline of legal developments and innovations that are occurring around the world in relation to building a strong jurisprudence of the Natural Contract. Current and ongoing cases as well as rising legal commentary and creation all contribute to a new, or perhaps ancient, role of law as the cultural adjudicator of humanity’s connection with its habitat. I will discuss how rising litigation against Carbon Majors and those who commit ecocide are pushing judges and courts into evolving and stretching the law into territory that maintains and nourishes the essential bond between humanity and nature. I will also discuss the limitations to the development of international jurisprudence in this area, as well as strategies for its accelerated development.
Mrs Bronwyn Lay, Dirt Foundation,

Sub-group 2

Earth Jurisprudence: A brief synopsis of the 2016 Virtual Dialogue “Harmony with Nature” followed by a short presentation of Microcosm to Macrocosm – the slow ecocide of the Natural and Human communities in the desert climate of South Eastern Spain – the Oasis of El Rio De Aguas, and, in South Eastern Ecuador, of the Natural and Human communities of the tropical cloud forests of the Cordillera Del Condor.

I will talk briefly on the concepts of Earth Jurisprudence and the vision of a new civilization incorporating an holistic system of governance.
I will follow these words by outlining the struggles occurring in Spain and Ecuador in the context of the recommendations of the Harmony with Nature 2016 dialogues relating to Earth Centered Law.
“Develop a new, integrated legal perspective and policy framework around rights of Nature and tie it to other struggles for justice, including describing how the recognition of Nature’s rights (and rejection of governance systems that harm those rights) positively impacts the struggle, inter alia, for racial justice, climate justice and environmental justice, as well as to rectify growing wealth inequality.” Harmony with Nature 2016 Recommendations Earth Centered Law.
Mr David Dene, El Rio De Aguas, Spain. Participant on the United Nations 2016 dialogue Harmony with Nature - discipline - Earth jurisprudence.

Presentation - David Dene

Nature Man Declaration Project
A project for a universal emergency declaration on rights and duties of human beings.
Our duty to care for Nature (that includes our duty to care for human beings who are part of Nature) is the core of the Declaration Project I am proposing to present. Human Rights have been enunciated in various declarations, yet it seems to be a much more difficult exercise to enunciate Nature Rights, because Nature is so complex and so much bigger than us human beings. In order to respect Nature and all its beings and ecosystems, defining our duties towards Nature seems to be a much more realistic exercise within the scope of the human mind. Hence the Project for a Universal Emergency Declaration on Rights and Duties of Human Beings.
Mrs Michèle PERRIN-TAILLAT, Luxembourg

Presentation - Michèle Perrin-Taillat

Earthlaw, Wildlaw, Rights of Nature: exploring concepts
Recognising Rights in Nature is moving centre-stage, as a result of climate, environment and ecology concerns. At heart is the relationship between Man and Nature expressed in law and legal language. The concepts of ‘Earthlaw’, Wildlaw and ‘Rights of Nature’ imply a balance in favour of Nature. But what do these concepts actually signify and how do we make the link between theory and practice?
It is suggested that a linguistic approach offers scope for insights in the field. First one would explore the individual concepts and their construction; second, one would identify criteria underpinning them; third, one would compare those criteria with existing criteria of law; fourth, one would explore how far the concepts are already implemented in law, or not. The aim would be to conceptualise legal systems that fully embrace Earthlaw, Wildlaw and Rights of Nature concepts.
Mr Colin ROBERTSON, Luxembourg

Presentation - Colin Robertson

Recognizing Cetacean’s Entitlement to Resources and their Roles as Stakeholders

The needs, perspectives and desires of other-than-human animals are rarely, if ever, considered within western political and developmental frameworks. Yet, taking these into account could significantly improve, at least, the “sustainability” of ecosystems, and at best, instances of community thriving across species lines. In order to gain other animal representation within the political sphere, there should be formal recognition and due respect for (a) their existing entitlement to resources and (b) their roles as stakeholders within participatory development projects. I argue that dolphins and whales (cetaceans) are excellent candidates for these considerations, as they benefit from an extensive body of science that presents strong evidence for their moral standing. I present a case study in Ireland where a coastal human community has initiated the participatory process for establishing a Marine Protected Area. I outline the reasons why the resident dolphin communit y ought to be considered as stakeholders within this process; how to best determine their needs and interests; and why doing so has become an ethical obligation. In Ireland, members of the dolphin community communicate their interests passively but also actively: certain individuals, known as solitary sociable cetaceans, engage with the human community directly, communicating in ways that are both compelling and challenging to our contemporary conceptions of who these animals are and what they require in order to thrive. Cetaceans are positioned to help us better understand how to represent and protect their interests as well as those of the wider ocean community, and they pose a serious challenge to the unequivocal placement of human interests before those of other animals.
Mrs Laura Bridgeman, USA,

Presentation - Laura Bridgeman

Un Monde Réenchanté
Un Monde Réenchanté is an association that want to put in relation philanthropists with alternative, united and ecological projects all around the world, while suggesting to volunteers committing on the ground to the meeting of these projects.
Mrs Ariane Vitalis, association Un Monde Réenchanté, France)

Presentation - Ariane Vitalis

The Safe Operating Space as Our Common Home
Over the long course of the history of our planet, the geosphere and biosphere have co-evolved as a single, complex system to generate many different conditions on the surface of the Earth. This co-evolution of the Earth System, with significant variations in the chemical composition and circulation patterns of the atmosphere and oceans as well as the temperature at the Earth’s surface, has given rise to different states of the Earth System. Reading this long history has allowed us to understand the truly unique situation that has characterized the current state : a period of climatic stability in the last 11,700 years, a time interval we call the HOLOCENE. Only during the Holocene has humankind developed agriculture, villages and cities, and the complex civilisation that we enjoy today. But human activities have now become so pervasive and profound that they are destabilising the Holocene state of the Earth System. It has been long said that one cannot manage what cannot be measured. But the situation is perhaps even more complicated : all the benefits from, or damage to, the Earth System are currently non-existent from a legal viewpoint. So, how can we manage and protect something - the favourable state of the Earth System - that is intangible and not legally defined ? We must recognize that the current International legal system is not properly equipped to address the threats that human activities are posing to this favourable state of the Earth System. And we need to act upon that. Science has called this favourable biogeophysical state of the Earth System the "Safe Operating Space" for humankind. This "safe space" is defined as a characteristic of the Earth System as a whole and has no specific territorial character : specifically, it refers to a Holocene-like state of the System. In this sense Our Common Home is a specific favourable state of the Earth System. It’s an intangible "home", delimited by the so-called "Planetary Boundaries". With this recent possibility of measuring the state of the Earth System it became possible to define the "Safe Operating Space of Humankind". To maintain such biogeophysical intangible space in a favorable state and regulate its equitable use, a new universal legal system is needed that recognize the Earth System as a Common Intangible Natural Heritage of Humanity. Such legal system must be part of a wider Earth System Accounting Framework that allows the inclusion of all the positive and negative "externalities".
MMr Magalhães Paulo and Galli Alessandro, Common Home of Humanity, UK,

Presentation - Paulo Magalhaes

Sub-group 4

The Revolution Necessary for Justice to Prevail. A Futuristic Perspective.
I, like many individuals, environmental lawyers and NGO’s around the world, have worked for years to end environmental devastation - amidst reality where most chances to enforce existing law to protect, are obstructed, suspended or against all odds.
What will it take for the Judicial System to elevate its superiority over the political and corporate class who commit the conduct of the large-scale environmental crimes? - within a culture that renders almost no threat of accountability.
What will it take to realize an efficiency which eliminates the judicial lethargy that is so disconnected from the speed of the devastation which advances? - on the rare occasions that the ‘art of law’ actually works to protect.
What will it take to clearly conceive of the misleading agenda’s and PR narratives which distract those who work to protect, from existing mechanisms that give a genuine chance to defend the environment within our lifetime? - given the fact that most of the destruction will be committed within our lifetime.
In my 10 years of dedicating to this issue, i have come to the conclusion that currently the law alone, has almost no power to protect.
There is little courage, focus or finance to engage or enforce existing law that should protect.
So what is the necessary fight for justice that must evolve in order for the judicial system to come to force for the environment? - to ultimately protect humanity which relies upon nature for its well-being.
Since 2013, I have individually submitted case profiles to the International Criminal Court - with six accepted for review - where I have argued the logic of applying the existing statute to conclusively end the environmental destruction of our major ecosystems; including current cases to defend the Great Barrier Reef and Australian life-systems; the Amazon Rain-forest, The Arctic and their respective populations.
Years ago, to the surprise or resistance of many, I proposed a legal context constructed from the Rome Statute, which was capable to end the escalation of Climate Change - or more importantly, prevent environmental destruction at the source; thus forcing an investment transition toward a sustainable developments, essential for economies to evolve in balance with nature.
I argued the I.C.C’s power to render dirty industrial developments, effectively non-profit and continue to argue that a genuine climate change agreement, would assert the same simple principle.
On September 15th 2016, the International Criminal Court published a paper confirming that they will now prosecute cases pertaining to Environment Destruction. After experiencing years of opposition to my multiple legal arguments that promoted this potential, I was confirmed correct. This is a small but important victory that opens up an entirely new landscape of hope to defend life. One which i have already experienced in the context of reality, culture and time, for 10 years. It has been a journey which has brought and taught many lessons.
Currently, three of my environmentally focused SQP-ICC case arguments accepted by the International Criminal Court for registration, have new evidence submissions which require the court’s renewed review. I work with volunteers to continue to build upon and develop the evidence profiles which support SQP-ICC case argument and have a range of other case profiles in development which welcome a broader group of contributors.
Within each argument registered with the court, I proposed a single word amendment to the ‘Elements of the Crime’ text that would extend protection to our major ecosystems (without the need for the causality of human destruction). This would the Rain-forest, Coral Reefs and the Arctic, to be directly protected as ‘National Groups’. I have proposed that this ‘interpretation text’ amendment would allow the Rome Statute to protect nature as it does humans and continue to insist that no new law is needed, if this simple amendment is fought for by all, which i have run a long term ‘Victory’ campaign profile.
Furthermore, I have consistently proposed within each argument registered with the I.C.C, the value of extending the International Criminal Court for Sustainability cases, whereby the UN or private donors contribute a dedicated budget to enforce the court’s ability to efficiently end the escalation of climate change, by investigating the SQP-ICC context that enforces the accountability of decision-makers inflicting harm.
In addition to the five arguments focused on the Rome Statute ending environmental destruction, my sixth argument extends beyond one of the world’s greatest environmental crimes to propose the International Criminal Court’s judicial power to end the Syrian War by the collective judicial force of 122 signatory nations; - should the world’s judiciary have the courage to apply the law and act upon their responsibility to protect.
Similarly, I continue to argue the Rome Statute’s power to render war ‘not for profit’, just as it could render dirty industry ‘not for profit’, by immediately freezing and seizing all revenues related to the arms industry, in order to protect the victims. They are capable of enforcing such seizures tomorrow, with my Syrian argument being formally under review since August 16th 2016. This is a paradigm shift that would give the world a chance at a future of peace. But what will it take for this responsibility to take effect? - should the judiciary wish to evidence that it is not the meek subservient to the political-military-industrial complex which advances a highly profitable and repetitious model of war and environmental destruction.
Imagine how quickly businesses would transition to wholly sustainable methods, should they be unable to retain profits from any conduct which inflicts destruction upon a population or ecosystem. Imagine how the motivation to instigate conflict would reduce, should the defense industry be unable to profit.
To remove the financial benefit from destruction, is the world’s most efficient force to protect. But who has the courage or intention to bring this about?
This journey of profiling the judicial change necessary for people and planet to gain protection has led me to one conclusion. The law alone, existing or new, will never end the devastation, until another complex revolution evolves first. Let’s talk about it.
MrsMiriam CLEMENTS, Sustainable Quality Purpose,, France/USA,

Presentation - Miriam Clements

Sub-group 5

The role of ecodemocracy in enabling the rights of nature

This presentation will allow to explain how "ecodemocracy" (ecocentric democracy) can enable the rights of nature and how it can be implemented in practice at different scales. Following this presentations, we will explore the difference between :

  • "Deliberative ecodemocracy"
  • "Ecodemocracy by human proxies with voting rights"
  • "Ecodemocracy by juries of citizens"
  • "Ecodemocracy by statute"
  • "Subversive ecodemocracy"
    As a conclusion of this simple moment together, we will exchange about what could be the better solution, or the better solutionS, to help appear... an non anthropocentric democracy.
    Mr Joe Gray, The Ecological Citizen journal, United Kingdom,
Presentation - Joe Gray


Once more Humanity finds itself in the recurrent crossroad between Eros and Thanatos. How do we deal with the waters or other minerals, the forests, the animals, in a national, regional and international ambit, in a way that assures life and future for all living beings? When it was a matter between life and death, under the threat of extinction because of the emergence of the great world wars in the 20th century, Humanity had the wisdom of gathering and trying to fraternize under the common ideology of human rights defense, with the emission of international declarations and rules to protect the human being and the citizen’s rights. Now, again under extinction threat, because of the environmental collapse annunciated and proved by scientists and the multiple civilization crisis where it is immerse, once more, people are pressed to re-unite and, a new civilization model, guided by the principle of Harmony with the Nature and the Rights of Mother Earth, that starts to be delineated in the South America.
According to this new model based on the understanding that nature is an organic and inter-related whole, whose Humanity belongs to, hope arises… This hope is hold in the attempt of re-signifying the relation between Humanity and Planet Earth and the human beings among themselves, in a way that can generate a new Earth centered worldview: a non-antroprocentric, communitarian and solidary social-environmental model, by recognizing the Rights of Mother Earth and the Principle of Harmony , which can be adopted to the whole planet, through its insertion in the system of rules of International Rights…
In Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution, and Bolivia’s 2009, insubstantially deep changes are perceived, through the institutionalization of these principles, in the vanguard of the ecocentric turn, overcoming the anthropocentric model where the current judicial systems were built on. Among the innovations introduced by Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution, the most remarkable is the recognition of Pachamama’s Rights (Rights of Nature) in the widen scenery of Sumak Kawsay constitutionalized as a right of Living Well (Buen Vivir). In Bolivia “Vivir Bien” or Suma Qamaña, was officialized as an ethic-moral principle of the plural society in the Political Constitution of the State of Bolivia of 2009, the Principle of Harmony. In Brazil we propose the recognition of Planetary Dignity as a vector of the Brazilian Constitution. With this aim, we are pushing forward the thesis with some activities like stablished of some research groups and especially with proposals of law like we did for the city of São Paulo, the most populated city of Brazil and one of the world.
Mrs Germana de Oliveira Moraes (Violeta Molina), Pachamama Nation, Brazil (
(by Mrs Vanessa Hasson Oliveira, MAPAS - Métodos de Apoio à Práticas Ambientais e Sociais, Brazil)

Remote Speakers

The results of the interactive dialogue in the United Nations about a Universal Declaration of Rights of Nature, and worldwide context and concomitant projects
- A discussion of the results of and the opportunities created by the interactive dialogue on the Rights of Nature.
- A presentation of a new online resource tool sponsored by the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative.
- A trust fund has been created. Bolivia has already become the first country to contribute to this trust fund and now it is looking for other contributors.
Maria Mercedes SANCHEZ, Focal Point of the United Nations (New York) on the question of Harmony with Nature

Final Presentations

Exemple de projet de Recherche Participative inclus dans le thème des Droits de la Nature : Etude sur le piégeage de la chenille processionnaire du pin (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)
Chaque année, les chenilles processionnaires du pin (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) représentent un réel danger sanitaire dû à leurs poils urticants. En effet, elles se sont emparé d’environ 100 000 km2 de territoire français et progressent en moyenne de 5 kilomètres vers le nord du pays tous les ans.
Pour notre étude, nous nous sommes demandé s’il existait une hauteur optimum afin d’installer les pièges à phéromones. C’est pour cette raison que nous avons placé des pièges à 1,5 mètre et d’autres à 5 mètres.
On peut facilement mettre en évidence l’importance des pièges à phéromones dans la mise en place de techniques de lutte contre les chenilles processionnaires du pin.
Nos recherches ont permis de mettre en avant qu’il existe une influence provenant de la hauteur des pièges sur le nombre de papillons mâles capturés.
C’est donc sur la base de ces nouveaux résultats que nous continuerons notre étude.
Par les Volontaires du Programme de Recherche Participative PERCEPTION, Ann-Elfig TURPIN, 17 ans, Lancelot DIBLAN, 17 ans, Hugo THOMAS, 16 ans, Loïc THOMAS, 16 ans, Adrien MENDES, 16 ans, Anna DIBLAN, 15 ans, Clement LEGER 12 ans, Anne TEKIELI, 11 ans

Presentation - Perception

Entre la Conscience et le Droit
La conférence a pour but de faire prendre conscience non seulement que les animaux ont des droits mais qu’ il ont eux aussi une conscience et doivent être considérés comme des être vivants. Par ce constat nous dénoncerons les pratiques de l’élevage industriel et proposons une solution à un système irresponsable.
_ Rosario Mistretta et Julien Cussaguet, OPAI Organisation de Protection Animale Internationale

Presentation - OPAI

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