Organizing for Community Rights
In this issue:
Who makes the decisions around what corporate activities are allowed to happen where you live?
There are many different issues threatening communities today as a result of our current structures of law, which subordinates the rights of people and the environment to corporations. One of the most damaging of these is Hydraulic (Hydro) fracturing or, fracking. Fracking is a process of extracting hard to reach gas and oil by shooting rocks underground with high-pressure water, sand and chemicals thus releasing the hard to reach oil and gas. A major problem with this process is the amount of chemicals released during the extraction. These chemicals often enter the water sources of local communities, poisoning the water and making it undrinkable.
Many communities are putting their foot down and saying “NO” to fracking, using a rights-based approach to ban corporations from engaging in fracking in their home. Some of the many communities that have passed and adopted anti-fracking ordinances up to date include:
Liking township- Clarion County PA - Pittsburgh, PA - Mt. Lake Park, Maryland - Wales, NY - Borough of Baldwin, PA - West Homestead, PA -
To learn more about fracking in California and whether or not it is threatening your community, check out these articles:
Read an article by Ben Price on Banning Corporate Personhood and putting decision-making power back in the hands of communities!
If your community is facing unwanted corporate activities, we’d like to hear from you. The Community Rights Program at Global Exchange gives communities the tools and resources they need to say “NO” to corporate power and assert the rights of citizens and nature over corporate personhood ‘rights’. To learn more, please contact Shannon Biggs, Director of the Community Rights Program by e-mail, or phone (415) 575-5540.
The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
If you have not gotten a chance to get a copy of the new book, The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth it’s not too late!
Please e-mail Kylie Nealis or contact her by phone at (415) 575-5551 to order a copy. The price of the book is $15/copy including U.S. shipping and handling, for international orders please add $7. Both check and MasterCard/visa payment forms are accepted.
To learn more about this revolutionary new book, click here.
Rights of Nature Reality Tour to Ecuador
Global Exchange is planning a 2012 Gaia Founder's Tour to Ecuador - Recognizing Rights in Ecuador: Communities and Nature from the Andes to the Amazon. The trip will be taking place over 10 days in January 2012. Join us on an inspirational and unforgettable experience in Ecuador, and witness firsthand the revolutionary steps that Ecuador is taking to protect people and the planet. On the trip you will travel with Kevin Danaher, Global Exchange Co-Founder, green guru and Rights of Nature expert, along with Global Exchange Community Rights Program Director, Shannon Biggs.
Learn about Ecuador’s Rights of Nature laws and what that means for the local communities and ecosystems, as well as the potential that these laws have for the rest of the world. You will also get a chance to witness the effects of the petroleum industry on the natural environment and learn about the on-going court-battle against Chevron and the long-term toxic impact of the oil extraction in Ecuador.
Sign up soon! Spaces on this unique delegation are limited and you don't want to miss out! To reserve your spot: Please e-mail Beth Garriott beth@globalexchange or contact her by phone at (415) 558-6939.
To learn more about any other of the wonderful Reality Tours that Global Exchange has to offer please visit our website.
The First successful case of the Rights of Nature implementation in Ecuador:
On March 30, 2011 the first case upholding Ecuador’s Rights of Nature constitutional amendment was brought to court. Local communities along a major river brought this case to court claiming that the debris from a near by road project was in violation of Nature’s constitutional rights. Rocks and debris from the Vilcabamba- Quinara road project has been cited as being dumped in the Vilcabamba River. The project, going on three years has never had an evaluation of environmental impact. If continued the project will cause an in increase in the flow of the river and will provoke disasters such as flooding.
The Provisional Justice of Loja, who over saw the case, ruled in favor of nature. The court concluded that until there was a legitimate environmental impact report filed that can guarantee that the river and its bank will not be harmed in this process, the road project will be suspended.
This is a huge success for the Rights of Nature movement worldwide. This case successfully tested how serious Ecuador is about recognizing Nature’s rights in order to protect communities and ecosystems. Ecuador (with Bolivia following closely in its footsteps) has created an inspirational example of how we can and should change our current system of law our culture, to stand up for Nature and the systems of life it supports in order to allow it to exist, regenerate, and flourish.
To learn more about this case and international movement for Nature’s rights: visit the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature website.
A Woman’s view on the State of the World:
The Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus are now excited to offer a series of seminars and trainings in building Resilient Communities. We see ourselves standing at a crossroad where we have the choice and opportunity to re-imagine and re-direct how we are living with our Earth. Shannon Biggs will be a featured speaker on the topic of Natures Rights, at the first of six seminars to be held on September 30th-October 1st 2011 in Corta Madera. For more information and to see the full list of seminars and speakers please visit the website or, contact June Timberlake.
Food for Thought
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