Monday, April 26, 2010

Change the System

A World People's Summit on Climate Change took place last week in Bolivia, as a reaction to the failings of the Copenhagen Climate summit last December. Bolivia's privatized water wars 10 years ago set the stage for Bolivian protests against the accords set in this summit by the leading global powers. One of the key initiatives of the climate conference in Bolivia is to come out with a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. Democracy Now speaks with South African environmental lawyer Cormac Cullinan, the co-president of the Rights of Mother Earth Working Group at the summit.

This gathering of 15,000 people at a global conference that speaks to issues ignored by the world leadership looks to a powerful new vision of climate change policy from Bolivia that evolved from social movements through a participatory process, and the end result was a transformative and radical view of earth: that it belongs to all of her people.

This isn't just some value shift as has been portrayed in the major digitally produced movie production by James Cameron, Avatar, that has an Earth Day action tie-in. It's a deep, resonant call to action by the third world countries that have been excluded from a dialogue about climate change that has severely impacted their ecologies.

Update: The BASIC group (Environmental ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China) are not optimistic about an agreement being reached this December in Cancun, Mexico. This group will expand to include other countries in the global south.