We, the peoples of Earth:
gratefully acknowledging that Mother Earth gives us life, nourishes and teaches us
and provides us with all that we need to live well;
recognizing that Mother Earth is an indivisible community of diverse and
interdependent beings with whom we share a common destiny and to whom we
must relate in ways that benefit Mother Earth;
acknowledging that by attempting to dominate and exploit Mother Earth and other
beings, humans have caused severe destruction, degradation and disruption of the
life-sustaining communities, processes and balances of Mother Earth which now
threatens the wellbeing and existence of many beings;
conscious that this destruction is also harmful to our inner wellbeing and is offensive
to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother
Earth is sacred;
acutely conscious of the critical importance and urgency of taking decisive, collective
action to prevent humans causing climate change and other impacts on Mother
Earth that threaten the wellbeing and survival of humans and other beings;
accepting our responsibility to one another, future generations and Mother Earth to
heal the damage caused by humans and to pass on to future generations values,
traditions, and institutions that support the flourishing of Mother Earth;
convinced that in order for communities of humans and other beings to flourish we
must establish systems for governing human behavior that recognize the inalienable
rights of Mother Earth and of all beings that are part of her;
convinced that the fundamental freedoms and rights of Mother Earth and of all
beings should be protected by the rule of law, and that the corresponding duties of
human beings to respect and defend these rights and freedoms should be enforced
proclaim this Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth to complement the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to serve as a common standard by which
the conduct of all human beings, organizations, and cultures can be guided and
pledge ourselves to cooperate with other human communities, public and private
organizations, governments, and the United Nations, to secure the universal and
effective recognition and observance of the fundamental freedoms, rights and duties
enshrined in this Declaration, among all the peoples, cultures and states of Earth.
(1) Mother Earth is an indivisible, self-regulating community of interrelated beings each
of whom is defined by its relationships within this community and with the Universe
as a whole. Fundamental aspects of these relationships are expressed in this
Declaration as inalienable rights, freedoms and duties.
(2) These fundamental rights, freedoms and duties arise from the same source as
existence and are inherent to all beings, consequently they are inalienable, cannot
be abolished by law, and are not affected by the political, jurisdictional or
international status of the country or territory within which a being exists.
(3) All beings are entitled to all the fundamental rights and freedoms recognized in this
Declaration without distinction of any kind, such as may be made between organic,
living beings and inorganic, non-living beings, or on the basis of sentience, kind,
species, use to humans, or other status.
(4) Just as human beings have human rights, other beings may also have additional
rights, freedoms and duties that are specific to their species or kind and appropriate
for their role and function within the communities within which they exist.
(5) The rights of each being are limited by the rights of other beings to the extent
necessary to maintain the integrity, balance and health of the communities within
which it exists.
Mother Earth has the right to exist, to persist and to continue the vital cycles,
structures, functions and processes that sustain all beings.
Every being has:
(a) the right to exist;
(b) the right to habitat or a place to be;
(c) the right to participate in accordance with its nature in the ever-renewing
processes of Mother Earth;
(d) the right to maintain its identity and integrity as a distinct, self-regulating being;
(e) the right to be free from pollution, genetic contamination and human
modifications of its structure or functioning that threaten its integrity or healthy
(f) the freedom to relate to other beings and to participate in communities of beings
in accordance with its nature.
Every animal has the right to live free from torture, cruel treatment or punishment by
(1) No human being has the right to confine another animal or to remove it from its
habitat unless doing so is justifiable with reference to the respective rights, duties
and freedoms of both the human and other animal concerned.
(2) Any human being that confines or keeps another animal must ensure that it is free
to express normal patterns of behavior, has adequate nourishment and is protected
from injury, disease, suffering and unreasonable fear, pain, distress or discomfort.
Human beings have a special responsibility to avoid acting in violation of this
Declaration and must urgently establish values, cultures, and legal, political, economic
and social systems consistent with this Declaration that:
(a) promote the full recognition, application and enforcement of the freedoms, rights
and duties set out in this Declaration;
(b) ensure that the pursuit of human wellbeing contributes to the wellbeing of
Mother Earth, now and in the future;
(c) prevent humans from causing harmful disruptions of vital ecological cycles,
processes and balances, and from compromising the genetic viability and
continued survival of other species;
(d) ensure that the damage caused by human violations of the freedoms, rights and
duties in this Declaration is rectified where possible and that those responsible
are held accountable for restoring the integrity and healthy functioning of
affected communities; and
(e) enable people to defend the rights of Mother Earth and of all beings.
Every being has –
(a) the right to be recognised everywhere as a subject before the law;
(b) the right to the protection of the law and to an effective remedy in respect of
human violations or attacks on the rights and freedoms recognized in this
(c) the right to equal protection of the law; and
(d) the right to equal protection against any discrimination by humans in violation of
this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
(1) Every human being has the right to be educated about Mother Earth and how to live
in accordance with this Declaration.
(2) Human education must develop the full potential of human beings in a way that
promotes a love of Mother Earth, compassion, understanding, tolerance and
affection among all humans and between humans and other beings, and the
observance of the fundamental freedoms, rights and duties in this Declaration.
(1) The term “being” refers to natural beings which exist as part of Mother Earth and
includes a community of other beings and all human beings regardless of whether or
not they act as a corporate body, state or other legal person.
(2) Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or
person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the
destruction of any of the rights and freedoms in it.
(3) Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as restricting the recognition of other
fundamental rights, freedoms or duties of all or specified beings.