Voice of nature is an Environmental Justice Kinstitute, based on long-term investigations dedicated to environmental crimes, ecocide and the possibilities of proposing environmental justice through artistic, juridical, ritualistic and restorative justice practices to find a collective language between humans and other then humans, focused on inter-being, intersectionality and restoration
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Rights of nature

The rights we are demanding to our governments as a new proposal for Belgian constitution:
Right to life
Right to clean air
Right to water
Right to a sustainable environment
Right to healthy food to reclaim the land
Right to Ecocentric education counteracting the usual Anthropocentric discourses
Right to restoration of damaged landscapes
Right to equality between human and other than humans
Right to stop extractivism
Right to degrowth
Right to a preventive law system directed at corporations and governments
Right to cosmological and indigenous perspectivism
Right to become legal representatives and guardians of nature
Right to remove the Earth from the Stock Exchange

Right to life

The right to life is universally recognized in human rights law. The Human Rights Committee, in 2018, stated: “Environmental degradation, climate change, and unsustainable development constitute some of the most pressing and serious threats to the ability of present and future generations to enjoy the right to life.

Right to clean air

There are more than 100 States where the right to a healthy environment is explicitly incorporated in national environmental legislation. So why aren’t we breathing clean air?
Hundreds of millions of people suffer from illnesses caused by poor air quality. Non-communicable diseases such as stroke, heart conditions, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and cancer have surpassed infectious diseases as the leading causes of death in the world. Air pollution is one of the five leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases globally.
Greenhouse gas emissions are also a form of air pollution. Governments have obligations under human rights law to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and take steps to prevent climate change. Governments are failing environmental policies to avoid catastrophic consequences.
Poor air quality has implications for a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, water, food, housing and an adequate standard of living. Air pollution also clearly violates the right to a healthy and sustainable environment.
We demand that governments take policy measurements in relation to the right to breathe clean air, which are both procedural and substantive, as well as the specific obligation to protect people and groups in vulnerable situations.

Right to Water

In July 2010, through Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. The Resolution calls upon States and international organisations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.

Right to sustainable environment

In total, at least 155 States are legally obligated, through treaties, constitutions, and legislation, to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to a healthy environment.

Right to healthy food - to reclaim the land

Capitalistic market system is massively poisoning not only the land but the food we produce and eat with an agriculture-based on fast-growing, genetically modified and contaminated crops. The poisons they are using turn land into desert and cause eruption. The food we eat is completely transformed. The poison disrupts the very important cycle of life, if we keep on using this type of agriculture, we will cause irreversible damage to the land and to our health.

“In principle all our fruit is organic, we plant seeds from the natural genetic laboratory, and grow it the natural way because for selling it as organic products we have to follow the law that protects the label ‘organic”. “We believe that the soil can supply us and we believe in self-management. “We see our occupation as a constitutional right. The land belongs to who cultivates it.” “My philosophy is the philosophy of life. We have to change things if we want to survive.”

Right to Ecocentric education - counteracting the usual anthropocentric discourses

Education needs an ultimate ontological shift. Governments should reform school curriculum to aid future generations to counteract the planetary crisis and future effects of climate change.
Schools should reorient the focus to a holistic and cosmological perspective focused on: wilderness awareness, climate adaptation, holistic busi, ess and commons principles.

Right to restoration of damaged landscapes

Restoration means to control or mitigate harm to the ecosystem to prevent the continuation or reoccurrence of environmental crimes. We demand the government to implement a preventive system where corporations are obliged:

  • to apply precaution and restriction measures in all activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles.
  • strictly forbid the introduction of organisms, organic and inorganic material that can alter in a definitive way the national environmental patrimony and cause the extinction of species.
  • to carry out an environmental audit of violent activities carried out by corporations
  • to oblige employees or contractors to attend a training which enables them to apply sustainable and environmental measurements.
  • if the environment is irreversibly damaged and it is not feasible to restore it to the condition it was in before, corporations should learn and implement regeneration strategies which include the replanting of native vegetation, use of remediation techniques such as phytoremediation, mycoremediation.

Right to Equality between human and other-than-humans

Cosmocide is a term invented by Sony Labou to point at the violence inflicted by the savagery of capitalism on bodies, spirits, and landscapes, to battle against colonialism and neocolonialism.
Granting non-humans legal rights is the same as acknowledging natural beings’ legal equality to humans, which is a profound cultural and legal shift in terms of how we relate to and interact with the environment. Legal rights are not the same as human rights, and so a “legal person” does not necessarily have to be a human being.
Understanding non-human beings as entities is part of a “socio-psychic” element of a visionary paradigm that lawyer Christopher Stone argued in his approach on legal rights for natural objects: a new “myth” and “consciousness” to counteract the intellectualized and contained mindset/vision of Western law, and strive towards a liberal human rights vision to a healthy environment.
In this regard, a recognition of a cosmological definition in law could assist and encourage humans, all of us, to realize, that these holistic relationships with the natural world are crucial to every person’s and people’s identity and survival.

"Personifying the environment might re-engender in others the fellow-feeling for other life forms and the feeling that they are connected to the natural world. This connectedness might in turn revive the beliefs in kinship bonds and sacredness which is so sorely needed in this world where nature has very few rights or other protections."
Catherine J. Iorns Magallanes

Right to stop extractivism

The continual extraction of resources that is driving catastrophic climate change and its violent activities upon communities that are affected by extractivism is a social symptom of the capitalistic system. Many mining, oil, and gas companies are operating with or under a violent and colonial extractive regime. So, the notion of corporate social responsibility is essential to honor human and non-human rights which are being neglected by the many displacements and mass killings.
In order to restore the collective social trauma as a historical process, we must acknowledge the deep ties of colonialism to extraction of wealth and resources and make those who are responsible also accountable for their crimes.

Right to degrowth

The resources tend to not be governed properly. We want to show that there is an alternative that is not equal to occupation and is not leading to privatisation.
We want to inspire more participation and control of the people and the citizens about these public resources, and to introduce new mechanisms. We demand transparency to provide the social context and expose the power relations behind certain conflicts in resources, to show in which way environmental risks and benefits are distributed in society according to gender, class and other criteria.
We demand a reform on the current system to examine how we can prevent privatisation of public companies in the field of waste, water, energy or transport and how we can actually improve the management model of these companies. Also, to advance the services, the consumer- and public interests, that are often not protected sufficiently by these models of privatisation.

Right to a preventive law system directed at corporations and governments

We demand to the perpetrators of environmental crimes:

  • to pay the costs and expenses of a public authority in order to create systems of preventing, controlling, abating or mitigating environmental harm or making environmental damage, or preventing or mitigating loss or damage to property, or paying compensation for loss or damage caused to property
  • to carry out a project for the restoration or enhancement of the environment in a public place or for the public benefit
  • to pay a monetary amount to an organization for the purposes of a project for the restoration or enhancement of the environment or for general environmental purposes.

Right to cosmological and indigenous perspectivism

Indigenous perspectivism means living from a place of reciprocity and equality with human and non-human ecosystems. It is a relational jurisprudence and cosmological position to defend laws for equitable, reciprocal and balanced relationships with non-humans.
Non-humans have their own spirit and life force, and they need to be carefully maintained so as not to diminish or lose that spirit, therefore an animistic relationship is ultimate in order to protect the cosmology of a non-human by not allowing any type of violation of its life.
Non-human beings such as rivers, mountains, oceans (...) should be considered as an indivisible whole. Therefore, it is the interests of the whole ecosystem – not just the part in front of your house – which should be a duty to uphold. We must develop a preventive strategy to address the whole.

Right to become legal representatives and guardians of nature

Custodianship is living from a place of reciprocity and equality with the ecosystem including humans and non-humans. Therefore, a guardian of nature should be able to articulate a relational jurisprudence and formulate arguments to defend laws for equitable, reciprocal and balanced relationships with non-humans.
To be a legal representative of a non-human entity means to ensure a cosmological view of people as part of nature, not separate nor above it. The legal recognition of personality in these examples also recognizes the cosmology of ancestral nature and the indivisibility of the physical and metaphysical elements of the natural world.
The appointment of a human to be an official guardian recognizes “the inseparability” of people, mountains, rivers, seas and forests respectively, as well as the inherent responsibilities in that relationship for taking care of them as kin. In this sense, these examples emphasize the responsibilities to nature more than nature’s rights.
The active role of a guardian is viewing these responsibilities as the flip-side of the human duties within a legal system that recognizes these rights. Therefore, a guardian is responsible for the dissemination of petitions to the parliament, the formulation of violation reports to national and international commissions by filing a case in a Tribunal against the inducer of the crime.

Right to remove the Earth from the Stock Exchange

We propose to make the entire Earth World Heritage worthy, and we demand governments to remove earth from the stock exchange. Nothing of this planet should be tradeable within financial markets.

This research was developed under a collaborative project supported by Victoria Deluxe and the Art of Organizing Hope