Bolivia to Give Nature Same Rights as Humans

Nation will create ministry of mother earth

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff | Suggested by stephinrazin

Posted Apr 12, 2011 5:20 PM CDT | Updated Apr 17, 2011 4:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bolivia will soon put in place a first-of-its-kind law that gives Mother Nature the same rights as humans. The idea behind the Law of Mother Earth is to try to rein in pollution and the exploitation of natural resources, reports the Guardian. It grants nature several rights, including the "right to exist" and the "right not to be polluted." In theory, a newly created ministry of mother earth will work with communities to help them monitor local industries.

But "it is not clear at this stage how the somewhat abstract legislation would be implemented," writes Olivia Solon at Wired. "The state will need to be careful to balance the rights of nature with the regulation of industries (such as mining) that contribute a significant chunk of the country's GDP."

A dust cloud covers the mining city of Oruro, Bolivia.   (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)
Tourists are seen bathing in hot springs near the small village of Agua Brava in the Uyuni salt flats, Potosi, Bolivia.   (Getty Images)
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