Valérie Cabanes for Rights of Mother Earth

If our capacity to be conscious of ourselves has led us, insidiously, to imagine ourselves as external to reality, then this individual consciousness will have to move - not towards a group consciousness, an experience that we already know and often oppose - but rather towards a universal consciousness in which everyone accepts to be a mere note in this great symphony of life and, beyond that, the cosmos. Wile staying rooted to the the ground.

Our consciousness and knowledge of life, our ability to admire and understand it, should have taught us how to honor it for what it is. We must learn to see life as a whole and if we had only one role to play, it would be the role of protectors.

Faced with the perils that threaten us, we must open ourselves to tolerance and solidarity. We can not just hope for it, we must also embody it. The philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti explains it differently: “Revolution must begin with you and me. That revolution, that individual transformation, can take place only when we understand relationship, which is the process of self-knowledge.”

And this can only be done by a deep awareness of the principle of interdependence that binds us all, which binds us to the Earth and all other living beings. We should embody a deeply egalitarian worldview in the sense that everyone is recognized in his vital function and everyone knows that he or she is necessary to others.

                       If, like the hummingbird, each of us can intervene to extinguish the great fire, it is as well essential to connect us in                        order to act in a universal way. It is the "synchronicity" of our actions that will bring about change. The more we act in synchronicity, the more we will have confidence in our collective capacities, the more we will be able to act as a great wave. Moreover, by putting our energy at the service of life and not by particular interests, we should feel much more in alignment with ourselves and with the universe. If our individual consciousness awakens, it nourishes and transforms our collective unconscious, which Jung and Schopenhauer have called the "Unus Mundus". Man, when he thinks himself, also thinks the world and becomes it.

The Persian philosopher Rumi summed it up simply "You are not a drop of water in the ocean, you are the whole ocean in a drop of water." This holistic thought is common to many spiritual traditions and finds its source in the wisdom of the indigenous peoples. It has allowed them to find their rightful place and live for millennia in harmony with nature. Per example, in New Caledonia which is still under French sovereignty, the Kanak community of the Loyalty Islands, their customary chiefs and the elected representatives of the community have recognized  in their environmental code adopted in April 2016 the "unitary principle of life" (Art. 110-3), according to which "man belongs to the Natural environment that surrounds it and conceives its identity in the elements of this natural environment which constitutes the founding principle of the Kanak society ". "For the Kanak, there is no difference between man and his environment. He is the Sea, the Earth. “They are now reflecting on the elements of nature that could be granted with a legal personality. A path towards a Universal recognition of the rights of Mother Earth.

About Valerie:

I am a lawyer in international law with an expertise in international humanitarian law and human rights. I spent 18 years leading international programs in the fields of health and human rights. Since 2006, I have been involved in defending the rights of indigenous people. I started a PhD in Legal Anthropology in northern Quebec with the Innu people and then became involved in the defence of their ancestral territory threatened by large hydroelectric dam projects. In 2011, I also opposed such industrial projects in the Brazilian Amazon, in particular the Belo Monte dam, by preparing reports debated in the United Nations Human Rights Council or the European Parliament. In 2013, I participated in the launch of a European citizens' initiative proposing a European directive on the crime of ecocide. Then in 2015 I worked on a proposal for amendments to the Statute of the International Criminal Court on the crime of ecocide given to Ban Ki Moon at COP21. I also co-organized during COP21 the 3rd International Tribunal on the rights of nature which took place in Paris in December 2015, then in 2016 in The Hague, the one organized by The Monsanto Tribunal foundation. I am since 2016 part of the Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network. I contributed to 7 collective books and I am the author of Un nouveau Droit pour la Terre, pour en finir avec l'écocide (Paris, Seuil, 2016) translated by Natraj Publishers under the title Rights for the Earth (New Delhi, 2018), and Homo Natura, en harmonie avec le vivant (Paris, Buchet/Chastel, 2016).


In support of the UN in Harmony with Nature programme and the Sustainable Development Goals

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