Law 460-MC is a Faelish law (Bill #460-MC of the General Government in Congress), that was passed by Faeland's General Government in December 2012. This law is based on the first part of a longer draft bill of Bolivian origin, composed and ratified in that country as the "Law of the Rights of Mother Earth".
The Faelish law defines the orbis terrarum ("orb of land", "world", or "Earth") as "the collective living organism of which humans in general are a part and Faels are a particular" and declares both Earth and life-systems (which combine human communities and ecosystems) as members of a legal household specified within the law. The legal language proclaims the strengthening of the Bureau of the Environment, which will function as a prosecuting office in defense of an otherwise unrepresented "natural person". This law was promulgated as a direct amendment to the Organic Law.
- 1 Drafting
- 2 Content
- 3 Precedence and Implications
The Faelish Green Party (FGP) drafted the original version of the law two years after the April 2010 World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Subsequently a revised, legally precise version was written, to be passed by the Diet that year. The bill was engraved in triplicate in bronze by artist Daniel Arango (as part of the Holy K Movement and art project) to commemorate the occasion; one copy was presented to Bolivian President Evo Morales, one to the Faelish Museum of Natural History, and the last to shipping magnate and environmental benefactor Kjetil Schønhoug of the D.R.A., who sponsored the bill's popular campaign (by special clause inserted by the FGP).
Text of the Law
General purpose of the law and broad provisions.
Article 1 (Purpose)
This Act is intended to recognize the rights of the orbis terrarum, as well as the obligations and duties of the Federated States, its citizens and its society to ensure, safeguard, and respect these rights.
Article 2 (Declarations)
- Harmony. Human activities within the natural context of plurality and diversity, should achieve a dynamic balance with the cycles and processes inherent to the orbis terrarum, the natural world.
- Welfare. It is in the interest of Faeland and its people, in the context of the rights of the orbis terrarum, to prevail in all human activity, and any entitlement insofar as it does not endanger natural processes and prevent harmony in future.
- Balance. Faelish society, in harmony with the common interest of the planet, should ensure the necessary conditions for the different biospheres of the orbis terrarum to absorb damage are maintained, in order to adapt to disturbances and regenerate without significantly altering structure and features of functionality. And Faelish society recognizes that living systems are limited in their ability to regenerate, and that mankind are limited in their ability to reverse their actions.
- Respect. Faeland and its people respect and defend the rights of the orbis terrarum. The State, any individual or collective enterprise, do protect and guarantee the rights of the orbis terrarum to maintain itself, current, and future generations of organisms the world over.
- Life. Life cannot be commodified. Life, life systems, and the processes that support, generate, maintain or sustain life cannot be owned, bought, sold, or modified.
- Universality. The exercise of the rights of the orbis terrarum requires recognition, recovery, respect, protection, and discussion of the diversity of feelings, values, knowledge, skills, practices, skills, transcendence, transformation, science, technology and standards, of all cultures of the world who seek to live in harmony with nature.
Article 3 (Definition)
- Earth is the living dynamic system comprised of the inter-related, interdependent and complementary indivisible community of all life systems and living beings that share a common destiny.
- The planet Earth is considered to be sacred, as per the ancient mandates of the ancestors of all humanity, and the right whatsoever of all living creatures on planet Earth.
- Life is a complex, inexplicable and dynamic community of plants, animals, micro-organisms and other living beings in their entirety, in whole and in concert, in which human life interacts with the rest of creation, under the influence of climatic, physiographic and geologic factors, as well as the productive practices and cultural diversity of the place where this occurs, which is also Earth.
- In order to be protected and for the teaching of her rights, we offer Earth with utmost humility the characteristics of collective rights of public interest within the framework of our culture and our laws. Earth and all its components, including human communities, are owners of the rights inherently understood in this Law. The application of Earth’s rights shall take into account the specificities and particularities of its diverse components. Those rights established in this Law do not limit the existence of other rights of Earth.
- The exercise of individual rights of Faelish citizens is limited by the exercise of collective rights of the living systems of Earth, any conflict among these shall be resolved in a manner that does not irreversibly affect the functionality of both those living systems.
Article 4 (Rights Reserved)
Earth has the following rights:
- To Life: It is the right to the maintenance of the integrity of living systems and natural processes which sustain them, as well as the capacities and conditions for their renewal.
- To the diversity of life: It is the right to the preservation of the differentiation and variety of the beings that comprise Mother Earth, without being genetically altered, nor artificially modified in their structure, in such a manner that threatens their existence, functioning and future potential as we would not want wrought upon ourselves.
- To Water: It is the right of the functionality of the water cycles, of its existence and quantity, and the quality necessary to sustain living systems, and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Earth and all its components.
- To Clean Air: It is the right of the preservation of the quality and composition of air to sustain living systems and their protection with regards to contamination, for renewal of the life of Earth and all its components.
- To Balance: It is the right to maintenance or restoration of the interrelation, interdependence, ability to complement, and functionality of the components of Mother Earth, in a balanced manner for the continuation of its cycles and the renewal of its vital processes.
- To Restoration: It is the right to the effective and opportune restoration of its living systems affected by direct or indirect human activities.
- To live Free of Contamination: It is the right for preservation of Earth and any of its components with regards to disruptive, toxic, harmful and radioactive wastes generated by human activities.
Article 5 (State & Personal Obligation)
- Develop public policies and systematic preventive actions, early alert, protection and prevention, to avoid human activities that lead to extinction of living populations, the alteration of cycles and processes that guarantee life, or the destruction of living systems, including the cultural systems that are part of Earth.
- Develop balanced forms of production and patterns of consumption for the well-being of the Faelish peoples, safeguarding the regenerative capacities and integrity of the processes and vital balances of Earth.
- Develop policies to defend Earth, in the environment of multinational and international overexploitation of Earth's components, against the commercialization and commodification of living systems or the processes that sustain them, and of the structural causes of Global Climate Change and its effects.
- Develop policies to ensure the sustainability of power generation in the long run by means of saving, increases in efficiency and the gradual incorporation of clean and renewable alternative and diverse sources of power.
- Demand in foreign policy the understanding of the environmental debt by means of financing and technology transfer of technologies that are clean, effective and compatible with the rights of Earth, as well as other mechanisms. Our efforts are in vain if not in concert with the other cultural components of Earth. This principle should take first priority in all discussion.
- Maintain peace and the elimination of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.
- Promote the understanding and defense of the rights of Earth in the arena of multilateral, regional and bilateral international relationships.
Article 6 (Citizen & Personal Obligation)
It is the duty of all public or private, natural and juridical persons and citizens of Faeland:
- To defend and respect the rights of Earth.
- To promote harmony on Earth and in all its relationships with the rest of the human communities and natural living systems.
- To participate in an active form, personally or collectively, in the generation of proposals aimed at the respect for and defense of the rights of Earth.
- To take up production and consumption practices in harmony with the rights of Earth.
- To ensure sustainable use and exploitation of Earth’s components.
- To denounce all acts against the rights of Earth, its living systems and/or its components.
- To attend meetings of competent authorities or civil society oriented at conservation and/or protection of the rights of Earth.
Article 7 (Advocate General for Earth)
The position of Advocate General for Earth is created, whose mission is to watch over the applicability to, promotion and diffusion of, and compliance with the rights of Earth established in this Law. A special law will delimit its structure, function, powers and attributes.
Remitted to the Diet, for constitutional ends.
Given on the third day of the month of February, 2012.
Precedence and Implications
The law is considered to be the second instance of environmental law that gives legal personhood to the Earth itself, and may also allow for citizens to sue individuals and groups as particular components of "Earth" in response to real and alleged infringements of its integrity. Legal scholars have noted that the wording of the law implies a Hegelian or phenomenological understanding of the world as and an "enclosing" therein of human existence.