In 2010, the Legislative Assembly of the Plurinational State of Bolivia endorsed a new “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth” (Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra), which recognises the Rights of Mother Nature to life, diversity and balance (Law 071 of the Plurinational State). This short law consisting of ten articles is derived from the first part of a longer draft bill, drafted and released by the Pact of Unity in November 2010. The full bill remains on Bolivia’s legislative agenda.
The Act promotes guiding principles including the common good, interculturalism and no commodification of Nature. The Act also recognises the duties of the State and citizens to respect Earth’s rights.
The law defines Mother Earth as “a collective subject of public interest,” and declares both Mother Earth and life-systems (which combine human communities and ecosytems) as titleholders of inherent rights specified in the law. The short law proclaims the creation of the “Defensoría de la Madre Tierra” a counterpart to the human rights ombudsman office known as the “Defensoría del Pueblo, but leaves its structuring and creation to future legislation.