Trees Have Rights Too
11 Mar 2009
Polly Higgins, a barrister and environmentalist, tells us it is high time we addressed the rights of the planet.
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Recently, the world celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now, Polly Higgins, a barrister and environmentalist, tells us it is high time we addressed the rights of the planet as well.
In November 2008, Polly presented her call for the Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights, at the United Nations Climate Change conference. A lawyer herself, she knows that an international, global, binding agreement is needed, if the protection of Earth is to be ensured. Polly believes that the United Nations is uniquely placed to implement the necessary foundations to create a new world, where prevention and preservation stand hand in hand.
In an exclusive interview with Positive News, Polly spoke passionately about the campaign. ‚ÄúI really believe a system of Planetary Rights would work,‚Äù she said. ‚ÄúAt the moment we treat the world as a piece of property, taking from it what we need. However, if the Earth were to be given its own rights, this would remove the automatic assumption that we can just use and destroy the planet for our own requirements.‚Äù
Under the new Declaration, it would be made internationally illegal for large corporations to pollute the environment and enable governments, organisations and individuals to take action on behalf of the planets protection. Polly is well aware that this is by no means an easy task. However, she has great faith in the remarkable force of people power.
To make the Bill of Planetary Rights a realisation, the campaign needs further support. As well as a series of upcoming fundraising events, there is also an online newsletter and an interactive map on the website. Here, people can document their involvement in environmental projects and thereby build a ‚Äògreat global forest of activity.
Polly believes it is very important to take people with her on this journey, to watch the campaign grow. ‚ÄúWe need to become a world of campaigners,‚Äù she said. ‚ÄúThe planet has been enslaved and we need to give it back its rights.‚Äù
Polly Higgins with the banner at the
Climate Change March, in December
Photo: ¬© Trees Have Rights Too
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