Charter for Gaia Nation (Zero Draft for discourse, consensus and ratification)


We, the indigenous peoples of Gaia, Mother Earth:

Considering that we are all part of Gaia, an indivisible, living community of interrelated and interdependent beings with a common destiny;

Gratefully acknowledging that Gaia is the source of life, nourishment and learning and provides everything we need to live well;

Recognizing that all forms of depredation, exploitation, abuse and contamination in the name of ‘development’ have caused great destruction, degradation and disruption of Earth, putting life as we know it today at great risk at the brink of extinction of large number of species, including human beings, through climate and ecological collapse, war and food crises;

Convinced that in an interdependent living community it is not possible to recognize the rights of only human beings without causing an imbalance within Earth;

Affirming that to guarantee human rights it is necessary to recognize and defend the rights of Gaia and all beings in her and that there are existing cultures, practices and laws that do so;

Conscious of the urgency of taking decisive, collective action to transform structures and systems to protect and nurture life on Earth and for peace, prosperity and joy for all in harmony with nature;

Resolve to unite as Gaia Nation for peace, justice, prosperity and joy for all in harmony with nature and with a holistic design to create One World for Many Worlds that respects our diversity of cultures and customs and for human dignity and rights over natural resources of local communities while fulfilling our unity as Gaia Nation;

Proclaim this Charter for Gaia Nation to the end that every individual and institution, including all existing nation governments takes responsibility to promote through teaching, education, and consciousness raising, respect for the rights recognized in this Charter and ensure through prompt and progressive measures and mechanisms, local, regional and global, their universal and effective recognition and observance among all peoples in the world of the Gaia Nation.

Article 1. Gaia, Mother Earth

(1)  Gaia, Mother Earth is a living being.

(2)  Gaia is a unique, indivisible, self-regulating community of interrelated beings that sustains, contains and reproduces all beings.

(3)  Each being is defined by its relationships as an integral part of Gaia.

(4)  The inherent rights of Gaia are inalienable in that they arise from the same source as existence.

(5)  Gaia and all beings are entitled to all the inherent rights recognized in this Charter for Gaia Nation without distinction of any kind, such as may be made between organic and inorganic beings, species, origin, use to human beings, or any other status.

(6)  Just as human beings have human rights, all other beings also have rights which are specific to their species or kind and appropriate for their role and function within the communities within which they exist.

(7)  The rights of each being are limited by the rights of other beings and any conflict between their rights must be resolved in a way that maintains the integrity, balance and health of Gaia.

Article 2. Inherent Rights of Gaia

(1)  Gaia and all beings of which she is composed have the following inherent rights:

(a)  the right to life and to exist;

(b)  the right to be respected;

(c)  the right to regenerate its biocapacity and to continue its vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions;

(d)  the right to maintain its identity and integrity as a distinct, self-regulating and interrelated being;

(e)  the right to water as a source of life;

(f)   the right to clean air;

(g)  the right to integral health;

(h)   the right to be free from contamination, pollution and toxic or radioactive waste;

(i)    the right to not have its genetic structure modified or disrupted in a manner that threatens its integrity or vital and healthy functioning;

(j)    the right to full and prompt restoration for violation of the rights recognized in this Charter caused by human activities;

(2)  Each being has the right to a place and to play its role in Earth for her harmonious functioning.

(3)  Every being has the right to wellbeing and to live free from torture or cruel treatment by human beings.

Article 3. Obligations of human beings to Gaia

(1)  Every human being is responsible for respecting and living in harmony with and as Gaia.

(2)  Human beings, and all public and private institutions, including nation governments, must:

(a)  act in accordance with the rights and obligations recognized in this Charter;

(b)  recognize and promote the full implementation and enforcement of the rights and obligations recognized in this Charter;

(c)  promote and participate in learning, analysis, interpretation and communication about how to live in harmony with Gaia in accordance with this Charter;

(d)  ensure that the pursuit of human wellbeing contributes to the wellbeing of Gaia, now and in the future;

(e)  establish and apply effective norms and laws for the defence, protection and conservation of the rights of Gaia;

(f)   respect, protect, conserve and where necessary, restore the integrity, of the vital ecological cycles, processes and balances of Gaia;

(g)  guarantee that the damages caused by human violations of the inherent rights recognized in this Declaration are rectified and that those responsible are held accountable for restoring the integrity and health of Gaia;

(h)  empower human beings and institutions to defend the rights of Gaia and of all beings;

(i)    establish precautionary and restrictive measures to prevent human activities from causing species extinction, the destruction of ecosystems or the disruption of ecological cycles;

(j)    guarantee peace and eliminate nuclear, chemical, biological and all other weapons causing harm to our body, mind and spirit;

(k)  promote and support practices of respect for Gaia and all beings, in accordance with their own cultures, traditions and customs;

(l)    promote socio-economic systems that are in harmony with Gaia and in accordance with the rights recognized in Charter.

Article 4. Definitions

(1)  The term “being” includes ecosystems, natural communities, species and all other natural entities which exist as part of Gaia.

(2)  Nothing in this Charter restricts the recognition of other inherent rights of all beings or specified beings.

The Spirit of Oneness*

The mental, physical, chemical, and other innumerable facts concerning all branches of knowledge are endless but are all united in myself. It is an untold mystery of unity in me, that has the simplicity of the infinite and yet, it reduces the immense mass of multitude to a single point. Tat tvam asi**. I am that.

This One in me knows the universe of the many. But, in whatever it knows, it knows the One in different aspects. It knows this world only because this world is One to it, in spite of the seeming contradiction of the endless facts contained in the single fact of the One World. Its knowledge of a tree is the knowledge of a unity, which appears in every aspect of a tree from its seed to its roots to stem, branches and leaves, flowers and fruits.

This One in me is creative. Its creations gives expression to an ideal of unity in its endless show of variety. Such are its pictures, poems, music, in which it finds joy only because they reveal the perfect forms of an inherent unity.

This One in me not only seeks unity in knowledge for its understanding and creates images of unity for its delight; it also seeks union in love for its fulfilment. It seeks itself in others. This is a fact, which would be absurd had there been no great medium of truth to give it reality. In love we find a joy which is ultimate because it is the ultimate truth. Therefore it is said in the Upanishads that the advaitam is anantam,—”the One is Infinite”; that the advaitam is anandam,— “the One is Love” .

To give a perfect expression to the One, the Infinite, through the harmony of the many; to the One, the Love, through the sacrifice of self, is the object alike of our individual life and our society.

*Adapted from Introduction to ‘Creative Unity’ by poet-philosopher ‘Gurudev’ Rabindranath Tagore published in 1922
**Literally meaning “thou art that”. This famous expression of the relationship between the individual and the Absolute is frequently repeated in the sixth chapter of the Chhandogya Upanishad, one of the classic texts of Vedanta philosophy of Non-duality. This Upanishad listed in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads belongs to the Tandya school of the Samaveda, one of the four Vedic texts. As part of the poetic and chants-focused Samaveda, the broad unifying theme of the Chhandogya Upanishad is the importance of speech, language, song and chants to man’s quest for knowledge and salvation, to metaphysical premises and questions, as well as to rituals.

Background Note

This ‘Charter for Gaia Nation’ is adapted from the ‘Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth’ created at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth held in Cochabamba, Bolivia on April 22, 2010 by the approximately 35,000 participants. With the wide global reach of the internet, we propose a discourse and consensus building for a final draft to be ratified by 22 April, 2023, 13 years after the Cochabamba Declaration on Earth Day along with a formal announcement of Gaia Nation and commencement of the formation of world government.

Indigenous Peoples challenge prevailing Western discourses, such as on human rights and on the normative foundations of the international world order and the UN (Tauli Corpus, 1999). The worldviews of Indigenous Peoples have also challenged the prevalent discourse on sustainable development, calling for recognition and respect of their traditional knowledge and collective rights to use and control the lands and natural resources that they depend on and strive to protect. Indigenous Peoples occupied a prominent role in the preparatory sessions for the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Tauli-Corpus, 1999).

Their lobbying and organizing efforts, which began in Stockholm 20 years earlier, resulted in a wider recognition of Indigenous Peoples in Agenda 21, the programme of action adopted in Rio. In addition to being referenced throughout the 40-chapter action program, Chapter 26 explicitly called for establishment of a process to empower Indigenous Peoples and their communities through various measures. Chapter 26 also called for the involvement of Indigenous Peoples and their communities at the national and local levels in resource management and conservation strategies to support and review sustainable development strategies. 

Since 1992, Indigenous Peoples have engaged directly in UN processes on sustainable development, including in the Commission on Sustainable Development (1993-2013) and its successor, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. At the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012, the outcome document, “The Future We Want,” recognized the importance of the participation of Indigenous Peoples in the achievement of sustainable development.

Indigenous Peoples’ organizations also worked on the sidelines of the sustainable development process adopting a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in 2010. This declaration stands in opposition to the green economy and growth narrative, which later underpinned the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals.



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