Updated: Dec 24, 2020
Earth consciousness or the universal respect for nature and all of its forms is manifesting in different ways. It can be viewed as the growing body of knowledge, principles and practices called Earth Jurisprudence. As the protection of earth forms through rights and responsibilities. The management of earth systems through earth system governance [Kotze & Kim]. A call for recognizing the pluriverse, a place where the human, natural & the spiritual world co-exist. [ Querajazu]
Amongst the principles of Earth jurisprudence is the recognition that all members of the planet’s community possess legal rights, including the right to exist and participate in the evolution of life’s bio-diverse networks of interdependent systems. [TJ Demos, 2015].
The multidisciplinary approaches that build the idea of earth consciousness have added much weight to building frameworks for protection and preservation. One can see an influence of cultural, ethical, legal, philosophical, religious, and spiritual perspectives in the realization of a deep & meaningful relationship between humans with nature.
Different frameworks and approaches dealing with the relationship and engagement of nature and human beings have been significant in blending philosophy, science & cultural values into the generation of knowledge about earth systems, and the enforcement of mandates. Frameworks are reflective of a consensus reached, as well as the standards for mobilization & decision making.
In the sphere of law and policy, normative frameworks identify and define the scope of relatability between nature & humans and the responsibilities arising therefrom. The legal landscape on the subject has grown significantly at the domestic & international level. [e.g. The Rights Frameworks recognizing rights and interests of nature and its various forms. The Multilateral Biodiversity Framework focusses on the relationship between nature and people- Convention on Biodiversity, CBD].
The expansion in the normative frameworks has brought the focus on key concepts in relation to human nature relationships. To name a few;
New meanings to concepts including restoration, right to life and dignity.
Competing Interests: The parameters to assess nature versus corporate interests. [both holders of legal rights and guarantees in law].
Harms and Costs: Standards for ascertaining damages and costs for harms caused to entities in nature.
Guardians and Caretakers: Identification of guardians or caretakers of mother earth. [state or community]
Equitable Sharing and Benefits: Defining responsibilities [particularly between different members of communities, and sharing between different countries]
Services and Indicators: Define ecological services and adopt tools/indicators for measurements.
Uniqueness of the process
The translation of earth consciousness into frameworks of norms, processes and mandates is an integrated process involving the contributions of states, organizations & communities. The binding and non-binding instruments adopted can be viewed as a part of the larger framework of norms and principles on the subject. The interrelation and reliance on different approaches and perspectives can be viewed as one of the defining features of the existing and emerging frameworks for preservation and protection of Earth.
See Earth Consciousness and Evolving Frameworks by Kirat Sodhi and Deepa Kansra
Kirat Sodhi is M.A in Philosophy from the University of Delhi. Her areas of interest include Gender Studies and Environmental Studies.
Deepa Kansra is Assistant Professor at the Human Rights Studies Programme, School of International Studies, JNU.
This article was first published on betheclassroomseries