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Women religious, indigenous peoples in solidarity on nature's rights

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At the Global Rights of Nature summit, Vandana Shiva, an internationally renowned physicist and environmental activist, led the ritual Thursday on our last morning in Otavalo, sharing some of India’s poems and hymns to Mother Earth. One began, “Whatever, I dig of you, O Earth, may that grow quickly upon you.”

Gold mining's effect on the planet

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Lucky me. I am in Guatemala for a series of meetings between my community, Loretto, and Sagrada Familia here. Thursday we traveled to La Puya, a mine about an hour outside of Guatemala City. The local villagers have been encamped there for 22 months, prepared to block mining equipment from digging wells and starting operations. Earth studies show that gold and possibly uranium lie under the earth.

Indigenous peoples work to save land from extinction

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The sun was beginning to cut the chill of the Andean morning when the group gathered around a fountain in an outdoor courtyard. This is how the summit of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature  began, with Tai Ta Carlos, an elder from this territory, leading a ceremony of thanksgiving to Pachamama, Mother Earth, for the life that sustains us.

Speaking of the damage we are doing to Earth, he said, “We must recognize that we are part of the natural world.”

Road to 'rights of nature' summit passes Earth's midpoint

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We traveled three hours by bus northeast from Quito, Ecuador, climbing winding roads up the highlands of the Andes Mountains, past craggy canyons, hillside farms and village settlements. Our destination was Otavalo, at the foot of the Imbabura volcano, where we joined nearly 50 leaders of the emergent “rights of nature” movement for a four-day global summit.

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In This Issue

September 12-25, 2014

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