Our well-being as humans depends on Earth's well-being: UN official

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A woman with an umbrella walks in the rain in a field. To the left is a rainbow. Photo: WMO

Human beings are too self-interested in their relationship with nature, because of their failure to understand they are part of the natural world, Wu Hongbo, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs has said.

He made the remarks during an interactive dialogue to commemorate International Mother Earth Day, entitled "Harmony with Nature".

The theme of the dialogue is "Earth Jurisprudence", an emerging field of law that sees and treats Earth as a fundamental, rights-bearing entity and not as a mere property to be exploited at will.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The worldwide celebration of International Mother Earth Day serves as a broad reminder of the essential role of the Earth in providing life and sustenance to all of us, the UN says.

The Day, which is officially being observed on Saturday, also encourages humanity to promote harmony with nature and Earth.

Ahead of the day, the UN held an interactive dialogue on "Earth Jurisprudence", a philosophy of law and human governance in which the well-being of humans depends on the well-being of Earth as a whole.

Here's the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo.

"We are part of the natural world of life. Our failure to understand what it means to be part of the natural world has led us to relate to nature with only our self-interest in mind. I am pleased to note that more and more countries have taken action to set this situation right, including by granting legal personhood to nature.”

Ecuador was the first country to recognize the rights of nature in its national constitution.

Meanwhile, Bolivia has enacted several laws on the rights of nature.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’20”


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