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We need new thinking about our relationship as a species to the rest of planet Earth. Indigenous peoples are leading the way. For example, as a result of indigenous contributions, new provisions in the Constitutions of Ecuador (2008) and Bolivia (2009) give rights to nature. They also advance the idea of buen vivir, a good life for individuals as social beings. Buen vivir departs sharply from the unsustainable consumption and commodification of neoliberal capitalism and encourages meaningful and joyful responsibility of individuals living in community with others.

In the Constitution of the Plurinational Republic of Bolivia, Article 306 (I.) states the Bolivian economic model is plural and seeks to improve the quality of life and the well-being of all Bolivians. The principles upon which the Bolivian economy is organized are, according to Article 306 (III.), complementarity, reciprocity, solidarity, redistribution, equality, legal security, sustainability, equilibrium, justice and transparency.

You can read more about the rights of ecosystems and buen vivir in an article, Buen Vivir: Today’s Tomorrow by Eduardo Gudynas and in an article by María Valeria Berros, in Arcadia, 2015, no. 11, The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador: Pachamama Has Rights.