On November 7th-8th 2017, the International Rights of Nature Tribunal – chaired by Tom Goldtooth – held its fourth session in Bonn, Germany. The Tribunal heard the testimony presented by Marqueza Teco (President of the TIPNIS Women’s Association) and Fabián Gil (President of the Subcentral TIPNIS) along with other experts. They denounced that the Villa Tunari-San Ignacio de Moxos highway, a road project led by Evo Morales and his government, intends to cross the heart of the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS), an area considered to be the most biodiverse region in Bolivia and one of the most biodiverse regions in the world due to its ecosystemic diversity and incalculable value in the variety of species that inhabit the area.
If constructed, this road can cause permanent and structural damage to Indigenous communities, forests, lagoons and rivers, causing the displacement and extinction of species. All this would also lead to the loss of traditional ways of life in balance with Mother Earth for thousands of Indigenous TIPNIS peoples. They also warned of the prospective hydrocarbon mining that threatens TIPNIS, and oil and gas concessions have been identified in four areas covering 30% of TIPNIS. In August 2018, a commission of three Rights of Nature experts and a Tribunal Secretariat was sent to Bolivia to investigate their claims, see the violations of the Rights of Nature firsthand and meet with Indigenous Peoples of TIPNIS, organizations, universities and government officials.
To learn more about the case, please click on this video which has been recently uploaded to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOs5nkNxiLE&feature=youtu.be