Ecuador: Mother Nature’s Utopia

By Spencer S. Stober.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic Free Download

This paper considers political and cultural factors that played a formative role in a recent move by Ecuador to include key environmental provisions designed to protect ecosystems by recognizing Pachamama (“Mother Earth”) in its 2008 Constitution. International headlines were quick to announce that Ecuador granted “constitutional rights” to Nature. The indigenous people of Ecuador have an intimate relationship with Nature, and this cultural legacy drives their vision for the future. Their political expression is grass-roots driven, and while international influences exist, a persistent non-Western relationship to Nature persists and may explain this unprecedented action. This paper begins with practical considerations on the value and effectiveness of environmental provisions in constitutions, and then examines key environmental provisions in Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution. It will be suggested that Ecuadorian culture and politics have contributed to this important eco-centric step, and that Ecuador may be working toward a perfect place for Mother Nature to thrive—Mother Nature’s utopia!

Keywords: Ecuador, Pachamama, Mother Nature, Constitutional Rights for Nature Environmental Rights, Sustainability

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.229-240. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 600.771KB).

Dr. Spencer S. Stober

Associate Professor and Ph.D. Program Director, Graduate Studies, Alvernia University, Reading, PA, USA

Dr. Spencer S. Stober is an Associate Professor and Director of the Ph.D. program at Alvernia College in Reading, Pennsylvania. He has taught Biology for 30 years including undergraduate course in Genetics, Botany and Environmental Science. Since earning his Doctorate at Temple University, with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, he teaches graduate courses in education and leadership. In 2005 he received Alvernia’s Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Stober has also served in a number of key administrative positions at Alvernia University, including Department Chairperson, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies. His research interests include the intersection between religion and science, genetics, and environmental sustainability. Dr. Stober and Dr. Donna Yarri, Associate Professor of Theology, recently completed a book, God, Science, and Designer Genes, scheduled for publication by ABC-CLIO Publishers in 2009. At a local level, Dr. Stober is engaged in development of an environmental education center and regional planning. He also serves as Vice President of the Adamstown Borough Council (PA, USA).

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