The United Nations Harmony with Nature Programme was established in 2010 after the proclamation of 22 April as "International Mother Earth Day" and the subsequent adoption of the first United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Harmony with Nature. Since then the General Assembly has held an annual interactive dialogue on the subject in New York. The first Experts' Summary Report on Harmony with Nature addressing Earth Jurisprudence was published by the UN in August 2016.
Cormac Cullinan was a keynote speaker at the first interactive dialogue with the General Assembly in 2011 and coordinated African inputs into the 2016 virtual expert dialogue (which involved more than 120 international experts from 33 countries). The United Nations has now established a Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network, The Network is an online platform to facilitate information sharing and collaboration among people who are dedicated to strengthening interdisciplinary collaborations to advance an Earth-centered worldview (based on Earth Jurisprudence).
Currently the contributions by Africans to the global Earth jurisprudence conversation is limited. One of the goals of the Wild Law Institute is to support and facilitate the active participation of activists, practitioners, academics and researchers from Africa in this vital global conversation.
The [Harmony with Nature] Network is an online platform of practitioners, academics and researchers dedicated to strengthening interdisciplinary collaborations to advance a non-anthropocentric, or Earth-centered worldview also called Earth Jurisprudence. At the core of this worldview, is the recognition of the intrinsic value of Nature and of human-Earth relationships that are symbiotic, interconnected and subject to the natural laws of the Universe. UN Harmony with Nature website
Why it matters to us
The rich variety of African customary laws, world views and philosophies have the potential to enrich the global Earth jurisprudence and rights of Nature conversation and to shape how these ideas are applied in practice, both in Africa and beyond. Despite this African voices within the global discussion are muted – the Wild Law Institute aims to change that.
Cormac Cullinan addressing UN General Assembly 2011 (at 1:06:44 to 1:26:30)