Gaarú: The growing African Movement for Earth Jurisprudence
The Gaia Foundation2023
Earth Jurisprudence recognises that the Earth is embedded in a lawful and ordered Universe. Our Earth uniquely sustains life as we know it through a complex system of living processes and laws, as a self-regulating planetary organism. All species, including humans, are inextricably subject to these laws and processes.
Earth Jurisprudence is a philosophy, a way of seeing and relating to the living world out of which we have evolved, with due respect and humility. It enables us to recognise that the dominant assumption underpinning the industrial growth model – that humans are superior and can extract from life endlessly – is both flawed and dangerous. We are now living the consequences of this inflated belief, as we face the chaos of multiple interconnected ecological, climate and social crises on a planetary scale.
In recent years there has been a welcome global surge in recognition of Earth Jurisprudence – ranging from the United Nations’ Harmony with Nature dialogues, to International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as a growing number of precedents recognising Earth-centred customary governance systems and the Rights of Nature.
Thos short documentary discusses the Earth jurisprudence training courses in Central Africa, with the aim is establishing policies for recognising Earth-centred governance. Gaarú is a film about the inspirational people reweaving the connections between culture and Nature across Africa. The film follows African grassroots leaders who are working to protect and restore Africa’s lands, waters, forests, and the ecological knowledge of her peoples. Hailing from across the continent, these leaders are undergoing a transformational, UN-recognised training process, facilitated by The Gaia Foundation since 2017.
The Gaia Foundation (2021) Gaarú: The growing African movement for Earth jurispurdence. 12 minutes.