“Mother earth is not a resource, it is our home!” This line delivered by Ms. Elizabeth Peredo Beltran of Fundacion Solon an organization pursuing the creation of an international climate tribunal based in Bolivia resounds across the conference room of the Royal Hotel.

The forum, a side event of the UNFCCC’s inter-sessional workshop held in Bangkok, and organized by The Thai Working Group on Climate Justice, Philippine Movements on Climate Justice and Focus on the Global South, was aimed at mainstreaming to the general public and strengthening of network for climate justice at the regional level.

The ongoing activity at the UNESCAP is the sixteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 16); The fourteenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention(AWG-LCA 14) as well as workshops pursuant to the Cancun Agreements.

Pru Odochao of the Thailand Land Reform Network, and of Karin Origin, an indigenous group from the North of Thailand said that “Indigenous people have customary laws that ensure the sustainability of our resources while we are developing.  Our respect for nature is integrated in our daily lives, the earth is the great grandmother that provides us with everything we need.  Example, before we drink water we set aside a little bit and pour it on the ground then thank the heavens, the earth, the mountain, and the stream.

Dr. Sriprapa Petcharamesree of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights said that “the Rights of Mother Earth is a new narrative of rights, and shows how humans are accountable to our environment, and said that all forms of violence against nature should stop. “Climate Change and Global Warming is a form of reminder that we need to stop the onslaught against mother earth, and we know that the global north are more accountable than the south”

Ms. Elizabeth Peredo Beltran reiterated that “we cannot build on rhetoric and should build on practices, especially coming from the grass roots, and that the only way to ensure human dignity is to make sure that the integrity of mother earth is respected, and recognize that the earth is a living being”. South-East Asia echoes the call for the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature , Vince Cinches of SEA said “that to ensure a safe climate future, global institutional mechanisms to respect the rights of mother earth should be put in place, we cannot agree more that our lives should go in harmony with nature.