Concurrent with the official COP21 negotiations in Paris, leaders of indigenous nations from North and South America were in Paris demanding justice for violations of the rights of the earth. In 2010, in Bolivia, the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth gave rise to the International Tribunal for the Rights of Nature as an alternative to the COP meetings. This year, the tribunal reviewed several cases that dealt with Ecuador’s oil exploitation, particularly in Yasuni National Park.
The Bolivian government ratified a new law permitting oil and gas exploration and extraction in protected areas. The government claims the law will bring needed economic development to the areas, and that requirements to use the latest technology and protect "fragile ecosystems" will prevent environmental harm. Environmental organizations have criticized the law, saying it undermines the park service's ability to review environmental impact assessments and will allow oil companies to demand that park boundaries be reconfigured if commercially recoverable resources are discovered.
Bolivian soy farmers have urged President Evo Morales to reconsider the "Mother Earth" law, a ban on genetically modified seeds signed by Morales in October. Opponents of the law say that the ban gives neighbors such as Brazil and Argentina "too many advantages," as lower crop yields and higher food costs add to the country's high transport costs to reduce competitiveness.