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 Park is both a UNESCO World Heritage Preservation site, home to more documented species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and vascular plants than anywhere else on the planet, and home to the largest oil reserve in Ecuador. In 2007, Ecuador agreed not to exploit Yasuni’s oil and the international community committed to an ongoing fund as long as Ecuador keeps its promise. But in 2013, President Rafael Correa ordered drilling when not enough funds were received. The tribunal condemned this drilling due to its dangerous effect on biodiversity and indigenous communities. For the full story, see