"Thomas helped me to examine the world critically, but without letting go of the mystery, and the wonder, that is an essential component of life on Earth. His thoughts and words inspire me every day." - Roger Chennels, human rights lawyer & EJ Course Facilitator, South Africa.
As a thinker, a poet and a great advocate for the planet, Thomas Berry was an inspiration to many people who are now making huge contributions to the 'Great Work' of shifting humanity back into a mutual-enhancing relationship with the planet.
Find out more about Thomas Berry in the words and memories of those who he supported, educated and called his friends.
Principles of Earth Jurisprudence
To transition towards a mutually enhancing presence on Earth, Earth Jurisprudence requires that these natural principles be embedded in human governance systems; particularly law, education, economy, politics and religion:
Wholeness – Earth is a single, interconnected community. The well-being of each member of the Earth community is dependent on the well-being of Earth.
Lawfulness – The Universe is lawful and ordered. Earth is the primary giver of law, human law is a derivative.
Duty of Care – Humans have responsibilities to care for all members of the Earth Community and maintain Earth's health for future generations.
Rights of Earth – Earth is a living being with intrinsic value. Every constituent of the Earth community has three rights: the right to be, the right to habitat, and the right to fulfil its role in the ever-renewing processes of the Earth community.
Mutual Enhancement – Relationships within the Earth Community are reciprocal. Life is a cycle of giving and receiving.
Resilience – The inherent quality of all healthy living systems is to grow, evolve and adapt to change and disturbance, without losing their coherence.
The community of Tharaka in Kenya are restoring their land and their traditions. Brewing sacred honey beer for rituals at sacred sites, protecting the River Kithino and reconnecting youth and elders, they are reviving the ancestral memory of how to live in harmony with their territory.
In the face of great adversity, small farmers grow 70% of the food on our plates using agroecological methods that follow the laws that govern their ecosystems and help regenerate Nature. Their stories are shared in Gaia's We Feed the World photographic exhibition.
Indigenous communities in the Colombian Amazon have walked a path of total transformation- re-building their forest culture, fighting off mining corporations and winning recognition as the custodians of over 26 million hectares one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth.
Ugandan communities living along the shores of Lake Albert are meeting regularly to revive their seed diversity and custodianship of the sacred natural sites- critical places of ecological and spiritual wealth. Since they began rebuilding their Earth-centred governance systems the rains have returned.
In Europe's far north, indigenous and traditional fisherpeople are working with scientists to re-wild rivers, wetlands and the boreal forest after a century of destruction. Thanks to their traditional knowledge, fish and birds are returning in their thousands.
For 35 years, Indigenous knowledge and Earth Jurisprudence have inspired all of our work at The Gaia Foundation.
We work alongside land-based and indigenous communities to revive their Earth-centred traditions, to re-build food and seed sovereignty, protect sacred natural sites, defend lands and waters threatened by industrial mega projects and web-up movements for systemic change.
Created with images by M_Caballero - "photoshop space universe" • Pexels - "forest nature outdoors" • Mario Álvarez - "untitled image" • skeeze - "world earth planet" • KKristie - "waterfalls cedar philippines"