The meaning of Gaarú
EJ Practitioner Simon Mitambo shares the meaning of Gaarú.
"Gaarú is the name for a cultural institution or group in my community of Tharaka, Kenya. The Gaarú is concerned with teaching the laws of Nature to members of the community.
"To become part of the Gaarú, Tharakan people had to go and spend time living in the wilderness, to learn and be connected to Nature.
"People swore an oath of allegiance to Gaarú. Known as the 'Mutheega wa Gaarú', this oath committed the Gaarú's members to keeping the laws that govern Nature in Tharaka; to defending Nature and the knowledge that was important to the wellbeing of the community.
"Gaarú stands for this closeness to nature; for a concern for all life."
What is Earth Jurisprudence?
Gaia's Director, Liz Hosken, explains the basic tenets of Earth Jurisprudence in this short video.
In the Earth Jurisprudence training course, participants explore Earth Jurisprudence as the underlying philosophy which recognizes a different source of law from that of the industrial world, where Nature is the primary text from which human laws should be derived, and from which the Rights of Nature arise. This requires us to decolonise our industrial conception of law and draw inspiration from the understanding of law within the cosmologies of Indigenous communities whose laws are derived from the Earth, not the hand of the human legislator.
Uganda: Supporting Custodians of Life
Our 2019 film, Custodians of Life, follows the impressive revival work EJ Practitioner Dennis Tabaro has been pursuing alongside the Indigenous Bagungu communities in Western Uganda.
“When we started the communities were afraid. They wouldn’t talk about themselves as the custodians of sacred natural sites. But now they have formed an association of custodians. They have engaged with the government to secure the recognition of their traditions and cultures, and to protect their ecosystems”, says Dennis.
Successes so far for the African EJ Network...
Since its inception in 2014, and in addition to its grassroots achievements, the African EJ Collective has played an instrumental role in several critical policy victories at national, regional and international level, including:
Coming back to life
Find out more about EJ Practitioner Simon Mitambo's work to revive culture and nature in Eastern Kenya alongside the Indigenous Tharaka People.
Watch a series of short films and interviews exploring what Earth Jurisprudence is, how it connects with Indigenous cosmologies, deepens understandings of the Rights of Nature and why it is important now.
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“We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension.” -Thomas Berry