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Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (1984)

Part 1, Title II, Section I, Article 19(2):

“Without prejudice to other rights necessary for the full moral and material development that derives from the nature of the person, the State guarantees: … The right to live in a pollution free environment. It is the duty of the State to ensure that this right is not affected and to promote the conservation of nature. The law establishes restrictions on the exercise of certain rights and freedoms, to protect the environment;”*

*Ecuador’s 1984 constitution was amended in 2008. Among the amendments ratified were a series of provisions relating to environmental protection, including the world’s first “Rights of Nature.” In particular, Title II, Chapter Two, Section Two, Article 14 states that “The right of the population to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment that guarantees sustainability and the good way of living (sumak kawsay), is recognized.”

Title II, Chapter II, Section I, Article 12:

“The human right to water is essential and cannot be waived. Water constitutes a national strategic asset for use by the public and it is unalienable, not subject to a statute of limitations, immune from seizure and essential for life.”

Title II, Chapter II, Section II, Article 15:

“The State shall promote, in the public and private sectors, the use of environmentally clean technologies and nonpolluting and low-impact alternative sources of energy. Energy sovereignty shall not be achieved to the detriment of food sovereignty nor shall it affect the right to water.”

Title II, Chapter II, Section VII, Article 32:

“Health is a right guaranteed by the State and whose fulfilment is linked to the exercise of other rights, among which the right to water, food, education, sports, work, social security, healthy environments and others that support the good way of living.”

Title II, Chapter VI, Article 66(2):

“The following rights of persons are recognised and guaranteed:…The right to a decent life that ensures health, food and nutrition, clean water, housing, environmental sanitation, education, work, employment, rest and leisure, sports, clothing, social security and other necessary social services.”

Title II, Chapter VII, Article 71:

“Nature, or Pacha Mama, where life is reproduced and occurs, has the right to integral respect for its existence and for the maintenance and regeneration of its life cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes.

All persons, communities, peoples and nations can call upon public authorities to enforce the rights of nature. To enforce and interpret these rights, the principles set forth in the Constitution shall be observed, as appropriate.

The State shall give incentives to natural persons and legal entities and to communities to protect nature and to promote respect for all the elements comprising an ecosystem.”