The story of TIPNIS is a story of dignity, struggle, glory, heroism, repression, victory and renewed betrayal against the rights of Mother Earth and of indigenous people.

The Tribunal decided to hear a number of cases from different parts of the Amazon simultaneously in order to consider threats to the Amazon ecosystem in a holistic way. It heard evidence of widespread violations of indigenous rights and the rights of Mother Earth throughout the greater Amazon region. This included testimony about the huge mine proposed in French Guyana, and from communities in Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador. It is clear that this vital ecosystem that is a reservoir of life, home to many peoples and an essential part of maintaining global climatic stability, is being subjected to many attacks which violate its right to exist and maintain its vital cycles.

The extractivist global model inevitably results in violations of the rights of the Amazon as a whole and diminishes the quality of life of all organisms in the region. The Tribunal heard allegations of violations of the rights of Mother Earth arising from the proposed construction of a major road through the TIPNIS protected area in Bolivia and from oil exploitation in the area. Evidence about the victimization and intimidation of those opposing the construction of the road was also placed before the Tribunal. The Tribunal noted this evidence with great concern, particularly because the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth was proclaimed in Bolivia in 2010 and Bolivia has championed rights of Nature internationally.

The Tribunal decided that it wished to gather more evidence from all concerned, including the State of Bolivia, and if possible to send a delegation on a fact-finding mission to Bolivia. It also decided to request the Bolivian government to impose a moratorium on construction of the proposed road and bridges through TIPNIS and on further oil exploration in or near TIPNIS, until the Tribunal has completed its work. The Tribunal was of the view that the imposition of such a moratorium would be an appropriate precautionary measure to avoid possible violations of rights of Mother Earth while a resolution to this dispute is being sought.


The TIPNIS case was presented by representatives of Subcentral TIPNIS and the TIPNIS women’s organization before the International Rights of Nature Tribunal during its session in Bonn, Germany, on November 7 and 8 of 2017. This event was organized by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature.

The Tribunal agreed to try the case in January 2018 and decided to send an International Observer Commission to Bolivia to determine the facts and meet with all the involved parties. Following a visit to Bolivia, the Commission—comprised of: Alberto Acosta (Ecuador), Shannon Biggs (USA), Enrique Viale (Argentina) and Hana Begovic (Sweden)—presented its report in January 2019.

The report is the basis of the Tribunal’s ruling, which concludes that in the TIPNIS case, the Plurinational State of Bolivia has violated the Rights of Nature and of Indigenous peoples as Defenders of Mother Earth and have failed to comply with its obligation to respect, protect, and guarantee the Rights of Mother Earth as established under national legislation and relevant international regulations.

The Sentence

In the case of the Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (hereafter ‘TIPNIS’), the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, (hereafter ‘the Tribunal’ or ‘the International Tribunal’), having considered the report of the commission that made the onsite visit between August 15th and August 22nd of 2018, gives the following judgment.

The Judges


Tom Goldtooth


Shannon Biggs


Osprey Orielle Lake


Cormac Cullinan


Alberto Acosta


Simona Feudatario


Fernando Pino Solanas


Ute Koczy


Ruth Nyambura


Ramiro Ávila


Linda Sheehan


Natalia Greene


A.D.V.M | H.M. | Association des Victimes du Mercure | Haut Maroni

Health and environment

The Association des Victimes du Mercure | Haut Maroni aims to gather, defend and represent the victims of mercury poisoning in the Haut Maroni.


O.N.A.G. | Organisation des Nations Autochtones de Guyane

Customs and culture

The organization of autochthonous nations of French Guiana or the “Organisation des Nations Autochtones de Guyane” aims to defend the Human rights and fundamental freedoms of the autochthons of French Guiana 


Communication and Media



Press Release

Letter to the Bolivian Ambassador in Ecuador

Letter to Evo Morales

Letter from the Ministry of External relationships

Delivery of the report from the Trib Commission to the DDN on TIPNIS

Public Pronouncement of the Coordination of Defense of the Territories before the visit of the Commission of the Court

Letter receipt – Amparo Carvajal, President of the Human Rights Assembly

Answer Ministry of Government of Bolivia

Related Videos

Facebook Livestream 1

Facebook Livestream 2

Livestream of Press conference in Cochabamba

Radio Records

Interview with Alberto Acosta, Radio Platinum

Interview Alberto Acosta, Radio Centro

Related Links

Related Cases

Learn more about the cases related to this tribunal.

Almeria – Water Deprivation

The case concerns the abstractions of huge quantities of water from aquifers in the Almeria region of Spain ...

Climate Change Case

Defenders of Nature and Mother Earth Case

Lignite mining in the Hambach forest

Witnesses gave evidence of how a massive lignite mine near Bonn has created the largest hole in Europe ...

Tipnis Case

The story of TIPNIS is a story of dignity, struggle, glory, heroism, repression, victory, and renewed betrayal ...

Trade agreements and their implications on nature

Expert witnesses from Canada, Germany, South Africa and Puerto Rico testified that Free Trade ...

Learn more About the tribunal

The 4th session of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, held concurrently with the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP23).