Global Well-Being

Buenvivir (or “well-being” / “living well”) is an age-old concept that became more globally popularized after the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in April 2010.  The Cochabamba People’s Agreement was adopted by 35,000 representatives of social movements, indigenous peoples and others as an alternative to the “Copenhagen Accord” reached by the UN in 2009.

As Bolivian President Evo Morales explained in 2010: "The peoples of the Andes believe in the concept of 'living well' instead of wanting to 'live better' by consuming more regardless of the cost to our neighbors and our environment. It is with these ancient teachings in mind that, exactly one year ago, the United Nations General Assembly accepted Bolivia's proposal to celebrate International Mother Earth Day on April 22, which coincides with the final day of our conference. We now propose to go one step further and begin collectively drafting a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth. This will establish a legal framework for protecting our increasingly threatened natural environment and raising the global consciousness about Mother Earth, on which we all depend for life."

Members of Grassroots Global Justice felt a deep resonance with the concept of Global Well-Being, and in 2010 formed a working group to develop political strategy and information for GGJ members on the interrelated topics of energy, climate, environmental justice in the context of Global Well-Being.  This working group was the birthplace for many initiatives, and led to the creation of the Our Power Campaign led by the Climate Justice Alliance as an important movement vehicle, and the articulation of the concept that “It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm.”  Read more about the It Takes Roots framework here.