2022 ILAS-HUFS HK+ 2nd International Conference

[ In support of and in partnership with UN Harmony with Nature Programme ]



Dr. Sousa Santos, a distinguished Portuguese scholar, author, and lawyer said, "Just as the 19th century did not begin on January 1, 1800, but in 1830 with the Industrial Revolution, or the 20th century in 1914 with the First World War and the Russian Revolution of 1917, the 21st century begins for me with the pandemic."

The pandemic has demonstrated the necessity of conceiving, embracing, and incorporating into our systems of law and governance a new philosophical and moral understanding of our relationship with Nature, which can enable us to navigate through this century.

Our present anthropocentric worldview, which relegates Earth to the status of mere property owned by man, must be abandoned. It is the underlying cause of the various ecological crises of the 21st century that now threaten humanity’s very existence and its right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment: global warming, climate disruption, ocean acidification, sea level rise, loss of biodiversity, and the COVID-19 pandemic. This right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment was recognized a human right (October 2021) by the UN Human Rights Council in its Resolutions 48/13 and 48/14 encouraging States to implement it and to respect biodiversity and ecosystems.

The UN Human Rights Council also pointed out that more than 155 States have recognized some form of a right to a healthy environment in international agreements or in their national constitutions, legislation, or policies, inter alia. Various international bodies and tribunals have also protected this right. Such recognition is, undoubtedly, a significant step in the right direction toward an international recognition of the Rights of Nature, not only as a function of the potential impacts of environmental degradation on humanity, but because of their intrinsic value as autonomous rights necessary for the continued existence of all life on Earth.

The post-anthropocentric understanding that mankind is not the sole owner of Earth, but rather, one of Earth’s many constituent life forms that must live in harmony with Nature is gaining acceptance around the world. It is no longer considered an abstract, ideal discourse. Instead, it is increasingly understood and respected as practice and way of life rooted in ancient understandings of mankind’s kinship with the natural world, supported by different faiths and ethical precepts. Scientific data and socio-scientific studies demonstrate the connection between mankind and Nature. They also show us the threats that would befall upon all living things and to the planetary systems that support life, should we continue

down the anthropocentric path.

We therefore urge the incorporation of eco-centric principles of Earth Jurisprudence into existing systems of governance and law as a specific strategy for meeting the current unprecedented challenges to the survival of life as we know it. Earth jurisprudence is a philosophy of law and human governance that is based on the fact that humans are only one part of a wider community of beings and that the welfare of each member of that community is dependent on the welfare of the Earth as a whole. The philosophy has emerged in part from the recognition that the human-centered legal systems have not been adequate to prevent the current ecological crises caused by industrial civilization.

The "environmental protection" laws adopted by many nations worldwide have failed to protect the natural world fostering and exacerbating the crisis. In response to these realities, new paradigms of law and policy are being developed, which reflect our dependency upon Nature and our responsibilities to all life. We must incorporate these paradigms into our systems of law and governance. Only by doing so can we hope to protect all life on Earth as we know it.

The worldwide body of philosophy and legal theory that constitutes Earth Jurisprudence includes many differing conceptual and legal approaches. One of them is recognition of Rights of Nature. This approach is based on the understanding that Nature and its elements have both procedural and substantive legal rights, just as humans do, and that such rights are judicially enforceable.

Latin America is the leader in national legislation recognizing Rights of Nature. Ecuador, for example, incorporated Rights of Nature into its national constitution in 2008; and Bolivia enacted the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth in 2010 to guarantee legal rights to Nature. These countries’ pursuit of Sumak Kawsay (a fulfilling life) is the most representative institutional and cultural framework for effectuating the concept of Rights of Nature.

The Humanities Korea Plus (HK+) Group of the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) is jointly hosting an international academic conference with the United Nations Harmony with Nature Programme on 14-16 February 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. Its theme will be "Implementing a New Paradigm in the Post-COVID 19 World: Earth Jurisprudence and Latin America’s Rights of Nature".

Since 2019 and under the sponsorship of Korea’s Ministry of Education and the National Research Foundation of Korea, the ILAS HK+ Group has been following a research agenda entitled "Latin America, the Platform for the Transition of Civilization in the 21st Century: From an Industrial Civilization to an Ecological Civilization". We seek to present Latin America’s Rights of Nature approach as a new, alternative paradigm through academic interpretation and discourse.

Latest achievements of the ILAS HK+ Group in regards to promoting Rights of Nature include:

24-25 Feb. 2021:

2021 ILAS-HUFS HK+ 1st International Conference, organized under the theme “Looking for Experiences and Practices for an Ecological Civilization in Latin America and the Caribbean", with over 90 experts and academics from 13 nations.

18 Jun. 2021:

Sumak Kawsay Forum, a regular forum discussing the Latin American and Korean concept of Rights of Nature attended by experts, academics, lawyers, journalists and diplomats to South Korea from Ecuador, Bolivia and other nations around the Andes.

25-26 Jun. 2021:

10th Asian Conference of Hispanists, organized to discuss "500 years from the encounter between the East and West" and "The Building of an Ecological

Civilization", attended by 123 scholars from 22 nations.

27 Aug. 2021:

Korea-Latin America Green New Deal International Cooperation Forum of Public-Private Academic Research Institutes, cohosted with Korea

Environmental Industry & Technology Institute of the Ministry of Environment

10 Sep. 2021:

Hernán Cortés Expedition to Mexico: Paradigm Shift of Civilization Reflected at its Quincentenary. Academic conference with 6 university institutes dedicated to the study and research of Latin America in South Korea

5 Nov. 2021:

Seminar on Case Law of Rights of Nature and Animals in Korea and Latin America and the Caribbean, cohosted with the Law Research Institute at HUFS. The first academic seminar in South Korea discussing Rights of Nature.

30 Nov. 2021:

Central America Forum - ILAS and the Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Bureau (LAACAB) of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs are jointly hosting

an academic conference, which will be attended by diplomats, experts and academics from South Korea. It is the first academic conference in South Korea dealing issues pertaining solely to the Central American region in the field of history, culture, politics, economics, environment and ecology.

Early 2022:

ILAS is preparing to launch an Asia-Europe-Latin America Research Institute Network called "Global Network of Institutes in Latin American Studies" with the University Institute for Research in Latin American Studies (IELAT) of the University of Alcalá (Henares) in Spain.

The 2022 ILAS-HUFS HK+ 2nd International Conference is the first academic dialogue in Asia covering the themes of Earth Jurisprudence and Rights of Nature, which will be celebrated with the remarks and blessings of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Conference will be conducted virtually. Livestreaming of the main program will be available on ILAS HK+ Group’s YouTube channel "Pachamama TV".

We look forward to hosting presentations by scholars and practitioners from all over the world in the fields of Earth-centered law, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and arts, among many others.

We request your presence and participation at this event and look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions on the subjects summarized in this letter.

With respect and gratitude,

Jeon Yong-gab

Director of ILAS HK+ Group at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies



Conference Title:



I. Presentation Themes

  • We welcome all scholars, researchers and practitioners in the field of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and Law (Earth Jurisprudence).

  • Please select a related theme or subject from the following upon considering to participate as a speaker or presenter.

Earth Jurisprudence & Latin America’s Rights of Nature

Presentations related to the disciplines of Earth Jurisprudence [1. Earth-centered Law; 2. Ecological Economics; 3. Education; 4. Holistic Science (includes Biology, Chemistry, Cosmovisions, Geology, Physics, Holistic Food Systems including Fisheries and Water) and, Holistic Medicine; 5. Humanities (includes Anthropology, Linguistics, Psychology and Sociology); 6. Philosophy and Ethics; 7. The Arts, Media, Design and Architecture; and, 8. Theology and Spirituality], Latin America's Rights of Nature and related interdisciplinary studies

Ecologism in Latin America

Presentations related to issues and developments in the field of ecology in Latin America or affecting the Latin American region (Ecoliterature, ecosophy, ecosociology, ecopolitics, biodiversity, sustainable development, etc.)

Post-COVID 19 Non-anthropocentric Paradigms

Presentations related to shifts and challenges toward new alternatives and paradigms in the era of the post-COVID 19 pandemic

Dissemination of Earth Jurisprudence and Rights of Nature

Presentations related to Earth Jurisprudence and Rights of Nature according to country or region such as introduction on current status (country or region), judicial precedents or litigation cases, status on related legislation and policies, formal and informal education programs, awareness raising activities for the public, etc.