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Buen Vivir: Latin America’s new concepts for the good life and the rights of nature

Climate change, financial and poverty crises, and most recently, the nuclear disaster in Japan are adding urgency to the search for alternatives to our current model of production and consumption. The ideals of a united world and a desire for happiness and a good life lie at the heart of all debates about sustainable development – and such discussion has long been taking place in developing and emerging countries. Numerous actors all over the world are looking for alternatives to the growth imperative.

Latin America is no different. Ecuador and Bolivia have enshrined the right to a good life in their constitutions. Buen Vivir is based on indigenous traditions and values. Thomas Fatheuer’s essay describes a concept that has remained virtually unnoticed in Europe.

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