by Lisa Venable, Women’s Congress for Future Generations Guardianship Coordinator
Guardians for Future Generations has been part of the Women’s Congress and the Science and Environmental Health Network for many years. Our core belief is that future generations have the right to an ecologically healthy environment where they can thrive. We recognize our responsibility to tend and nurture the earth as well as publically stand for what we love.
Why Guardianship at this time in history? Across the country, there is a push to remove protections for clean water, breathable air and healthy soil. When we remove these protections, all life suffers. As Guardians, we are compelled to act and exercise our right to withhold consent to proposals that will cause future harm.
What Guardians Do:
As a project of the Women’s Congress for Future Generations, Guardians tap the fierce spirit in women to protect what we love: our children, our planet, our health and our future. A “Guardian” ensures that a proposed action or law protects the best interests of current and future generations. A Guardian is committed to stand for what they love.
In February of 2017, we launched a new phase of Guardianship in Minnesota to identify opportunities to protect future generations and ensure environmental justice. A network of Guardians are seeking opportunities to engage local and state governments in adopting a Guardianship approach to their policies.
For example, Guardians urge renewed attention to the Public Trust Doctrine, the government’s obligation to protect, preserve and regulate the assets we all own together, both now and in the future. And, we seek to designate “legal guardians” to review laws and/or regulations for their long-term impacts.
In April, Guardians met with Minnesota Legislators to ask them to become Guardians. We were met with enthusiasm and are currently working on a bill proposal that would enact the “Precautionary Principle” and/or a legal “Guardian for Future Generations.” The Precautionary Principle states that when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.
In September, Guardians linked arms with Ticiea Fletcher, a mom of a developmentally disabled child whose mission is to prevent lead poisoning in other young children. Guardians plan to support her advocacy efforts at the MN Legislature in 2018 to improve laws/funding around lead abatement in homes and rental properties.
Wisdom Circles return in January 2018
Contact Lisa Venable, Women’s Congress Minnesota Team, firstname.lastname@example.org