The Moon has been a constant feature of human existence since the time of our earliest ancestors, illuminating the night, regulating cultural activities, and inspiring science, knowledge and belief.
Since the development of the technology to travel into space over 80 years ago, the Moon has also come to be regarded as a resource for use by humans. International space treaties such as the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 proclaim that the Moon is part of the common province of humanity and not subject to territorial claims. Nevertheless, space agencies and private corporations are proposing to extract lunar resources for profit.
There are many legal and ethical complexities around lunar mining but underlying them is the common space community belief that the Moon is a dead world toward which we have no moral obligation. This view is at odds with public beliefs about the cultural and natural significance of the Moon. It also contrasts with a growing movement on Earth recognising the rights of nature, which has seen entities such as the Whanganui River in New Zealand granted legal personhood. There is mounting scientific evidence that the Moon has dynamic ongoing geological and cosmic processes. Given the acceleration of planned missions to the lunar surface, it is timely to question the instrumental approach which subordinates this ancient celestial body to human interests.
A few years ago, landscape architect Thomas Gooch, Director of the Office of Other Spaces, started running public forums to discuss how we should understand our relationship with the Moon, as part of his work with the Moon Village Association (MVA), an international NGO based in Vienna. The MVA is committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with the Moon. The last of these forums, in August 2020, considered whether the Moon could be granted legal personality as a way to acknowledge that the Moon had an existence of its own separate from human perceptions. Watch the recording of the forum here .
The forums led to a discussion between Dr Michelle Maloney (National Convenor, Australian Earth Law Alliance), Ceridwen Dovey (space researcher and writer), Alice Gorman (space archaeologist), Mari Margil (Executive Director of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights, US) and Thomas Gooch, about creating a Declaration of the Rights of the Moon. One issue was clear: as the Moon held such importance for the people and non-humans of Earth, it was imperative to consult widely and gain as much input as possible. However, there had to be some starting point to open the discussion. Slowly the idea that the group would draft such a declaration was born.
Over the course of a year, the group met regularly to define and refine the necessary concepts. The Draft we have created here is the end result. But it’s really just a beginning – a way to start the discussion at a global level. We don’t know how this declaration will evolve, but your participation is a key part of the process.
Register your support
We invite your support (please sign the register below), and your respectful feedback in the comment field below. Thank you!
Register your supportRead the Petition
|315||Linda D.||Wales||United Kingdom|
|313||Anonymous||Randwick||Australia||The moon is vital for so many aspects of human life, from culture to science, to stabilising our planet. To destroy the moon, its memory unto itself, and any heritage or scientific inforamtion contained within its presence only makes humanity worse off.|
|312||Avery J.||Atlanta||United States|
|306||Daniel M.||Katoomba||Australia||The Moon is sacred and must be protected.|
|304||Ana F.||Leura||Australia||Can we all understand the violence in mining the earth resources and not make the same mistake on the moon. The moon is a sacred space and deserves respect.|
|303||Maureen A.||Aberystwyth||United Kingdom|
|302||Ian T.||Reedy Creek 4227||Australia||Keep the ultra rich from pollution our Moon with space junk, habitation and mining ventures.|
|301||Chris S.||Koah||Australia||The moon belongs to us all. Leave it alone for us all to enjoy!|
|300||Leslie M.||Randwick||Australia||We need to protect the Moon from desecration eg human settlement, mining, exploitation,|
|299||Gillian S.||Koah||Australia||Thank you for this opportunity…|
|297||ADRIAN G.||CDMX||Mexico||Mexican Space Agency|
|294||Sonya McKay A.||Newcastle||Australia||There is a need for protection towards all heritage, our origin, and who we are|
|293||Anonymous||Gresham||United States||I fully support the efforts to halt the exploitation of the earth and all entities in existence in outer space.|
|292||Philip H.||St John's NL||Canada|
|291||Hamish R.||Lincoln||New Zealand||I have used the Moon to teach environmental planning students to think creatively, 'outside the sphere'. Hence interest in this.|
|289||Paul T.||NEWQUAY||United Kingdom|
|288||Sarah M.||Mparntwe||Australia||don't nuke the moon! It's hard to write a poem without mentioning the moon|
|287||Iris E.||Cincinnati||United States|
|286||Juan D.||Merida||Mexico||Very good I like|
|285||Jonah N.||Simsbury||United States|
|283||Eleni I.||Helsinki||Finland||The Moon (and outer space) shouldn't become the subject of exploitation. Love to read about this initiative. Thank you!|
|282||Ram Ramprasad R.||Lansdale||United States||https://pureecoindia.in/humans-have-destroyed-earth-now-they-want-to-make-money-off-the-moon/|
|281||Anonymous||San Diego||United States|
|279||ardaga w.||Piatã||Brazil||Billionaires, military–industrial complex, dog-gone crazy presidentes (...) HANDS OFF THE MOON!|
|276||Whitney F.||Chevy Chase||United States|
|275||Tim M.||Pullman||United States||It is important to consider heritage before it is lost for good!|
|274||Mau P.||Orleans||France||This is so important ! And, unfortunately, so needed. Thank you.|
|273||Jason K.||Eau Claire||United States||An invaluable resource for which without it's existence humanity itself could not exist.|
|272||Elizabeth V.||Eau Claire||United States||Thank you for leading this invaluable effort to protect our moon.|
|271||Kate L.||Kerrville||United States|
|269||Tamara A.||New York City||United States|
|268||Anonymous||Alcester||United States||Keep humans from destroying our moon! If they hurt the moon they will hurt us on earth! We need our moon more than they need to be on it!!|
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