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Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

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Started by: rmilam

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The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (http://therightsofnature.org) is a worldwide movement creating human communities that respect and defend Rights of Nature. Earth rights is a fundamental underlying assumption for creating a truly sustainable world and addressing how we live in harmony with each other and our planet, how we address the issues underlying the degradation of our planet, climate change, agriculture - seed freedom, and social economics and how we ensure a healthy planet for future generations.


Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

The Global Alliance for Rights of Nature (http://therightsofnature.org/) is a network of organizations and individuals committed to the universal adoption and implementation of legal systems that recognize, respect and enforce Rights of Nature.

Rights of Nature is the recognition and honoring that Nature has rights. Legal systems built on the premise of Rights of Nature change the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities. These laws recognize that natural communities and ecosystems possess an inalienable, fundamental right to exist and flourish. Residents of communities where Rights of Nature have been adopted possess the legal authority to enforce those rights on behalf of those ecosystems. In addition, these laws require the governmental apparatus to remedy violations of those ecosystem rights.

These laws represent changes to the status of property law, eliminating the authority of a property owner to interfere with the functioning of ecosystems and natural communities that exist and depend upon that property for their existence and flourishing. They do not stop development; rather they stop development and use of property that interferes with the existence and vitality of those ecosystems.

Reasons for working in this topic, project or business:

Destructive storms such as the recent Hurricane Sandy and the unprecedented 2012 Greenland ice thaw are but two of many growing indications of dramatic climate change. The deteriorating condition of our planet reaffirms the urgency for modern society to change its course.

Our global economic and legal systems are based on the premise that nature is property to be bought, sold, and consumed. We have attempted to protect our natural systems through regulatory systems and agendies which are based on the premise that destruction is allowable and that it is a matter of limiting how much. However, after 40 years of expanding Environmental Protection laws, it is time to admit these systems are failing us and our planet.

In order to ensure an environmentally sustainable future, humans must reorient our relationship with nature and recognize that humans are a part of the natural ecosystems which sustain us. Breaking out of the human-centered limitations of current legal systems to recognize, respect and enforce Rights of Nature is one of the most transformative and highly leveraged actions that humanity can take today to create a sustainable future for all. Individuals, communities and nations around the world are recognizing Rights of Nature as an idea whose time has come. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to act now to realign our legal systems with natural laws.

Root causes of the problems in this field and main barriers:

1) Humankind fosters an anthropologic relationship with our planet that defies the natural balance. We hold ourselves as separate and above all other beings and elements. In so doing, we fail to recognize and honor our interdependence with the ecosystems that give us life and sustain us.

2) Today in most legal systems, natural communities have no standing in a court of law. Almost all legal systems around the world treat nature as property to be bought, sold and consumed. We treat our planet in much the same way humanity has treated slaves. In recognizing Rights of Nature, natural communities become rights bearing entities with standing as a subject of the law.

3) Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection, etc. - these regulatory systems have failed our communities, nations, and our planet. Current legal systems attempt to regulate destruction from the premise that destruction is allowable within a set of limits. Rights of Nature is based on the premise that natural ecosystems have a right to be healthy and to thrive. Humans are part of the natural communities and need natural communities to be healthy inorder for human communities to be healthy.

What is needed to overcome barriers to implement solutions:

An essential step is to create a system of jurisprudence that sees and treats nature as a fundamental, rights bearing entity and not as mere property to be exploited at will.

We as humans need to transform our relationship with our planet from one that holds us as separate, to one that recognizes our interdependency as an earth community.

Transformation of our economic and financial systems is essential to establishing an effective, earth-based rights system that ensures our mutual health and well-being. Economic systems must recognize total social costs.

We need to engage in open dialogue and educate ourselves on the fundamental issues of our goverance systems with respect to how we treat natural communities and ecosystems. We need to examine what it will take to restore natural balance and to again live in harmony with nature.

Specific needs and/or support requests:

Be a voice for the well-being of our earth community. Educate yourself, communities, and organizations on the fundamental premise of Rights of Nature.

Stand for your community and assert earth rights as dozens of communities in the US have done. In 2008, Ecuador became the first county to include Rights of Nature in their Constitution.

We invite colleagues to support the Rights of Nature movement financially.  If you are so inclined, you may do so online at https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/ThePachamamaAlliance/RightsOfNature.html

Suggested best local solution for this topic:

Interest and organized efforts to implement Rights of Nature are emerging around the world. Ecuador, Bolivia, Whanganui River of New Zealand and dozens of communities in the United States (including Pittsburgh, PA)  have taken such a step by incorporating Rights of Nature into national and local legal systems.

Stand for your community and assert earth rights as dozens of communities in the US have done. In 2008, Ecuador became the first county to include Rights of Nature in their Constitution.

More information and ideas are included in Rights of Nature: Planting the Seeds of Real Change at http://www.globalexchange.org/sites/default/files/RONPlantingSeeds.pdf

Networking opportunities:

Join the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature at http://www.TheRightsofNature.org!

We invite individuals and organizations to join the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature and engage in global activism and dialogue with us and in your own communities.

Watch for details of our upcoming Global Rights of Nature conference and of events and conferences around the world. Our leading members are in 6 continents including North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia.

Our member organizations are leading numerous projects to legally recognize Rights of Nature in countries and communities around the world. Among them are

The Rights of Mother Earth Signature campaign has a vision of gathering 1 million signatures. Learn more at RightsofMotherEarth.com and our petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/yes-to-rights-of-nature/.

The Womens Congress for Future Generations convened in Moab, Utah in September 2012 to fulfill the special responsibility that women hold as the first environment for future generations. Participants created a working draft of the Declaration of the Rights Held by Future Generations.  The Declaration is deeply aligned with Rights of Nature.  Please visit http://celebratewcffg.wordpress.com/ to make suggestions and comments!

Suggested best global solution for this topic:

Communities through out the United States are passing earth rights based ordinances. Learn more about these communities via Global Alliance at www.therightsofnature.org, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund at CELDF.org, the Earth Law Center at EarthLawCenter.org. and Global Exchange http://www.globalexchange.org/communityrights/campaigns/rightsofnature.

Among the issues driving the Rights of Nature movement around the world include oil exploration and mining threats to ecosystems, toxic waste dumping, hydrofracking, Tar Sands Pipeline, food and agriculture, threats to marine biology, climate change impacts on island and mountain nations, and other emerging environmental and human rights issues.

Listen to Vandana Shiva speak at the Rio Earth Summit about “Seed freedom is Earth Rights … it is the right of the seed in all its diversity and self organization to evolve into the future.” Dr. Vandana Shiva

In Australia, the Australian Wild Law Alliance wildlaw.org.au was created to carry out research, education, promotional and activist work that furthers the understanding, theoretical development and practical application of Earth Jurisprudence and Wild Law in Australia.

Best practices and policies:

Recognizing Rights of Nature is the foundation for a sustainable future. 

Community and global activists throughout the United States and around the world are leading efforts to implement earth rights based legal systems and redefine social and economic systems to align with earth honoring values.


It is time to reexamine our cultural values and norms to realign with natural laws which recognize humanity's independence on natural communities.  A fundamental underlying assumption is that nature and natural communities not only have the right to exist, persist and maintain their integral systems, but also that human rights and earth rights are deeply intertwined.  We can not have human rights without earth rights. 

Include expanded discussions of Rights of Nature and how to redesign our legal, economic and other social systems to fully embrace the rights of all members of our earth community.


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