“This past November, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of the Los Cedros Cloud Forest ecosystem and local communities’ rights over the rights of a foreign mining corporation. Truly a seminal case for legal rights of nature, the court addressed the regulatory permitting process, the precautionary principle, biodiversity, community input into the decision-making process, and how human rights to clean water and a healthy environment are completely tied to the rights of the ecosystem and nature.”
Rights of Nature (RON) is a simple concept and dates at least half a century back. Including in local and national legislations the legal right to exist, flourish and regenerate is a foundation for protection of ecosystems – such as the Salish Sea and its watershed – from abuse, unlimited extraction, destruction, toxic contamination and extinction.
Human communities are parts of ecosystems. Healthier ecosystems mean healthier communities.
Work on including Rights of Nature in constitutions, national statutes, and local laws has been done internationally for decades. “Rights of Nature Law and Policy” page at the Harmony and Nature United Nations has a comprehensive list of events.
“The law has seen the beginning of an evolution toward recognition of the inherent rights of Nature to exist, thrive and evolve. This evolving legal approach acknowledges that the traditional environmental regulatory systems generally described herein regard nature as property to be used for human benefit, rather than a rights-bearing partner with which humanity has co-evolved.
Rights of Nature is grounded in the recognition that humankind and Nature share a fundamental, non-anthropocentric relationship given our shared existence on this planet, and it creates guidance for actions that respect this relationship.”
Ecuador’s highest court has ruled that plans to mine for copper and gold in a protected cloud forest are unconstitutional and violate the rights of nature.
In a landmark ruling, the constitutional court of Ecuador decided that mining permits issued in Los Cedros, a protected area in the north-west of the country, would harm the biodiversity of the forest, which is home to spectacled bears, endangered frogs, dozens of rare orchid species and the brown-headed spider monkey, one of the world’s rarest primates.
On November 12, 6 pm at the SCCR quarterly meeting, Dr. Kriss Kevorkian will have a presentation “Environmental Grief, Ecocide and the Rights of Nature”.
Dr. Kevorkian will discuss how her research in environmental grief led her to discover the healing that comes with taking action to save our Mother. This unique form of grief is as much a paradigm shift in mental health as the rights of Nature are in the law.
Please share: This is an excellent podcast by the Climate One “Should nature have rights?”. Speakers at this event: Rebecca Tsosie, Regents professor of law, University of Arizona; Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, attorney; Carol Van Strum, writer and activist. We welcome your feedback and thoughts. https://www.climateone.org/audio/should-nature-have-rights