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The policy – written with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) – calls for laws recognizing “the rights of nature to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, as well as the right to restoration.” Recognizing that corporate “rights” and powers are incompatible with the Rights of Nature, the policy elevates the Rights of Nature over corporate “rights.”
Following the passage of the new policy by an overwhelming margin, Mari Margil, CELDF Associate Director, said, “We congratulate the Green Party for being a leader on the Rights of Nature. As ecosystems and species collapse around the globe, people and governments are understanding the need for a fundamentally new relationship between humankind and the natural world. We must place the highest protections on nature through the recognition of rights.”
Molly Scott-Cato, Green Party member and an elected Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South West England, stated, “It’s very exciting to see our Party leading the way as usual. The Rights of Nature, as the people of Ecuador know from first-hand experience, is an idea whose time has come.”
The proposer of the Rights of Nature policy, Atus Mariqueo-Russell, said, “With the adoption of Rights of Nature, the Green Party is once again at the forefront of advocating for exciting new ecological laws.”
The Rights of Nature Europe organization assisted with the new policy. CELDF has assisted the organization to develop a European Union citizens’ initiative on the Rights of Nature.
CELDF partners with communities, civil society, and governments around the world to advance Rights of Nature legal frameworks, building a movement toward a rights-based approach to environmental protection. This includes pioneering work with the first communities in the United States to put in place Rights of Nature laws. More than three dozen of these laws are enacted in states across the country, and are now advancing to the state level. As well, CELDF assisted the first country in the world, Ecuador, to codify Rights of Nature constitutional provisions. Today CELDF is working with civil society partners in India, Nepal, Cameroon, Ghana, and elsewhere on the Rights of Nature.
Further, CELDF is pioneering work to confront corporate “rights” – with which corporations are able to decimate ecosystems around the world. CELDF has assisted the first communities in the U.S. to eliminate corporate “rights” when they interfere with the rights of communities and nature.
About CELDF — Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, local economy, and quality of life. Its mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.