CELDF

Rights of Nature – 2017 Symposium and Building a Movement

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CELDF has pioneered the movement for recognition of legal rights of the natural world.

In partnership with people and communities, grassroots groups, and governments, in just over a decade, we’ve helped advance the first “Rights of Nature” laws passed at the local level in the U.S. Communities in more than ten states have now enacted such laws.

The first countries have secured the Rights of Nature into law, beginning with Ecuador, which enshrined the Rights of Nature in its constitution in 2008.

In October 2017, CELDF and our International Center for the Rights of Nature, with Tulane Law School, hosted the first Rights of Nature Symposium in the U.S. We brought together leaders on the Rights of Nature from around the world to present on their work and strategize on next steps forward. This included leaders from the U.S., Ecuador, Nepal, Australia, Sweden, and from the Ponca Tribe, the Ho-Chunk Nation, and the Navajo Nation. Conference proceedings and videos of the panels and speakers are available here.

The Symposium comes as our work with communities and in states across the U.S., with tribal nations, and with countries abroad is growing. With your support, we can make the fundamental change that is needed to address what we know today is a fact — nature is suffering.

Today, around the world, ecosystems are collapsing. Coral reefs are experiencing bleaching and die-off. The oceans are acidifying. Species are going extinct at more than 1,000 times natural background rates. And of course, climate change is accelerating, with 2016 the hottest year on human record — the third record-setting year in a row.

With your support, we can make the fundamental change that is needed to address what we know today is a fact — nature is suffering.

It is clear that fundamental change is needed. CELDF, our International Center, and our partners, are building a movement for fundamental change, driving forward a paradigm shift in humankind’s relationship with the natural world.

In 2017, our work on the Rights of Nature made big steps forward with communities and in states across the U.S., with tribal nations, and abroad.

Our first Climate Bill of Rights was enacted — recognizing rights of both people and nature to an unpolluted climate system. The first community in Oregon en- acted a Rights of Nature law. Constitutional amendments are now advancing in several states that would secure the legal authority of communities to enshrine the Rights of Nature in local law.

We’ve met with parliamentary members and government officials from Sweden, Nepal, Bolivia, and other countries on the Rights of Nature. CELDF is serving as legal adviser for the first-in-the-nation lawsuit in which an ecosystem — the Colorado River — is bringing a case to secure and defend its own rights. We’ve launched a series of Rights of Nature workshops with tribal nations. And more.

This movement is building as more and more people, communities, and even governments are recognizing that existing environmental legal systems, which authorize human use and exploitation of nature, are not able to protect nature. These environmental laws are giving way to new legal frameworks that recognize the need to change our relationship with nature.

We need your help to grow this work. Thank you for your support!

Your donation is tax deductible!

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