International Law Center

The United Nations has warned that we are heading toward “major planetary catastrophe.” Indeed, as species decline, deforestation advances, coral reefs die off, the oceans acidify, glaciers and ice sheets melt, and global warming accelerates, a fundamentally new relationship between humankind and nature has never been more urgent.

CELDF is working in countries around the world to advance a new relationship, which for the first time recognizes the highest legal protections – and thus places the highest societal value – on the protection of nature by recognizing the rights of nature.

CELDF work includes Ecuador, India, Australia, Nepal, Cameroon, Colombia, and other countries – assisting civil society organizations and governments to develop rights-based frameworks to protect nature.

This includes:

Ecuador: CELDF assisted the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador to draft rights of nature provisions for its constitution, such that in 2008 Ecuador became the first country in the world to recognize the rights of nature in its constitution. Article 71 of the Ecuador Constitution recognizes that “Nature, or Pacha Mama, where life is reproduced and occurs, has the right to integral respect for its existence and for the maintenance and regeneration of its life cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes.”

India: CELDF is partnering with NGOs in India to develop the National Ganga River Rights Act – to recognize rights of the river to exist and thrive, and the rights of the people of India to pure water and a healthy river. The Ganga Rights Act would recognize:

  • Rights of the Ganga River to exist, thrive, regenerate, and evolve.
  • Rights of the people of India to a healthy, thriving river ecosystem, pure water, and a healthy environment.
  • Recognize the authority of the people of India and their governments to enforce and defend these rights.

Contact CELDF’s International Law Center to learn how we may be able to work with you on rights-based frameworks to protect communities and the environment. Contact us at: info@celdf.org or (country code)+1+717+4980054.