CELDF’s International Center for the Rights of Nature is partnering with civil society organizations, indigenous peoples, communities, and governments around the world to advance the Rights of Nature. Our Center’s services include legislative and policy drafting, legal research, public engagement, and trainings. Keep reading to learn more or contact us at info@celdf.org.

Advancing the Rights of Nature through Law & Policy

Community Rights of Nature Laws: Communities across the U.S. have now worked with CELDF to develop Rights of Nature in laws. This includes Pittsburgh, PA, which in 2010 became the first major U.S. city to enact a Rights of Nature law.

State Constitutional Amendments on Rights of Nature: CELDF is assisting our Community Rights Networks in several states on constitutional amendments to establish Community Rights and the Rights of Nature. This includes in Colorado and New Hampshire.

Defending the Rights of Nature in Court: CELDF is representing watersheds in two lawsuits to defend the rights of the ecosystems against the corporate “right” to dump frack waste.

Ecuador Constitution – Spanish, English: CELDF assisted the Ecuador Constituent Assembly to draft Rights of Nature constitutional provisions, such that Ecuador is the first country in the world to recognize the Rights of Nature in its Constitution.

Green Party of England and Wales – Rights of Nature Policy: CELDF assisted the Party to develop a Rights of Nature policy which was adopted in February 2016.

Letter to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment: CELDF and our partner organization, the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance-India, submitted a letter to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Nature and right to water in India.

U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth: CELDF assisted in drafting the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth, which was modeled on the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights. The Declaration has been presented to the U.N. General Assembly for its consideration.

Leaders on the Rights of Nature

Pope Francis: In a speech at the U.N. in September 2015, Pope Francis spoke of rights of the environment.

Markie Miller, organizer behind the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, in speech at the U.N. in April of 2019.

Videos and webinars

Tish O’Dell, CELDFs Ohio organizer, on Rights of Nature at Niagara University (2020)

Decolonizing Nature: A Movement’s Voice in the Rebellion – interactive discussion with CELDF attorneys (2020)

A CELDF representative keynoted at the Bioneers Conference. Her speech was titled: Who Speaks for the Trees? Driving Rights of Nature into Law 

Recommended Reading

Representing Ecosystem in Court: An Introduction for Practioners – Written by one of CELDF’s attorneys, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin

Should Trees Have Standing – Prof. Christopher Stone’s seminal work on the Rights of Nature

How Dams Fall – Will Falk

Rights of Nature News Coverage

To learn more about the Rights of Nature, and for advice and counsel, contact us at Markie@celdf.org