Giving Nature Rights

This piece from Utne Reader looks at Ecuador's recent extension of inalienable rights to nature and why other countries should follow this lead.

"In September 2008, the citizens of Ecuador approved the world's first constitution to extend inalienable rights to nature. In the South American country, "Nature, or Pachamama . . . [now] has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution."

Ecuador's policy makers received assistance structuring the groundbreaking eco-provisions from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a U.S.-based nonprofit that's helped municipalities in several U.S. states enact similar "right of nature" laws. The concept is simple but inspired: Give nature rights, so that people can defend them-instead of going after eco-violators for bureaucratic infractions.

Most contemporary law treats nature as property and favors the proprietor, merely limiting the destruction of nature, rather than prohibiting it for nature's own sake."

Full Story: The Emancipated Earth


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