Rights of Nature

The “Rights of Nature” movement advocates for ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, and mountains to bear legal rights in the same, or at least a similar, manner as human beings.

The Rights of Nature law recognizes that an ecosystem has the right to exist, flourish, regenerate its vital cycles, and naturally evolve without human-caused disruption. Furthermore, when an ecosystem is declared a “subject of rights,” it has the right to legal representation by a guardian — much like a charitable trust designates a trustee — who will act on their behalf and in their best interest. This guardian is typically an individual or a group of individuals well versed in the care and management of said ecosystem.

The goal of conferring rights to nature is to secure the highest level of environmental protection under which an ecosystem can thrive and whose rights are not violated. These nature rights are very often associated with human rights, especially the right to a clean and healthy environment.