A lot can be learned from the impressive legal work of Thomas Linzey, a fiercely creative attorney who has not only pioneered the rights of nature, but developed legal doctrines for “community rights” and more recently, “self-owned land.”
Attorney Frank Bibeau found a way to legally protect nature by suing the state of Minnesota in the name of manoomin, or wild rice, sacred to the Ojibwe people.
I think we are born with an innate sense of relationship; it has to be “educated” out of us to accept and participate in the current industrial food system.
From the Navajo Nation to a small town in Pennsylvania to Ecuador, then across the world, the idea of enshrining the rights of nature is only growing.
If we are to succeed, it seems we need to first come off our high horse. Now: how do we accomplish this feat of psychological counseling on a grand scale?
What we may not realize is that nature is always on the ballot everywhere. But our awareness of that fact is only now bubbling to the surface of political consciousness.
If we cannot listen, learn and change our ways, for the good of all “persons” of the planet, power should be put in the hands of those that have listened for millennia and can speak in defense of the violated interconnected rivers of the world.
Rights of Nature is a movement that has been fortifying itself around the world as an antithesis to the dominant paradigm of limitless growth and extractivism. Firmly grounded in holistic Indigenous worldviews, this ecocentric paradigm could be a global game changer if a coordinated and adaptable effort — based on shared knowledge systems and accountability — is established.
Every time a group of people starts to make others understand that there’s a need to take action for a given problem, they can start to undertake initiatives to adopt this law, as we are doing. The abolition of slavery in America and of apartheid in Africa started with small groups which engaged themselves in the recognition of specific rights.
A global movement to give nature rights is growing in the face of a mass extinction event driven by climate change and human over-use of the natural world.