Panel Discussion – Fighting for the Rights of Nature

This conversation covers groundbreaking new developments in the effort to recognize the legal rights of nature, including in Indigenous communities now drafting and adopting such laws. The panelists discuss why communities and countries around the globe are considering this bold step and why treating nature as a living entity with legal rights can revolutionize life on Earth in a system in which courts can be used to enforce rights of rivers, mountains, and forests. Hear stories from communities on the front lines, as they mobilize to build a new environmental law system that actually protects the planet.

With: Mari Margil and Thomas Linzey of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights; and Guy Reiter, Executive Director of Menikanaehkem – Community Rebuilders.


Mari Margil, Executive Director of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights, leads its International Center for the Rights of Nature. Previously Associate Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, she assisted the first places in the world to secure the Rights of Nature in law, including Ecuador. She works internationally as well as with Indigenous peoples and tribal nations to advance Rights of Nature legal and policy frameworks. Mari is a co-author of: The Bottom Line or Public Health and Exploring Wild Law: The Philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence.

Thomas Linzey, Senior Counsel for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), co-founded the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and the Daniel Pennock Democracy School (which has graduated over 5,000 lawyers, activists, and municipal officials nationally to fight to elevate the rights of their communities over corporate rights). He is the author of several books, including: Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community; On Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability; and co-author of: We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States.

Anahkwet (Guy Reiter), a traditional Menominee from Wisconsin, member of the Menominee Constitutional Taskforce and Executive Director of the grassroots community organization, Menikahnaehkem, is a local organizer, activist, author, amateur archaeologist, and lecturer. He has organized a wide range of events on Menominee culture, spoken at a number of universities, and written articles for Environmental Health News and other publications.

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