Rights of Nature is a global movement to protect nature (rivers, mountains, and entire ecosystems and the life forms supported within them) by recognizing its legal rights. Just as humans and corporations are considered to “have rights,” this legal strategy grants rights to nature itself. These frameworks turn the existing property rights-based paradigm upside down and offer a powerful basis and strategy to conserve lands and communities. They also offer a radically different worldview: the right of nature to exist, persist, flourish and evolve.
Rights of Nature legal frameworks could hold important keys to shifting the system and transforming the law from treating nature as property to a rights-bearing entity on whose behalf people have legal standing as trustees. Bioneers is partnering with a variety of Native allies and organizations to explore these alternative legal strategies to “occupy the law.” Learn more about this project here.
In this two-part episode of the Indigeneity Conversations podcast with Matriarch Casey Camp-Horinek from the Ponca Nation, we talk about how a burgeoning indigenous-led Rights of Nature movement has the potential to protect ecosystems from destruction by granting legal rights to nature itself, and how many tribes are uniquely positioned for leadership to institute and uphold the Rights of Nature because of their sovereign legal status.