The Ecological Citizen: Confronting human supremacy

 


 

What is the Rights of Nature movement? (A definition)

 

The Rights of Nature movement argues that non-human nature possesses inherent and inalienable rights. In thus extending the concept of a right from humans to the rest of nature, the movement transcends the anthropocentric worldview of nature as property and other-than-human beings as exploitable objects. It calls for non-human rights to be expressed and respected via a range of legally enforceable mechanisms, including constitutions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, and decisions reached in courtrooms. Drawing on indigenous worldviews, it is a direct challenge to the human supremacist ideology.

Well-reported examples of early successes for the movement include constitutional reform in Ecuador to recognize the inherent rights of nature, legislature in Bolivia to uphold the 'Rights of Mother Earth', and a treaty to establish the legal personhood of the Whanganui River in New Zealand. The movement gains momentum with every passing month.

 

 


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