Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

Quito, Ecuador
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The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature is an emergent network of countries that is dedicated to helping communities develop the legal means of protecting their ecosystems.  The work of the alliance is based on the recognition that our ecosystems -- including trees, oceans, animals, mountains -- have rights just as human beings have rights.  Rather than treating nature as property under the law, rights of nature acknowledges that nature in all its forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.  Human beings have the legal authority and responsibility to enforce those rights on behalf of ecosystems. The ecosystem itself can be named as a defendant in legal procedures.

Efforts to develop legal means to protect nature have been emerging in a number of countries over the past few years, a group that includes India, Nepal, Australia, South Africa and the United States.  Ecuador has adopted rights of nature provisions in its updated constitution.

As of the middle of 2013, close to 125,000 people from 122 countries have signed petitions advocating for the adoption of the rights of nature as part of community legal structures.