The Rights of Nature Movement Continues to Advance through Lawmaking and Court Decisions
A Press Release from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, from April 5th, 2018.
MERCERSBURG, PA, USA: Today, the Colombia Supreme Court of Justice issued a decision declaring that the Amazon region in Colombia possesses legal rights. The case was filed on behalf of twenty-five Colombian youth, accompanied by the organization Dejusticia, who sued for their environmental rights again
The Court declared that the “Colombian Amazon is recognized as an entity, a subject of rights” which include the right to “legal protection, preservation, maintenance and restoration.”
The Supreme Court’s decision builds on the precedent set in November 2016, when Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that the Atrato River possessed legal rights to “protection, conservation, maintenance, and restoration.” The Supreme Court refers to the 2016 decision in its ruling.
The Colombia Supreme Court ruling focused on the devastating impacts of deforestation and climate change on the Amazon, and the need to make significant change in how the region is protected.
In making its finding that the Amazon has rights, the Court cited the Constitutional Court’s 2016 opinion, in which that court wrote that it was “necessary to take a step forward in jurisprudence” to change the relationship of humankind with nature before “before it is too late or the damage is irreversible.”
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) – with its International Center for the Rights of Nature – has been at the forefront of the movement to secure legal rights of nature, partnering with communities, indigenous peoples, and governments in developing the world’s first Rights of Nature laws.
Transforming nature from being treated as property under the law, to be considered as rights-bearing – and thus in possession of legally enforceable rights – is the focus of the growing Rights of Nature movement. MORE…