The Rights of Nature
There is a growing movement to recognize “the rights of nature” – the rights of the Earth’s water, land, animals, plants and environment to exist free from the threat of damage and destruction caused by human exploitation and pollution.
In the context of water, the rights of nature approach calls for the protection of natural cycles of lakes, rivers, aquifers against harmful human activity. In some countries, municipal ordinances have been used to protect surface and ground water from irreversible damage through hydraulic fracturing, groundwater extraction, toxic sludge spreading and other large scale industrial projects. In addition to legal ordinances banning harmful activities, there have been bills promoting sustainability, enabling communities to create policies promoting food sovereignty and self sufficiency.
In 2008, Ecuador became the first country to recognize the rights of nature in its constitution, bringing together broad perspectives of understanding of the ways humans and nature relate to each other.
The Blue Planet Project supports the rights of nature and the protection it affords watersheds from harmful human activity.