Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature Thu, 26 Nov 2015 22:15:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Giving Mother Earth a Voice in Paris Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:57:50 +0000 NEWS RELEASE  November 27, 2015                                       Click for Press Release PDF
CONTACT: Natalia Greene, Secretariat

Giving Mother Earth a Voice in Paris

International Tribunal on Rights of Nature
Convenes during COP21
December 4-5, 2015 – Maison des Métallos

Paris, France – Key environmental justice issues from around the world will have their day in court when the International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature convenes in Paris on December 4-5, 2015, against the backdrop of UNFCCC talks that must move beyond past failures and false solutions to avert global catastrophe.

The high profile international “Peoples Tribunal” – convened by leaders in Earth law and planetary justice from around the world – posits a new legal framework, drawing on the wisdom and cosmovision of indigenous people, aimed at achieving true systems change by recognizing the rights of ecosystems “to exist, persist, and regenerate their vital natural cycles.”

Under current law, nature is treated as private property to be destroyed for profit. It is a legal framework that is proving deadly to people and planet, requiring a transformation of our international and domestic legal systems toward a jurisprudence that recognizes rights of nature. The shift to this new legal framework is underway – Ecuador and Bolivia recognize rights of nature in their constitutions and more than two dozen municipalities in the United States have adopted rights of nature ordinances, including the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (pop. 305,000).

A 13-member panel of judges will preside over the two-day Tribunal, hearing six cases:


Former UN Bolivian Ambassador Pablo Solón, Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians, and Maxime Combes of Attac France, will highlight false climate solutions that fail to address root problems – such as water privatization, “climate-smart agriculture,” REDD+, financialization of nature, and other schemes – introducing expert witnesses and victims of climate crimes from Belarus, Canada, Ecuador, France, Mexico, Slovakia, and the Philippines.

AGRO-FOOD INDUSTRY AND GMOS (December 4 at 15:00)

Indian ecologist and physicist Vandana Shiva of Navdanya and Ronnie Cummins of Organic Consumers will present the case against the global proliferation of GMOs and forms of industrial agriculture that destroy the soil, increase greenhouse gas emissions, pollute water, and reduce biodiversity, calling on expert witnesses from France, Mexico, and the United States.

DEFENDERS OF MOTHER EARTH (December 4 at 16:30)

Indigenous leaders, mining victims, and others who defend nature present the case of the growing risk of violence, including murder, faced by defenders of Mother Earth in South America but also in Europe and other parts of the world. A tragic example: Only days prior to testifying before the 2014 Tribunal in Lima, Peru, on Ecuador’s Mirador mine, José Isidro Tendetza Antun was killed.

FRACKING (December 5 at 9:15)

Shannon Biggs of Movement Rights, USA, and Geert De Cock of Food & Water Watch, Belgium, will present the case against hydraulic fracking, an extreme and devastating form of energy production, drawing on expert witnesses from France and the United States showing how communities have been effective in using rights of nature laws to ban fracking.

MEGA DAMS IN AMAZON (December 5 at 10:30)

Gert-Peter Bruch of Planete Amazone presents the case against building mega dams in the Amazon, with indigenous leaders as expert witnesses testifying to the displacement of tens of thousands and the destruction of the Amazon threatened by the proposed massive diversion of rivers.

CHEVRON AND YASUNÍ (December 5 at 14:15)

Carlos Larrea and Pablo Fajardo, Ecuadorean lawyers who litigated the case in Ecuador against Chevron, argue against the proposed oil exploitation of the Amazon’s pristine Yasuní National Park. Calling on the testimony of indigenous leaders, they also demonstrate the impact of decades of pollution from oil drilling by Chevron and argue for addressing such harms as ecocide under the terms Valérie Cabanes of End Ecocide on Earth explains just prior to their presentation, making the case for recognizing ecocide under international criminal law.

The Earth Defenders prosecuting the cases at the Tribunal are Ramiro Ávila, law professor, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Ecuador), and Linda Sheehan, Director, Earth Law Center (US).

The distinguished panel of Tribunal judges, headed by South African attorney Cormac Cullinan, author of WildLaw: A Manifesto for Earth Justice, includes: Alberto Acosta, former President of the Constitutional Assembly (Ecuador); Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (Nigeria); Christophe Bonneuil, science historian (France); Dominique Bourg, professor of geosciences (Switzerland); Philippe Desbrosses, author, environmental sciences expert, organic farmer (France); Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network (US, Dine’ and Dakota); Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (US); Ruth Nyambura, African Biodiversity Network (Kenya); Felício Pontes, Federal Prosecutor (Brazil); Damien Short, Director of the Human Rights Consortium (UK); Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch founder (US); and Terisa Turner, professor of anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist (Canada).

The judges will render decisions calling for reparation, mitigation, restoration, and prevention of further damages and harm. Although its decisions do not presently carry the force of law, the Tribunal provides the world with a model for adjudicating cases under a legal framework that recognizes the rights of nature, offering a real and present solution to the root problem behind climate change and other human-induced ecological disasters.

The Paris Tribunal marks the third time the International Tribunal for Rights of Nature has convened. Sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature, the inaugural Tribunal was held in Quito, Ecuador, in January 2013, followed by a session in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. Natalia Greene (Ecuador), Tribunal Secretariat, Cormac Cullinan (South Africa), Tribunal President, and Samanta Novella (France) of NatureRights, will introduce the proceedings.

The Tribunal will convene from 9:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 18:00 on Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5, at the Maison des Métallos in the 11th arrondissement at 94, Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. Registration required:

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Making Peace with the Earth Thu, 19 Nov 2015 01:31:01 +0000 Vandana Shiva asked us to share this personal video message to Paris and to everyone on “Making Peace with the Earth.” Please watch and share.

We also invite you to sign A People’s Pact for Protection of the Earth and Each Other  individually and on behalf of your organization.



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Donner une voix à la Terre Mère Tue, 03 Nov 2015 18:03:01 +0000 Alors que les négociations internationales de la COP21 présentent de fausses solutions au réchauffement climatique et sont vouées à l’échec, nous pouvons et nous devons montrer d’autres voies. Le Tribunal des Droits de la Nature se présente comme un véritable changement de paradigme – un forum pour promouvoir le monde que nous voulons tous.

Presque partout, les lois prétendent que la nature est une propriété privée qui doit être exploitée à des fins lucratives. Or, nous ne pourrons pas protéger les écosystèmes sans reconnaitre leurs droits à exister, à se perpétuer et à se régénérer, comme condition préalable à la vie sur Terre. Ces droits doivent donc être revendiqués en Justice. Les Droits de la Nature proposent un cadre juridique afin de définir les devoirs incombant à l’humanité de respecter l’intégrité des cycles écologiques vitaux de la planète.

Votre soutien encouragera le tribunal des droits de la nature afin qu’il soit devienne un forum pour donner une voix légitime à la Mère Terre à Paris. (Voir notre vidéo teaser ci-dessus.)

Le “tribunal international des peuples” est un outil efficace pour juger et sanctionner des cas de violations environnementales et sociales dans le cadre d’un système juridique fondé sur les écosystèmes et les droits de la nature.

C’est une initiative citoyenne unique pour témoigner publiquement de la destruction des conditions de vie sur Terre – que les Etats et les entreprises non seulement permettent, mais parfois encouragent.

Le tribunal fournit une plateforme d’analyse juridique fondée sur la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de la Terre Mère afin de statuer sur de nombreux cas de violations environnementales. Sur chacun des cas, un panel de juristes et personnalités internationalement reconnues sur le thème de la justice planétaire formuleront des jugements et des recommandations dans une perspective de protection et de restauration de la Terre, ainsi que de prévention de futurs dommages.

Soutenez cet événement important. Votre aide servira à couvrir les coûts des transports des témoins, leaders autochtones et autres experts, venus de partout dans le monde, afin de partager leurs témoignages et agir en tant que juges du tribunal.

Cela permettra également d’assurer une couverture médiatique importante et présenter les solutions du “Droits de la Terre” sur la scène internationale pendant la COP21 à Paris.

Les cas seront portés devant le Tribunal par les témoins suivants :

Fausses solutions au réchauffement climatique:
Pablo Solon, Bolivie;

  • Nnimmo Bassey, Santé de la Terre Mère, Nigeria;
  • Privatisation de l’eau: Maude Barlow, du Conseil des Canadiens;
  • Géo-ingénierie Silvia Ribeiro, ETC Groupe Mexique;
  • Agriculture: Mary Lou Malig, Global Forest Coalition, Philippines;
  • Financiarisation de la nature Geneviève Azam, Attac France;
  • REDD + Ivonne Yanez, Oilwatch, Équateur.

Industrie agro-alimentaire et OGM:
Vandana Shiva, Navdanya, en Inde;

  • Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association États-Unis;
  • José Bové, Via Campesina, France;
  • Adelita San Vicente, les graines de la vie, au Mexique.

Fracturation hydraulique:
Shannon Biggs, Mouvement des droits, USA;

  • Maxime Combes, Attac France;
  • Kandi Mossett, Fort Berthold, ND, États-Unis;
  • Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca, USA;
  • Khaoula Chikahou

Cas d’écocides de Marées Noires (Chevron & Yasuni, Equateur)

  • Carlos Larre, Pablo Fajardo;
  • Patricia Gualinga, Sarayaku, Yasunidos, Équateur.

Mega Barrages en Amazonie:
Gert-Peter Bruch-Planete Amazone;

  • Antonia Melo, Xingu Vivo
  • Les dirigeants de Amazon Watch;
  • Les leaders autochtones

Défenseurs de la Terre Mère:

  • Les dirigeants autochtones de l’Amazone;
  • Victimes de l’exploitation minière de l’Europe;
  • Pollution en Italie

L’Écocide, un crime à l’ICC:

  • Valérie Cabanes, End Ecocide on Earth

Parmi les Juges du Tribunal:

  • Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network,
  • Alberto Acosta, ancien président de l’Assemblée constitutionnelle Equateur,
  • Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN
  • Cormac Cullinan, auteur WildLaw: Un Manifeste pour la Justice de la Terre,
  • Terisa Turner, professeur, ancienne spécialiste de l’énergie à l’ONU, Canada
  • Felicio Pontes, procureur Brésil

Parmi les Défenseurs de la Terre Mère:

  • Linda Sheehan (Law Center de la Terre)
  • Ramiro Avila
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Paris Tribunal Registration Now Open Thu, 29 Oct 2015 22:54:26 +0000 The International Rights of Nature Tribunal will meet at Maison des Métallos in Paris on 4th and 5th of December, in conjunction with UN Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC COP21. The Tribunal is a unique, citizen-created initiative.Logo-RoNtribunal-fr It gives people from all around the world the opportunity to testify publicly as to the destruction of the Earth — destruction that governments and corporations not only allow, but in some cases encourage.

Space is limited. If you are planning to attend the third International Rights of Nature Tribunal register now for the segments you will attend.

Register for International Rights of Nature TribunalFor more details visit Paris Tribunal …

Date and Time

  • Friday 4 – Saturday 5 December 2015
  • 9:00am – 6:30pm each day (including an intermission)

Tribunal Venue in Paris


la maison des métallosMaison des Métallos
94 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France

Esteemed Judges:

  • Cormac Cullinan, President; Author WildLaw: A Manifesto for Earth Justice (South Africa)
  • Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network (Turtle Island, USA)
  • Alberto Acosta, former President Ecuador Constitutional Assembly
  • Osprey Orielle Lake, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (USA)
  • Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Ruth Nyambura, African Biodiversity Network (Kenya)
  • Damien Short, University of London (United Kingdom)
  • Felício Pontes, Federal Prosecutor (Brazil)
  • Terisa Turner, professor Sociology and Anthropology, former UN Energy Specialist (Canada)
  • Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch (USA)
  • Philippe Desbroses, Honarary, farmer, scientist, writer (France)
  • Dominique Bourg, Professor Geosciences, University of Lausanne (Switzerland)

Among the Expert Witnesses and Case Presenters :

  • Pablo Solon, Fundacion Solon
  • Geneviève Azam, Attac France
  • Vandana Shiva, Navdanya
  • Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians
  • Shannon Biggs, Movement Rights
  • Casey Camp Horinek, Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Esperanza Martinez, Acción Ecologica
  • Patricia Gualinga, Kichwa of Sarayaku, Ecuador
  • Carlos Lareas, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar
  • Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Tantoo Cardinal, Actress, Activist, Tar Sands, Canada
  • Valerie Cabanes, End Ecocide on Earth

Prosecutors for the Earth:

  • Ramiro Avila, Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar
  • Linda Sheehan, Earth Law Center

International Rights of Nature Tribunal Paris Secretariat:

  • Natalia Greene, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
  • Grant Wilson, Earth Law Center
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Responding to the Great Work: The Role of Earth Jurisprudence and Wild Law in the 21st Century Thu, 29 Oct 2015 16:38:10 +0000 By Dr. Michelle Maloney* and Sister Patricia Siemen**
ENVIRONMENTAL AND EARTH LAW JOURNAL, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, Vol. 5 (2015) > Iss. 1

I. Introduction

Despite a proliferation of environmental law in the United Statesand around the world, the health of the natural world continues todeteriorate. In this paper, we will build on the idea that what we need is not more environmental law, but different approaches to managing human relationships with the Earth. We will argue that the burgeoning Earth jurisprudence movement offers a deep philosophical anchor and a range of practical and multi-disciplinary approaches necessary to create law reform and societal change that will better support the natural world and human societies than our current system. We will also suggest that one of the greatest strengths of Earth jurisprudence is its ability to combine a rational critique of some of our oldest western, legal, and governance structures, with a less rational and more emotive call to return to a sacred appreciation of the Earth and the wider Earth Community.

In Section II, we will outline the origins and key elements of the Earth jurisprudence movement and will demonstrate the ways that Earth jurisprudence can be used to offer a cohesive framework within which law, politics, science, economics, ethics, traditional wisdom and human spirituality can be woven together to create a more effective governance approach to nurturing the Earth. In Section III, we will explore some of the ways groups inspired by Earth laws have implemented their work.

Next, we will provide an overview of the work being carried out by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, an international network of lawyers and Earth Advocates. Finally, we will focus on the work of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence (CEJ) and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) as further examples of the innovative approaches being carried out by advocates for Earth jurisprudence.

*Dr. Michelle Maloney is National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance ( and was a Visiting Scholar and Earth Laws Specialist at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence ( at the time of writing this paper. She can be contacted at:

**Sister Pat Siemen OP, JD, is the Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at Barry University School of Law (

Download article …

Responding to the Great Work: The Role of Earth Jurisprudence and Wild Law in the 21st Century


In this lead article, the authors build on the idea that we do not need more environmental law in response to the deteriorating health of the natural world. Rather, they argue that what is needed are different approaches to managing human relationships with the earth. They argue that the burgeoning Earth jurisprudence movement offers a deep philosophical anchor and a range of practical and multi-disciplinary approaches necessary to create law reform and societal change that will better support the natural world and human societies than our current system. The authors will outline the origins and key elements of the Earth jurisprudence movement. In addition, they explore some of the ways groups inspired by Earth laws have implemented their work. Lastly, they will provide an overview of the work being carried out by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, the Earth Advocates, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, and the Australian Earth Laws Alliance.

Recommended Citation

Maloney, Dr. Michelle and Siemen, Sister Pat OP, JD (2015) “Responding to the Great Work: The Role of Earth Jurisprudence and Wild Law in the 21st Century,” Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ): Vol. 5: Iss.

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Pat Siemen on Pope Francis and Rights of Nature Wed, 28 Oct 2015 21:37:55 +0000 Sister Patricia Siemen, Director of Barry Law School’s Center for Earth Jurisprudence, spoke to News 13 in Orlando, Florida about Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.

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Ho-Chunk Nation adds “Rights of Nature” to their constitution Sun, 20 Sep 2015 20:36:03 +0000 Over nineteen hundred Ho-Chunk tribal members gathered on a balmy early afternoon at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin on September 19th, for the annual General Council. Major tribal issues are taken up and voted on by a quorum of the Ho-Chunk population.

The Ho-Chunk tribe has been severely affected by the unregulated effects of frac sand mining, Bakken oil transport, high capacity wells and industrial agriculture to name a few. Near Tomah, sacred ceremony grounds are now surrounded by four frac sand mines which interrupts ancient cultural practices with blowing silica dust,twenty four hour light pollution and truck traffic essentially turning the area into an industrial zone. Historically, the Ho-Chunk people respect the natural world and believe that when nature is viewed as only property it no longer has rights or value.

Tribal member William Greendeer introduced a resolution to amend the Ho-Chunk constitution that would give rights to nature. It passed by a majority. “This is so exciting” says Greendeer, “now maybe we can finally keep our water, air and environment healthy by having a larger say in what activities happen in our communities.”

Juliee de la Terre, adjunct professor at Viterbo University has been working with William for quite a while on this issue. “The Rights of Nature” is more than an legal instrument it is an international movement meant to acknowledge that all natural systems need to be preserved in order for our planet to remain habitable.”

“The Ho-Chunk Nation has always respected the earth, says William, but we were made to adopt a constitution based on roman law that makes humans more important than everything else by passing this resolution we are acknowledging how important nature is. We are just one part of Mother Earth, not the center of it.”

For more information go to www.

Printable Ho-Chunk-Nation-R-of-N-pressrelease-09-2015

Written by Juliee de la Terre MS
10567 Hyw A
Viola, WI 54664
Madison, Wisconsin, September 19, 2015

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Rights of Nature Tour of India with Vandana Shiva Tue, 14 Jul 2015 05:21:08 +0000 Global Exchange Reality Tour ~ November 1 – 11, 2015

India, it is often said is not a country but a continent,

How different would our human societies, economies, and structures of law look as part of a connected, Earth-centered community?

“The ecological and economic problems we face are rooted in a series of reductionist steps, which have shrunk our imagination and our identity, our purpose on the Earth, and the instruments we use to meet our needs. We are first and foremost Earth citizens. And our highest duty is to maintain the living systems of the Earth that support our life. Earth citizenship needs Earth-centered cultures, Earth-based democracy, and Earth-centered economies.” -Vandana Shiva, from the book, The Rights of Nature

While many over the past decades have explored the idea of living in balance with the planet and limiting the role of unfettered corporate power in all aspects of life, the rights-based movement that seeks to change fundamental law and culture is both relatively new and rapidly accelerating. It has kept pace with the realization that the current corporate-led global economic framework has brought us to the brink of economic and ecological disaster, and that true change will only come from the grassroots.

Program Highlights:

* Visit to the Raj Ghat
* Visit to Dr. Vandana Shiva Navdanya Biodiversity and Conservation Farm
* Meet with the National Ganga Rights Movement
* Learn about the people’s movement against POSCO
* 5 days at the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm
* Meet with various local NGOs

Learn more about Global Exchange Reality Tour’s very special opportunity at Rights of Nature Tour of India with Vandana Shiva.

Read Global Exchange’s Community Rights Program Director Shannon Biggs blog about the first Rights of Nature trip that took place in November 2013.

Planting Seeds with Vandana Shiva & Prince Charles: Reality Tour to India’s Earth University

Planting Seeds with Vandana Shiva & Prince Charles: Reality Tour to India’s Earth University 2013

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