In October 2015 we embarked upon a journey to advocate for rights of Nature – legal personality and rights for ecosystems and species – in the European Union. We established Rights of Nature Europe (now Nature’s Rights), a volunteer run non-profit organisation, in order to help transition the legal position of nature from an object of law to a subject of law. We believe that mankind is part of Nature, the foundation of human and every other life on Earth. Thus, the modern legal system should represent Nature in a way that promotes respect towards other beings and allows humanity to flourish in harmony with Nature for generations to come.
In 2018, we are Europe’s largest exclusively volunteer-led registered charity standing for the rights of Nature. Our team comprises 9 Trustees, over 200 Experts and over 200 Volunteers.
We are Nature. Our mission is to safeguard the fundamental basis of our human right to life through legal recognition of our interdependence with the natural world. We work to ensure that Nature’s inherent rights to exist, thrive and evolve are protected in law, integrated into all policy areas and respected in our culture in a way that enables humanity to prosper whilst nourishing and protecting the ecosystems that sustain us.
We are creating the legal architecture of a new paradigm where:
We do this by:
Towards an EU Directive on the Rights of Nature
In March 2017, we co-hosted a conference with MEPs Marco Affronte, Benedek Jávor and Pavel Poc at the European Parliament to introduce the rights of nature and our proposal for a Draft EU Directive. A resounding success, it was attended by over 120 top EU officials, key stakeholders and international experts (see conference report: http://files.harmonywithnatureun.org/uploads/upload52.pdf).
Currently, we are engaged in updating our Draft EU Directive on the Rights of Nature (current draft: http://natures-rights.org/ECI-DraftDirective-Draft.pdf), which is expected to be complete in 2018.
In 2019-2020, we expect to launch a European Citizens Initative (ECI) or participatory petition to propose our EU legal framework for the rights of nature.
Unique position: we are the only NGO in Europe that is advocating a fundamental and systemic transformation to the way environmental law operates – with a solid proposal to back it.
Legal innovation, having developed the first EU legal framework for the rights of nature (a Draft EU Directive) and various national and local law drafts.
We take a ground-up and top-down approach with the focus on empowering citizens to take action to bring in new laws.
Our work so far has largely been made possible due to the in-kind professional services and volunteer time we have been able to attract for our cause. See our annual report for further information on donors, volunteers, and our growing network of partners.