“‘Dramatic’ Global Rise In Laws Defending Rights Of Nature”

“WASHINGTON – From Bolivia to New Zealand, rivers and ecosystems in at least 14 countries have won the legal right to exist and flourish, as a new way of safeguarding nature gains steam, U.S. environmental groups said on Thursday.

Rights of nature laws, allowing residents to sue over harm on behalf of lakes and reefs, have seen ‘a dramatic increase' in the last dozen years, said the Earth Law Center, International Rivers and the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice.

‘This is a new area of rights, but it's also a growing movement,' Monti Aguirre, Latin America coordinator with International Rivers, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

World leaders held the United Nations' first biodiversity summit on Wednesday to build support for a new agreement to protect 30% of the planet's land and seas by 2030, set to be negotiated in China next May.”

Carey L. Biron reports for the Thomson Reuters Foundation October 1, 2020.