Last week, on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th December, a dedicated group of people and initiatives from the Northeastern area of Italy gathered in Venice. There, they discussed the possibility to bring the topic of Rights of Nature to the discussion of local activist groups, legal professionals and academia, specifically centering the efforts around bodies of water and evolving from the many ongoing struggles of the area, to strategically influence public discourse from a cultural and legal point of view. Representatives of activist groups from the Piave, Tagliamento, Adige and Po rivers were present, alongside academics, lawyers, and cultural organisers.
Following two sessions of discussion, brainstorming and strategising, the group came together with a united name: IDRA – Iniziativa per i Diritti delle Reti d’Acqua, vowing to join forces to bring the topic of RoN to the forefront of the ecological discourse in Italy, starting from a vast, highly anthropized, hydric geography that spans from the Dolomites to the Venice Lagoon and the Po. The convening was closed by a Karanga, a calling ritual, performed by Nauria Sartori.
The gathering started at the invitation of Pietro Consolandi and Silvia Francescon, at NICHE (THE NEW INSTITUTE Center for Environmental Humanities), it was produced by the Agenda Ecologia of the Unione Buddhista Italiana (UBI) and endorsed by the UNESCO Chair of Water, Heritage and Sustainable Development.
The full list of participants
Pietro Consolandi, Silvia Francescon, Amalia Rossi, Eleonora Trani, Aisha Ruggieri and Filippo Scianna – NICHE (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia) & UBI
Erena Rhose (on zoom)
Tommaso Bonazza – Comitato di Difesa Permanente delle Acque Trentine (River Adige and others)
Stefania Garlatti Costa – Tagliamento Bene Comune (River Tagliamento)
Rita Bellomo – Comitato per le Grave di Ciano (River Piave)
Giovanna Deppi and Lucia Ruffato – Free Rivers Italia
Nauria Sartori, Silvia Petronici, Silvia Falavigna and Lorella Calzolari – PAP Water group (River Po)
Silvia Bagni – Università degli Studi di Bologna
Massimiliano Montini – Università degli Studi Di Siena
Alex Putzer – Università Sant’Anna di Pisa & GARN
Avv. Daniele Marra – Lawyer specialised in environmental litigation
Andrea Rapaccini & Kikka Ricchio – Music Innovation Hub
Rita Brugnara – Good Land