“RIGHTS FOR AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS” IN EUROPE

A European Campaign in defense of aquatic ecosystems
to promote rights of Nature and foster legal changes.
An initiative of the European Hub of the Global Alliance for the rights of Nature.

RIGHTS 4 WATER IN EUROPE

Navigate this map and find more about the cases presented in the European Tribunal in Defense of Aquatic Ecosystems and more…

ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN

The European Environment Agency (EEA) states a worrying balance of water quality in the European Union (EU). Only 40% of all surface waters are in ‘good ecological state’. Aquatic ecosystems remain victims of pollution, dams and over-exploitation which “still represent major threats to their long-term health”, warns the EEA.

Around the world, legal revolutions are taking place to find systemic solutions to the degradation of the water cycle, thanks to the creation of new legal rules to protect the link that unites us with the Living. The Whanganui River in New Zealand, the Atrato River in Colombia, the Klamath River in the United States… Many aquatic ecosystems benefit from the recognition of their rights throughout the world. Thus, the Rights of Nature have been mobilized to repair ecosystems, to preserve bodies of water endangered by human exploitation but also to respect ancestral traditions.

In order to raise awareness amongst the general public and public authorities about the protection of aquatic ecosystems through the Rights of Nature doctrine, the European Hub will lead a global campaign. This campaign will bring together citizens and NGOs through the creation of a European mobilization platform calling for the recognition of the Rights of Aquatic Ecosystems.

OUR GOAL IS TO OBTAIN CONCRETE VICTORIES FOR THE RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHTS OF AQUATIC SYSTEMS IN EUROPE.

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN, TAKE ACTION

DEFEND AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

Faced with the alarming state of aquatic ecosystems in Europe, the European hub of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) asks the European Union, as well as its member states, to commit themselves to the recognition of the Rights of Aquatic Ecosystems and requests the recognition of planetary boundaries as a binding norm in the guiding principles of European law.

Glaciers, lakes, rivers, oceans – the water cycle is also part of life. It is thanks to the health of Aquatic Ecosystems that the people of Europe have been able to live, prosper, travel, and come together. Whether we were born or live in the Alps or along the Danube, on the shores of Lake Geneva or in the Mediterranean, an important part of our identity and our culture is linked to these natural entities.

However, the state of aquatic ecosystems in Europe is alarming, since it is being threatened by climate change, pollution, dams and over-exploitation of water. The European Environment Agency (EEA) draws up a concerning assessment of the quality of water in the European Union (EU). According to its latest report, published in July 2018, only 40% of surface water is in “good ecological condition”.

Human activities are out of step with natural laws and exceed the biological limits of our planet. Human pressures exerted on the natural cycles of the living world represent a major threat to the protection of Aquatic Ecosystems.

Around the world, legal revolutions are taking place to find systematic solutions to the degradation of the natural environment with the creation of new laws to protect the link that unites us with the living community. All have a common objective: the recognition of the Rights of Nature, and in particular, those of Aquatic Ecosystems.

In New Zealand, the Parliament recognized in 2017 the legal personhood of the Whanganui River, which now has two guardians – one appointed by the Maori community and one by the government. In Colombia, the Supreme Court, in a historic 2018 decision, recognized the rights of the Atrato River to protect it from the ravages of mining. Justice ordered the creation of a commission of guardians from the local communities to work with the State on a policy of restoration and preservation of this ecosystem. These are just two emblematic examples among others.

The European Hub of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, GARN Europe, bringing together organizations and personalities committed to the defense and protection of Aquatic Ecosystems, intends to bring forward new proposals in favor of an in-depth overhaul of the legal tools for better protection of the water cycle. GARN Europe and its members want to provide a solution based on a set of rules recognizing and protecting, by virtue of their intrinsic value, natural entities and ecosystems as interdependent members of the indivisible community of life.

Aware that our actions have consequences, not only on ecosystems, but also on our own future and that of future generations, we collaborate to provide a new common legal framework in harmony with living things. This European convergence is the expression of a historic movement in favor of adapting legal standards in the face of the destruction of living conditions on Earth.

GARN Europe asks the European Union, as well as its member states, to commit themselves to the recognition of the Rights of Aquatic Ecosystems and the strengthening of citizens’ rights, in order to take legal action to defend Nature. GARN Europe also requests the recognition of planetary boundaries as a binding norm in the guiding principles of European law. To complement this, GARN Europe suggests the creation of a european authority to monitor and guarantee the protection of the biological balance of our common territory. Finally, GARN Europe calls to recognize the crime of ecocide to strengthen the Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability and to prevent and repair damage done to the environment.

SIGN THE PETITION, AND TAKE ACTION FOR THE RIGHTS OF NATURE

Read the text of the petition in FRENCH or ENGLISH on Voxeurop.eu

1st Meeting of the Francophone Network for the Rights of Nature - 1ère Rencontre du Réseau Francophone pour les Droits de la Nature

(English)
Recognize the Rights of Nature?
This is the challenge of this new French-speaking network

Faced with the burgeoning of initiatives for the recognition of the rights of nature in France and Switzerland, local associations for the defense of nature and their partners officially announce the creation of a Francophone Network for the rights of nature.

Everywhere, forest and aquatic ecosystems are endangered by human activities: pollution, deforestation, mining or oil extraction, overexploitation of soils, resources or artificialization of land.

Our observation is as follows: current environmental law does not make it possible to effectively protect or preserve natural ecosystems, due to an unbalanced relationship between human activity and nature, to the detriment of all cash. Recognized rights to nature make it possible to instill a paradigm shift and rebalance the human-nature relationship. It is necessary to protect ecosystems even before their destruction because repairing them is impossible. Humans cannot replace nature. Nor can he continue to oppose the rest of the living.

Ecuador, New Zealand, Colombia, Australia, and many other states have already taken the plunge. In these States, ecosystems, animals, or plants win victories before official courts, by being granted legal personality, for their intrinsic value, and in particular in order to defend their rights to live and exist, their rights to respect and regeneration. The movement for the recognition of the rights of nature is growing around the world.

In France and Switzerland, the movement is also advancing. On the banks of the Loire, the last natural river in Europe, a Parliament was born, initiated in 2019 by the POLAU-arts & town planning center and the legal writer Camille de Toledo to give a voice to the river and its entire ecosystem. Last April, following the massive pollution of the Scheldt by a multinational, the Valentransition association, in turn, carried the project of a Parliament of the river. In 2019, a Bill of Rights for Trees was presented to the National Assembly by the association A.R.B.R.E.S. Then, a collective of 310 children from 10 European countries, coordinated by journalist Elsa Grangier, wrote a European Declaration of the Rights of the Planet sent to the European Commission. In September 2020, the Swiss association id · Eau launched the Rhône Appeal for the recognition of legal personality in the river, from its glacier to its delta.

From January to September 2021, the European Network of the World Alliance for the Rights of Nature will organize the first European Aquatic Ecosystem Tribunal. He will judge five emblematic cases of ecocide in France and in Europe.

A Mer de Glace which keeps retreating, millions of tons of toxic red mud dumped in the heart of the Calanques National Park, destroying all aquatic life; the illegal use of mercury for gold mining in Guyana dramatically impacting ecosystems and the humans who depend on them; the water of Lake Vättern, Sweden’s second largest lake, soon to be unfit for consumption for nearly 250,000 inhabitants due to military activities and a mining project; and the certain disappearance of 11 species of fish, as well as the risk of extinction of at least 38 others, targeted by the construction of 2,500 hydroelectric dams on the rivers of the Balkans.

The rights of nature are an essential tool for defending living things before justice so that they are no longer perceived as a passive, inert environment, at the mercy of abuses. Legal personality is already granted to companies and other legal persons, while nature, which lives and sustains us, is still deprived of its rights. Water travels through our air, our soils, fills our cells, and in this sense reflects the general health of living things. Without water, no life. Forests are the lungs of the Earth, rivers and streams are its veins, it is urgent to recognize their rights!

With the signatories of this forum, we are now creating the Francophone Network for the Rights of Nature. Its objective: to support, everywhere in the French-speaking countries in Europe, the defenders of the rights of nature to fight against the activities which destroy it.

In 2021, because protecting living things means protecting us because together our voice is more powerful, let us affirm loud and clear the urgency of recognizing the rights of nature!

List of signatories:
A.R.B.R.E.S / Georges Feterman‌
Elsa Grangier
Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
id • water / Rhône call
Nature Rights
Our business to all
POLAU-arts & town planning center
Valérie Cabanes
Marie Toussaint
Marine Calmet
Wild Legal
Valentrensition / Scheldt Parliament


(Français)
Reconnaître les droits de la Nature?
C’est le défi de ce nouveau réseau francophone

Face au bourgeonnement d’initiatives pour la reconnaissance des droits de la nature en France et en Suisse, des associations locales de défense de la nature et leurs partenaires annoncent officiellement la création d'un Réseau Francophone pour les droits de la nature.

Partout les écosystèmes forestiers et aquatiques sont mis en danger par les activités humaines: pollutions, déforestation, extractions minières ou pétrolières, surexploitation des sols, ressources ou artificialisation des terres.

Notre constat est le suivant : le droit de l'environnement actuel ne permet pas de protéger ou de préserver efficacement les écosystèmes naturels, en raison d’un rapport déséquilibré entre l’activité humaine et la nature et cela au détriment de l’ensemble des espèces. Des droits reconnus à la nature permettent d’insuffler un changement de paradigme et de rééquilibrer le rapport humain-nature. Il est nécessaire de protéger les écosystèmes avant même leur destruction, car les réparer est impossible. L’humain ne peut remplacer la nature. Il ne peut pas non plus continuer de s’opposer au reste du vivant.

L’Equateur, la Nouvelle Zélande, la Colombie, l’Australie et de nombreux autres Etats ont dores et déjà sauté le pas. Dans ces Etats, les écosystèmes, les animaux, ou les plantes remportent des victoires devant les tribunaux officiels, en se voyant octroyer une personnalité juridique, pour leur valeur intrinsèque, et afin de défendre notamment leurs droits à vivre et à exister, leurs droits au respect et à la régénération. Le mouvement pour la reconnaissance des droits de la nature grandit dans le monde entier.

En France et en Suisse, le mouvement avance aussi. En bord de Loire, dernier fleuve naturel d’Europe, un Parlement est né, initié en 2019 par le POLAU-pôle arts&urbanisme et l’écrivain-juriste Camille de Toledo pour donner une voix au fleuve et à tout son écosystème. En avril dernier, suite à la pollution massive de l’Escaut par une multinationale, l’association Valentransition portait à son tour le projet d’un Parlement du fleuve. En 2019, une Déclaration des droits des arbres était présentée devant l’Assemblée Nationale par l’association A.R.B.R.E.S. Puis, un collectif de 310 enfants issus de 10 pays européens, coordonné par la journaliste Elsa Grangier rédigeait une Déclaration européenne des droits de la planète transmise à la Commission européenne. En septembre 2020, l’association suisse id·eau a lancé l’Appel du Rhône pour la reconnaissance d’une personnalité juridique au fleuve, de son glacier à son delta.

De janvier à septembre 2021, le Réseau Européen de l’Alliance Mondiale pour les Droits de la Nature organisera le premier Tribunal Européen des écosystèmes aquatiques. Il jugera cinq cas emblématiques d’écocide en France et en Europe.

Une Mer de Glace qui ne cesse de se retirer, des millions de tonnes de boues rouges toxiques déversées au coeur du Parc national des Calanques, anéantissant toute vie aquatique; l’utilisation illégale de mercure pour l’extraction de l’or en Guyane impactant dramatiquement les écosystèmes et les humains qui en dépendent; l’eau du Lac Vättern, deuxième plus grand lac suédois, bientôt impropre à la consommation pour près de 250 000 habitants du fait des activités militaires et d’un projet d’extraction minière; et la disparition certaine de 11 espèces de poissons, ainsi que le risque d’extinction d’au moins 38 autres, visées par l’aménagement de 2 500 barrages hydroélectriques sur les rivières des Balkans.

Les droits de la nature sont un outil essentiel pour défendre le vivant devant la justice afin qu’il ne soit plus perçu comme un environnement passif, inerte, à la merci des dérives. La personnalité juridique est déjà accordée aux entreprises et à d’autres personnes morales, alors que la nature, qui vit et nous fait vivre, se voit encore privée de ses droits. L’eau parcourt notre air, nos sols, remplit nos cellules, et en ce sens reflète la santé générale du vivant. Sans eau, point de vie. Les forêts sont les poumons de la Terre, les rivières et fleuves en sont ses veines, il est urgent de reconnaître leurs droits !

Avec les signataires de cette tribune, nous créons aujourd’hui le Réseau Francophone pour les Droits de la Nature. Son objectif : accompagner partout dans les pays francophones en Europe, les défenseur-ses des droits de la nature pour lutter contre les activités qui la détruisent.

En 2021, parce que protéger le vivant c’est nous protéger, parce qu’ensemble, notre voix est plus puissante, affirmons haut et fort l’urgence de reconnaître des droits à la nature !

Liste des signataires:
A.R.B.R.E.S /Georges Feterman‌
Elsa Grangier
Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
id•eau/ Appel du Rhône
Nature Rights
Notre Affaire à Tous
POLAU-pôle arts&urbanisme
Valérie Cabanes
Marie Toussaint
Marine Calmet
Wild Legal
Valentrensition / Parlement de l’Escaut

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Learn about the steps of the  campaign and how we are going to foster a change in legal frameworks to defend aquatic ecosystems in Europe.

``RIGHTS FOR AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS``

WILL BE PROMOTED WITH A EUROPEAN RIGHTS OF NATURE TRIBUNAL

A Rights of Nature Tribunal during UICN Side Event @ Marseille 2021

TRIBUNAL WEBSITE

TRIBUNAL CASES

Various Organizations within the European Hub united to lead a European campaign for the recognition of the Rights of Aquatic systems. and the organization of a Tribunal for the Rights of Nature during the IUCN World Congress.

These actions intend to advocate for the recognition of the Rights of Nature at national and regional levels, as an innovative legal framework to prevent and mitigate the consequences of exceeding global limits, to judge and punish environmental crimes, and to restore a harmonious relationship between humans and Mother Earth.

ORGANIZERS

Within the European Hub, various organizations united to lead a European campaign for the recognition of the Rights of Aquatic systems and the creation of a Tribunal for the Rights of Nature during the IUCN World Congress.

These organizations intend to advocate for the recognition of the Rights of Nature at national and regional levels, as an innovative legal framework to prevent and mitigate the consequences of exceeding global limits, to judge and punish environmental crimes, and to restore a harmonious relationship between humans and Mother Earth.

Rights Of Nature - European Hub
GARN Europe - Rights Of Nature
GARN Europe - Rights Of Nature
GARN Europe - Rights Of Nature
GARN Europe - Rights Of Nature

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