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UK invitation from new international alliance for the rights of nature

Sep 21, 2010

Further information
Vicki Elcoate

A conference in Ecuador has agreed to set up a new global alliance to promote environmental rights and the UK has been invited to join.

Delegates from Australia, South America, the US and South Africa drafted a constitution for the new alliance to recognise the rights of nature. They say this is the only way “to avert catastrophic harm to humanity and life as we know it”.

The non-governmental Alliance will campaign for environmental rights to be included in laws and constitutions. It says that urgent and decisive action is needed particularly to counter climate change. It builds on a conference on climate change held in Bolivia earlier this year, attended by 35,000 people, which called for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and the creation of an international climate and environmental justice tribunal.

The proposal about joining will be put to lawyers, academics and students from across the UK who meet in the Lee Valley Country Park, north of London, this weekend.

Their discussions will examine the relationship we have with the Earth's natural resources: from water to land to fossil fuels. It will look at how we can avoid practices that exploit and damage nature.

Wild Law sees humans as integrated within nature, rather than regarding humans as superior to nature. At present UK law only affords legal rights to humans and corporations.

Leading environmental lawyer, David Hart QC, will talk about increasing flood risk from climate change and the perceived clashes between ‘human’ and ‘natural’ interests when it comes to flood protection.

Veteran climate change policy expert and campaigner Dr Mayer Hillman (who was advocating personal carbon rationing as long ago as 1990) will help delegates consider how we can combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

Biologist and author Colin Tudge will bring his scientific and philosophical expertise to consider the broader questions of how the way we think and act needs to change if we are to find real solutions to environmental problems.

In 2009 the UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) in collaboration with the Gaia Foundation published an international report on Wild Law which was given tremendous support from leading environmental thinkers such as Jonathan Porritt CBE, Founding Director of Forum for the Future, and Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

The Wild Law workshop, hosted in the Lee Valley, will equip those wishing to incorporate the traditions of Wild Law into their everyday work and life. If any journalists want to attend any of the sessions please contact Vicki Elcoate (see below).

Notes to the editors:

If you would like to know more or attend the Wild Law workshop on 24th - 26th September, please contact Vicki Elcoate.

UK Environmental Law Association - Better law for the environment
Registered charity 299498; company registered in England number 2133283
Registered office: One Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0ZX

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