Sustainability and the Rights of Nature: An Introduction is a much-needed guide that addresses the exciting and significant paradigm shift to the Rights of Nature, as it is occurring both in the United States and internationally in the fields of environmental law and environmental sustainability. This shift advocates building a relationship of integrity and reciprocity with the planet by placing Nature in the forefront of our rights-based legal systems. The authors discuss means of achieving this by laying out Nature’s Laws of Reciprocity and providing a roadmap of the strategies and directions needed to create a Rights of Nature-oriented legal system that will shape and maintain human activities in an environmentally sustainable manner. This work is enriched with an array of unique and relevant points of reference such as the feudal notions of obligation, principles of traditional indigenous cultivation, the Pope Francis Encyclical on the environment, and the new Rights of Nature-based legal systems of Ecuador and Bolivia that can serve as prototypes for the United States and other countries around the world to help ensure a future of environmental sustainability for all living systems.
"This new book provides ecological, historical, legal, and contextual information about the wide range of seemingly insurmountable challenges we face around the planet. Thankfully, along with in-depth analyses of the problems and causes, the recommended solutions presented seem attainable. The lists of specific recommendations for management, restoration, research, and governance, all emphasize justice. Indeed, The Rights of Nature, as an overarching framework for choice-making at all levels of governance, from personal to global, is a greatly needed manifesto."
—Judith Ann Wait, Washington State University, Vancouver, Washington, USA
"This wonderful book proposes a new framing that provides some questions that we need to ask – and some answers that may be the ones we need. One need not subscribe to every argument they offer in this book. But one cannot read this book without opening one’s eyes to new insights and new possibilities."
—John E. Bonine, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA
"As an avid reader, now in my seventies, I have found that only about twice a decade a book comes along that challenges the foundation of what I know and provokes me to think afresh. The Rights of Nature is such a book. La Follette and Maser have used the lens of systems theory to capture the history, ecology, geography, technologies, laws, and politics, as well as challenges and solutions, to the relationships of people to the planet. The book consolidates the complex dimensions of human and natural systems to support a paradigm shift, which embeds the Rights of Nature in national and state constitutions, to create the essential reciprocity between people and the planet."
—Thomas J. Gallagher, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
"We can no longer sit back and expect change to happen. As the living citizens of Earth, it is our duty to protect our home planet for our posterity and for all living creatures. Cameron La Follette and Chris Maser’s thinking can complement a public trust approach in the campaign for stewardship, not destruction, of our Earth. A rights of nature approach can lead society towards a new ethic, one calling for restraint and harmony with the natural world we rely on—so that all species, not just humans, can flourish."
—Mary Wood, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA
"In Sustainability and the Rights of Nature: An Introduction, La Follette and Maser dramatically outline what is at stake if we continue current environmental policies and what approaches are necessary to improve the sustainability of our global lifeboat."
— Timothy D. Schowalter, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
"Sustainability And The Rights Of Nature: An Introduction may be Chris Maser’s most ambitious work. In collaboration with attorney Cameron La Follette, the book makes an impassioned and compelling case for the premise that humankind cannot flourish, or perhaps even survive, unless we recognize the primacy of the natural world within which our produced world of goods and artifacts is embedded. Cameron La Follette contributes the vital legal background that allows the book to demonstrate that the task of elevating the Rights of Nature must ultimately be a clear-eyed and practical task that recruits our formal legal systems to the effort. This rich and carefully crafted work makes an impressive and ultimately optimistic contribution to the creation of a humble, but satisfying, human presence on our one and only home planet."
—C. Russell Beaton, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, USA
Introduction; Nature’s Laws of Reciprocity; Rights of Nature – The Emerging Legal Paradigm; Other International Voices for the Rights of Nature; Relationship: The Basis for Rights of Nature; Precursors to the Rights of Nature; International Steps Towards the Rights of Nature; Rights of Nature Concepts and Issues; The Problem of Technology; Corporations and the Rights of Nature; Land; Water; Air and Climate; Food Supply; Sources of Energy; Mining and Drilling; International Trade: Moving Goods and People; Conclusion: Rights of Nature and Our Responsibility.