Sustainability and the Rights of Nature in Practise: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sustainability and the Rights of Nature in Practise

1st Edition

Edited by Cameron La Follette, Chris Maser

CRC Press

400 pages | 68 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138584518
pub: 2019-10-22
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Sustainability and the Rights of Nature in Practice is the much-needed complementary volume to Sustainability and the Rights of Nature: An Introduction (CRC Press, May 2017). The first book laid out the international precursors for the Rights of Nature doctrine and described the changes required to create a Rights of Nature framework that supports Nature in a sustainable relationship rather than as an exploited resource. This follow-up work provides practitioners from diverse cultures around the world an opportunity to describe their own projects, successes, and challenges in moving toward a legal personhood for Nature. It includes contributions from Nepal, New Zealand, Canadian Native American cultures, Kiribati, the United States and Scotland, amongst others, by practitioners working on projects that can be integrated into a Rights of Nature framework. The authors also tackle required changes to shift the paradigm, such as thinking of Nature in a sacred manner, reorienting Nature’s rights and human rights, the conceptualization of restoration, and the removal of large-scale energy infrastructure.

Curated by experts in the field, this expansive collection of papers will prove invaluable to a wide array of policymakers and administrators, environmental advocates and conservation groups, tribal land managers, and communities seeking to create or maintain a sustainable relationship with Nature.


  • Addresses existing projects that are successfully implementing a Rights of Nature legal framework, including the difference it makes in practice
  • Presents the voices of practitioners not often recognized who are working in innovative ways towards sustainability and the need to grant a voice to Nature in human decision-making
  • Explores new ideas from the insights of a diverse range of cultures on how to grant legal personhood to Nature, restrain damaging human activity, create true sustainability, and glimpse how a Rights of Nature paradigm can work in different societies
  • Details the potential pitfalls to Rights of Nature governance and land use decisions from people doing the work, as well as their solutions
  • Discusses the basic human needs for shelter, food, and community in entirely new ways: in relationship with Nature, rather than in conquest of it

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Rights of Nature Is and What It Must Include. Rights of Nature: Acting Towards Land in a Sacred Manner. Small Scale Paradigm Changes Add to the Rights of Nature Mosaic. Definitions of Difficult Terms. Philosophical and Legal Considerations. Human Rights to a Sustainable Environment Is Not Enough. Ecological Law, Governance and Ethics. Restoration is Not Rights of Nature – Unless It Is Systemic. Rights of Nature in Practice: Examples and Beginnings. The Whanganui River, Personhood and New Zealand Leadership. Ecuador and Bolivia: Problems on the Ground. The Ganges Watershed and Legal Personhood. Sustainable Nations, Rights of Nature in Practice if Not Law. Nepal: Case Law and Changes. Bhutan: A Sustainable Kingdom. Belize: A Nature-Based Economy. Rights of Nature in Practice: Challenges and Opportunities. The Problem and Promise of American Communities and Rights of Nature. Indigenous Cultivation, Native Lands and Rights of Nature: A Network of Regional Opportunities. Rights of Nature in Practice: Energy and Infrastructure. Road Maps for the Switch to Small Scale Solar. Removing Elwha Dam, Other Dams and Energy Infrastructure. The Rights of Nature Mosaic. Permaculture & Organic Farming. Caledonian Forest of Scotland: Large Scale Landscape Restoration Focusing on Nature’s Requirements. Grasslands, Agriculture and Cattle: Maintaining Nature’s Rights. Wild Caught Foods, Especially Ocean Foods, and Rights of Nature. Creating and Enforcing Rights of Nature Around the World. Leadership and Respect for Life in Southeast Asia. International Trade Changes for Sustainability. Conclusion.

About the Editors

Cameron La Follette has a law degree from Columbia University School of Law, a Masters in Psychology from New York University, and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Her initial environmental activism (1978-1982) was with Oregon nonprofit organizations that focused on preserving ancient forests on Federal public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management to protect salmon habitat, clean drinking water, and forest ecosystems. She served on the Salem, OR, Planning Commission for three years (2002-05) applying the City of Salem’s land use and zoning ordinances to many situations ranging from residential housing to industrial and commercial properties. Since 2010, she has been Executive Director of an environmental and land use nonprofit that focuses on protecting the natural resources of the Oregon coast, working with residents to oppose ill-advised land use projects, and helping maintain livable coastal communities. She is the co-author, with Chris Maser, of Sustainability and the Rights of Nature: An Introduction, published by CRC Press in 2017. She was the lead author on "Oregon’s Manila Galleon," a special issue of Oregon Historical Quarterly published in June 2018, and has also written several articles on Oregon coastal history for the online Oregon Encyclopedia.

Chris Maser spent over 25 years as a research scientist in natural history and ecology in forest, shrub steppe, subarctic, desert, coastal, and agricultural settings. Trained primarily as a vertebrate zoologist, he was a research mammalogist in Nubia, Egypt, (1963-1964) with the Yale University Peabody Museum Prehistoric Expedition and a research mammalogist in Nepal (1966-1967), where he participated in a study of tick-borne diseases for the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit #3 based in Cairo, Egypt. He conducted a three-year (1970-1973) ecological survey of the Oregon Coast for the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington. He was a research ecologist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for thirteen years--the first seven (1974-1981) studying the biophysical relationships in rangelands in southeastern Oregon and the last six (1982-1987) studying old-growth forests in western Oregon. He also spent a year as a landscape ecologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1990-1991).

He is an independent author as well as an international lecturer, facilitator in resolving environmental conflicts, vision statements, and sustainable community development. He is also an international consultant in forest ecology and sustainable forestry practices. He has written or edited over 290 publications, including 43 books.

About the Series

Social Environmental Sustainability

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Environmental
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General