1st Edition

Sustainability and the Rights of Nature in Practice

Edited By Cameron La Follette, Chris Maser Copyright 2020
    436 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    436 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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

    Chapter 6 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780429505959

    Series Preface





    Section I Concepts and Overviews

    1. Introduction: Rights of Nature, Sacred Lands and Sustainability in the Western Tradition

    Cameron La Follette

    2. Defending the Tree of Life: The Ethical Justification for the Rights of Nature in a Theory of Justice

    Kathryn Anne Gwiazdon

    3. Rights of Nature: Myth, Films, Laws and the Future

    Eugen Cadaru

    4. Nature’s Rights in Permaculture

    W. D. Scott Pittman

    Section II The Struggle for Sustainability and the Rights of Nature

    5. Kiribati and Climate Change

    His Eminence Anote Tong

    6. ‘When God Put Daylight on Earth We Had One Voice’ Kwakwaka’wakw Perspectives on Sustainability and the Rights of Nature

    Douglas Deur, Kim Recalma-Clutesi and Clan Chief Kwaxsistalla Adam Dick

    7. Environmental Sustainability: The Case of Bhutan

    Dechen Lham

    8. The Restoration of the Caledonian Forest and the Rights of Nature

    Alan Watson Featherstone

    9. The Significance of the Stewardship Ethic of the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria’s Niger Delta Region on Biodiversity Conservation

    Ngozi F. Unuigbe

    10. German Energiewende: A Way to Sustainable Societies?

    Michael W. Schröter and Dani Fössl

    11. Seasonally Flooded Savannas of South America: Sustainability and the Cattle-Wildlife Mosaic

    Almira Hoogesteijn, José Luis Febles and Rafael Hoogesteijn

    12. Ocean Rights: The Baltic Sea and World Ocean Health

    Michelle Bender

    Section III Rights of Nature in the Law

    13. A River Is Born: New Zealand Confers Legal Personhood on the Whanganui River to Protect It and Its Native People

    The Honorable Christopher Finlayson

    14. The Rights of Nature in Ecuador: An Overview of the New Environmental Paradigm

    Hugo Echeverria and Francisco José Bustamante Romo Leroux

    15. The Godavari Marble Case and Rights of Nature Discourse in Nepal

    Jony Mainaly

    16. Nature’s Rights: Why the European Union Needs a Paradigm Shift in Law to Achieve Its 2050 Vision

    Mumta Ito

    17. Nature’s Rights through Lawmaking in the United States

    Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin and Michelle Amelia Newman

    18. The Experiment with Rights of Nature in India

    Kelly D. Alley and Tarini Mehta

    19. Caring for Country and Rights of Nature in Australia: A Conversation between Earth Jurisprudence and Aboriginal Law and Ethics

    Mary Graham and Michelle Maloney

    20. Conclusion: Nature’s Laws of Reciprocity

    Chris Maser




    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.