Building a Global Force of Advocates for the Rights of Nature


Fundamental legal rights have played a critical role in the ongoing evolution of society, as previously legal “things” became legal persons. Just as human rights drew a line in the sand to curtail our abuse of other humans, so the securing of fundamental legal rights for nature will support and enhance ongoing efforts to ensure nature exists, thrives and evolves.

Earth Law Center (ELC) believes that achieving fundamental rights for nature will be society’s next major rights-based milestone, as part of a larger movement towards “Earth Law”. Achieving a system of Earth Law (including rights for nature) will require a “paradigm shift” – from a human-centered system to one that is Earth-centered. 

Join us in defending nature's rights.



We fight for a system of law that protects the inherent rights of nature, so we can thrive together.

Legal initiatives

At the local, state and international levels, we educate, advocate, inform – and create change.

outreach initiatives

We provide written, photographic and video support for the rights of nature movement.

United Nations' Rights of Nature Law and Policy

"The law has seen the beginning of an evolution toward recognition of the inherent rights of Nature to exist, thrive and evolve. This evolving legal approach acknowledges that the traditional environmental regulatory systems generally described herein regard nature as property to be used for human benefit, rather than a rights-bearing partner with which humanity has co-evolved. Rights of Nature is grounded in the recognition that humankind and Nature share a fundamental, non-anthropocentric relationship given our shared existence on this planet, and it creates guidance for actions that respect this relationship. Legal provisions recognizing the Rights of Nature, sometimes referred to as Earth Jurisprudence, include constitutions, national statutes, and local laws. In addition, new policies, guidelines and resolutions are increasingly pointing to the need for a legal approach that recognizes the rights of the Earth to well-being." - Harmony with Nature


On behalf of Earth Law Center, Darlene Lee delivered a statement on the Rights of the Ocean at the U.N. Ocean Conference's 7th Plenary Meeting.