Environmental & human rights

Nature is continuously reflecting to us the laws that govern her ways of functioning. As beings of Nature our laws are her laws and vice versa. Nature is where we need to look for answers – inside and out. If there is a gap between Nature’s law and human legality, then our laws work against, and not in alignment with the current of life. At the moment there are still many gaps. If we want to live, then we have to allow the tree to live, and we have to recognise its rights. It is a part of that ever-balancing system, as much as we are. If we destroy the tree wherever and in whichever way, then we destroy a part of ourselves. Our legal systems and the practical implementation thereof need to reflect that.
 
More and more of us realise this simple underlying truth – one which has always been clear to the indigenous peoples of this planet, and which used to be embodied by these peoples until systems of coercion and suppression took over. It is our responsibility to recognise Earth’s history and to find ways to realign what has been massively brought out of balance. No one culture is better, or more advanced than another. No one form of life is of higher value than another. No animal or plant is worth less than human beings.
 
There is a primal essence of life: a wisdom, a light, a music which we are all made of – every form of life on this planet. This music used to proliferate here. It took on a vast abundance of ways of being, all effortlessly nourishing one-another. Diversity is not difference. Diversity is the wonder that this planet has to offer – the materialisation of the very same thing, the very same material in a myriad of expressions – a creativity which we are all capable of reflecting back to Nature if we decide to live in that same current. Legal systems which emerge from that source hold the environmental and human rights of our future. Such laws will truly protect life, including human life. Currently humanity is on a roll to realise exactly that. See below. Exciting times.
 You may also be interested in the blog posts Nigeria – A country is standing up for its human rights and True animal husbandry – looking for answers.

International Rivers

Africa, South Asia, South America

Protecting rivers & defending rights of river communities, children & environmentalists via research, network-building, campaigning support & legal work. Support of grassroots movements & local culturally embedded river stewardship. Embodying inclusivity & gender equity. Ending legacies of environmental injustice & demanding corporate accountability. Great info resources on website.

The Borneo Project

USA & Malaysian Borneo

Supporting locally initiated & community-led campaigns to defend forests, environmental & human rights. Facilitating mapping for ancestral land claims, supporting legal cases, negotiations, paralegal education, mobile legal aid clinics. Helped > 200 longhouse communities hold off destructive logging & industrial palm oil plantations carried out without consent, violating land & human rights. Supporting cultural survival, reforestation, organic gardening, indigenous education & visions such as Baram Peace Park. Bringing international attention to corporate violence. Linking local & global movements.

Shipibo Conibo Center

Peru, USA

Supporting self-determination, territorial sovereignty, visual arts, music incl. Amazonian hip-hop artists, ethnobotanical research & Shipibo Agroforestry Cooperative Koshicoop of & by Peru’s Shipibo Conibo people. Belief that indigenous identity belongs to a technologically-anchored, sustainable future. Led by 5 artists, filmmakers, activists & anthropologists. Commitment to core values of Shipibo ethics & protocols of conviviality, reciprocity, kinship. Decolonising art. Art made based on natural dyes, immersive Amazonian soundscapes etc.

River Network

Colorado, USA

Connecting & aligning > 8500 NGOs, agencies, indigenous groups & utilities, facilitating collaboration, creating community & increasing impact to protect & restore our waters. Reaffirming our right to affordable, clean water & healthy rivers. One-on-one mentoring, consulting, trainings, conferences, events. Committed to integrity, inclusiveness & openness to new knowledge. 1% for the Planet.

The Endangered Language Fund

Worldwide

Documenting & revitalising endangered languages through grants to individuals, tribes & museums. Work in > 60 countries. Development of indigenous radio programs, recording of last living speakers of indigenous languages, orthographies & literacy materials for endangered language teaching programs, language-sharing workshops involving games & art etc. Bringing together language activists, linguists, students & speakers of rare languages.

The Gaia Foundation

UK, Ireland, worldwide

Local, decentralised work rooted in long-term relationships with collaborating communities. Securing food & seed sovereignty. Ending extractivism. Helping indigenous communities reestablish their Earth connection previously broken by the loss, destruction & desecration of their lands & culture. Empowering communities by rebuilding confidence necessary to stand up for their rights. Guided by nature – translating nature’s laws into human legislation.

Survival International

Worldwide

Expose abuse of indigenous peoples in the name of conservation & profit incl. racism, genocide, slavery, factory schools etc.; secure indigenous rights, decolonise conservation, amplify & empower indigenous voices (Tribal Voice platform) – rooted in longstanding relationships with 100s indigenous communities. Protecting uncontacted tribes. Embodying diversity & inclusivity in every way. Incredible organisation.

Guide to decolonising conservation:

Amazon Frontlines

Ecuador, Colombia, Peru

Providing access to clean water via rain water collection in areas of oil pollution. Supported creation of indigenous-led Ceibo Alliance (https://www.alianzaceibo.org). Technical & operational support of Ceibo projects. Creation of international support networks for funding, access to technology & legal knowledge/representation. Supporting cultural re- & survival, indigenous autonomy, protection of indigenous lands. Environmental monitoring, mapping, youth programs, women empowerment programs.

Rainforest Foundation Norway

Norway, South America, DR Congo, Indonesia, PNG

Providing resources for advocacy & field work towards sustainable community-based forest management & policy change such that rights of indigenous peoples are recognised & rainforests preserved. Legal action, campaigning, pressuring of industry investors etc. Close collaboration with local organisations & national non-governmental networks.

Spaces for Change

Nigeria, W-Africa & worldwide

Outstanding Nigerian lawyer & team demanding accountability from local & international actors for intentionally created poverty & violence. Exposing & addressing key human rights violations via research, advocacy, training sessions, effective use of legal system. Changing norms on human rights in corporate business. Securing rights of NGOs. Urban governance, land theft, energy policy, gender inclusion. Community empowerment, capacity-building, youth engagement. Volunteer/internship programs.

Jérémie Gilbert – University of Roehampton

UK & worldwide

Legally including humans into the system of nature. Establishing international human rights systems which include all human beings equally. Developing legal frameworks which secure minority rights in relation to land, trade, constitutions & environment. Rights of nature research, consultancy & education across disciplines.

Sci-hub

Kazakhstan, Russia & worldwide

Providing free, unrestricted access to scientific knowledge for everyone; > 88 million research articles & books freely available for download. Disconnecting communication in science from the very inequitable financial system. Securing basic human rights related to access to information. Taking ownership over knowledge out of corporate hands. Sadly this website is blocked in some countries.

Alarme Phone Sahara

Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Morocco, Germany, Austria

Search & rescue operations for migrants esp. in northern Niger. Exposing human rights violations, crimes against migrants etc. Education of potential migrants about their rights, support structures, conditions & dangers in Sahel – facilitating informed decision-making. Protection of migrant rights. Activism towards equity, integrity, freedom to move or stay. Raising awareness of migration realities via reports, documentaries. Rooted in cooperation across borders.

Lakota People’s Law Project

North Dakota, USA

Securing & protecting indigenous rights, incl. basic human rights, tribal sovereignty, land rights, voting rights, legal frameworks for child protection, environmental rights etc. via legal action, advocacy, protests, petitions, story-telling. Exposure of criminalisation of indigenous campaigns & the distortion of American history.

!Khwa ttu

South Africa & Kalahari

San multinational network & heritage centre, based on San curatorship. Enabling communities to contribute to & access digital archives: San people have been exposed to unregulated research & exploration & none of the materials produced were shared with San communities – now bringing San to the centre of conversations about them, ensuring authenticity & legitimacy. Reclaiming & protecting San history, culture & rights. Also environmental stewardship, responsible tourism programs & training programs.

Yes to Life, No to Mining

Worldwide

Network of environmental groups, legal organisations & indigenous communities, standing up for right to say ‘No’ to unjust exploitation, while supporting equity of all living beings. Bringing power back to societies. Financial support, generation of guidelines, dispatches & emblematic cases, knowledge-sharing, exposing of green-washing & other environmental & human rights violations, amplification of voices.

Integrative Law

Worldwide

Turning law into a tool for healthy conflict-resolving, establishing & maintaining peace, mediation & societal transformation. Developing new models of legal practice & legal education which are reflective, practical, effective & holistic in embracing & supporting life. Highly collaborative diverse network of judges, policy makers, legislators, collaborative lawyers, restorative justice practitioners, academics, administrators etc. who share passion, purpose, values & integrity.

Observatoire international des droits de la Nature

Quebec, Canada & international

Promoting, raising awareness of & re-affirming legal rights of Nature via legal intervention, research, education. Claiming legal rights of trees, rivers, mountains & ecosystems of particular importance, ensuring protection from mining, pollution, destruction. Transforming legal frameworks.

Prison Policy Initiative

Massachusetts, USA

Exposing issue of & harm done by mass criminalization/incarceration, incl. related gender age & racial/ethnic discrepancies in incarceration rates. Advocacy campaigns towards legal justice. Based on cutting edge research & data analysis across U.S. correctional & detention facilities.

International Committee of Indigenous Peoples of Russia

Russia & international

Supporting indigenous communities in Russian Arctic, Siberia & Far East: defending rights & lands via consultations, technical support, education & leadership programs. Correcting Ukraine-war related official narratives about indigenous Russia. Founding members are indigenous activists/community leaders expelled from Russia due to their work.

Te Awa Tupua

New Zealand

Whanganui River Claims Settlement Act 2017 – enhancing relationship between & upholding rights/interests of all parts of Whanganui River ecosystem, speaking to (not about) the river. Pioneering conservation by establishing new legal frameworks. Recognising & claiming innate values of river. Māori initiative.

Wild Law Institute

South Africa & worldwide

Recognising inherent rights of Nature as basis for ecologically sustainable & just societies via changes in legal systems & practices embedded in local cultural webbing. Strong focus on proactive building of what we want to see via international collaboration, Earth Jurisprudence & Rights of Nature based research & education of activists, policy-makers, lawyers, academics etc.

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