Building a Global Force of Advocates for the Rights of Nature


We work to transform the law to recognize and protect nature’s inherent rights to exist, thrive and evolve. Through this work, we envision a future in which humans and nature flourish together.

The ongoing struggle for rights is marked by a handful of milestones that fundamentally changed society. Slaves, free black citizens, indigenous people, women, children, the disabled, LGBT and refugees have all had to fight for basic recognition as members of the rights-holding community.

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” (like “Human Rights Law” but for the planet). 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. This will build on the tireless efforts of champions like Christopher Stone, Cormac Cullinan and Steve Wise, and will also require the efforts of many people in many fields. Fortunately, we are well on our way, as seen by a growing number of victories worldwide.

ELC helps drive this movement by creating laws and legal protections that recognize and advance the inherent rights of nature. We are committed to ensuring that nature’s rights are broadly recognized and implemented globally. We are building a bridge to create a force of rights of nature advocates at the local, state, national and international levels.

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.