Education and Outreach
ELC’s education initiatives prepare tomorrow’s leaders to seek environmental solutions grounded in the inherent rights of nature, rather than in the assumption that nature is property to serve human desires.
We developed and have taught our "Earth Law" graduate level curriculum for several years at Vermont Law School, a world leader in environmental legal education. We have also instructed ecology and philosophy students at the California Institute of Integral Studies, home of leaders for the Earth such as Joanna Macy and Brian Swimme. We will be expanding our educational reach with an online version of this class.
We have presented on Earth Law and the rights of nature at numerous other universities, including:
- Stanford Law School and other San Francisco Bay Area law schools
- Yale Law School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
- The University of Hawai'i Richardson School of Law
- Southern Cross University and Griffith University in Australia
- Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
- McGill University, Montreal
- UCLA's Institute for the Environment
- University of Denver's Sturm College of Law
- Barry University in Orlando, Florida, Center for Earth Jurisprudence
- University of Victoria in British Columbia, where ELC’s Executive Director is a Research Affiliate with the University’s Centre for Global Studies and POLIS Project on Ecological Governance
ELC also works with student teams and interns, such as from Yale Law School’s Environmental Protection Clinic. With Yale support, ELC and students advanced research and recommendations for campaigns around waterways' rights to flow and the exposure of co-violations of human and nature’s rights.
ELC also educates decision-makers, advocacy groups, and the broader public. Advocates worldwide have invited ELC to provide guidance on recognition of nature’s inherent rights in law. For example, ELC’s Executive Director has built relationships with:
- The Australian Earth Laws Alliance
- Earth Law Alliance in Aotearoa, New Zealand (access via Facebook)
- Nature’s rights advocates at Wild Law UK and Findhorn Ecovillage, Scotland
- Gaia Foundation and partners, based in London but extending to South America and Africa
ELC also addressed Beijing City officials on how to define and develop an “ecological civilization" that could include nature's rights.
ELC connects more broadly through its Earth Community mapping initiative, which illustrates the growing number of groups and initiatives worldwide advancing the legal, economic, and scientific elements of rights for nature.
Listen to Executive Director, Linda Sheehan, give a TEDx talk on the rights of nature.
- TEDxMarin, “’Earth Jujitsu’ - Escaping the Climate Chokehold by Adapting to Nature’s Rights,” Presentation by Linda Sheehan
- Curriculum, "Earth Law," Vermont Law School, July 2016
- Curriculum, "Earth Law in Praxis," California Institute of Integral Studies, Spring 2015
- Curriculum, "Earth Law: Toward a Flourishing Earth Community," California Institute of Integral Studies, Spring 2014
- Video, Yale University, "A Communion of Subjects: Law, Environment and Religion," Spring 2015
- Video, Univ. of Victoria, Centre for Global Studies, “Reclaiming Prosperity through Nature’s Rights” (April 2013)
- Webinar, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, Water Sustainability Project, with Vernon Tava, "Giving Nature a Voice: Legal Rights of Waterways" (June 2013)
- Podcast, "Sustainable People," Interview with Linda Sheehan (Dec. 2012)
- Podcast, "Calls to recognise the rights of nature," with Cormac Cullinan (Sept. 27, 2011)
- Video, Southern Cross University, "Introduction to Earth Laws Network" (Sept. 2011)