Nature's Rights at the Global Level

What we do to the environment, we do to ourselves. Our legal and economic systems are violating both the rights of nature and human rights: a “co-violation” of rights. ELC works internationally to correct this problem through systematic reforms, defending the rights of nature in partnership with advocates for human rights and indigenous rights.

United Nations

Our environmental challenges span the globe, arising from legal systems that fail to recognize nature’s rights. ELC accordingly advocates before the United Nations and other international forums, seeking laws and policies that create thriving communities of people and nature, flourishing together. Learn more.


In 2015, the Rights of Nature movement was listed as #5 in the “top 10 grassroots movements taking on the world.” Over 830,000 people have signed on in support of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, and countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia and New Zealand have adopted rights of nature into their governance systems. Learn more.

Rights of Nature Tribunals

People’s Tribunals have addressed fundamental issues of justice beyond the reach of traditional courts, including human rights abuses. Past human rights tribunals have successfully evolved into formal courts, such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. ELC and allies hold international and regional Rights of Nature Tribunals to advance the formal authority necessary to prevent and address violations of nature’s rights. Learn more.

Co-violations of Rights

Violations of nature’s rights often coincide with human rights violations. That is because our modern economic system values profit over the well-being of both humans and the natural world. ELC works to bring co-violations of human and environmental rights to light through mapping tools. We use this information to illustrate how to change legal and economic systems to support thriving communities. Learn more.