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In European First, Proposed Constitutional Amendment in Sweden Would Enshrine Rights of Nature

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/08/european-first-proposed-constitutional-amendment-sweden-would-enshrine-rights-nature


Now we’re talking !!!

"The proposed amendment to Sweden’s Instrument of Government, the nation’s constitutional document, would secure the Rights of Nature to " existera, blomstra, regenerera och utvecklas "—which translates as “exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve”—in order to provide the people and government of Sweden the ability to defend and enforce these rights on behalf of Nature."



The hope is of course that if this gains traction in Sweden and is adopted , other Countries in the Nordic group will follow suit. This kind of progressive Politics tends to cross over the borders there. The shame is Canada should have been on board with this sort of thing years ago.

Our current election campaign still focuses on jobs and growth outside the Green Party.


And another step in the right direction by Sweden:


A step in a long-awaited direction. The genocide in Amazonia where there are - supposedly - laws against murdering and displacing human people is making no difference. Detailing and enshrining law to give the Natural World inherent rights may be productive in some enlightened nations, but others will ignore them as they do other laws if there is a buck to be made and government is complicit, looking the other way.

Alas for the late, great, Mother Earth and the Garden of Eden.


From Chris Stone and his many predecessors, thru Bolivia and Ecuador and New Zealand to Sweden, and as @SuspiraDeProfundis points out, perhaps the other Nordic Nations, and my personal hope, that the United Nations will jump on board. (Still planning on voting Green ! )

@Emphyrio - Laws will always be made and broken, and followed. This is a good law - a guideline. With luck it will become a cultural norm across much or all of the world. Some will not take heed, but more importantly, most will I believe, because it is in our own interests to do so. That it is in our interests to protect nature is one of the things we have forgotten, but like riding a bike - even a long absence can be remedied quickly.

Wings - I watched my own younger brother become a lawyer here in Canada. He swore allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain - it revulsed me then, and it does so now. Congrats to the Swedish king for his foresight !


With their compassion and understanding i wonder if Sweden will be the ultimate bastion of life on the late, great mother earth and the garden of eden. (Stockholm is also the safest place on earth for women and children to travel unmolested on public transport.)

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I have commented to you before about my Community Rights work/organizing. I have been working with CELDF and on Community Rights, and the Rights of Nature here in Oregon for over 9 years. I work directly with the CELDF organizer that covers Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and sometimes Alaska.

Related to this article, I immediately thought of you. I emailed “Mari Margil, associate director of CELDF’s International Center for the Rights of Nature” and asked if she was working with any groups in Canada around the Rights of Nature. She responded immediately in the affirmative. She asked that any of the interested Canadian commenters here on Common Dreams to email her at rightsofnature@celdf.org. She would very much like you to contact her so that she can connect you to other Canadians doing this work with CELDF there.

For me, there is no hope of saving the future for generations to come, or for the living ecosystems of the Earth unless all of Nature (including the trees!) have legal standing with rights of their own; not legally classed as property to be owned, degraded and/or destroyed for the benefit of a few.

Nothing can be accomplished until we connect with our neighbors and organize to protect our own health, safety, and welfare in the places where we live. And we can’t do that unless we protect the rights of nature too. Because our lives literally depend on the balance, health,and vitality of our surrounding ecosystems.

And yes, your trees have legal standing with Rights of Nature laws.


PS For those who live in the US and want to explore how you can engage in the work for the rights local community self governance and rights to nature, you can make contact with CELDF at (717) 498-0054 or info@celdf.org. And you can go to the CELDF.org website and discover a whole lot of information about what is happening here in the US and around the world.


I recall a 70s book along the lines of “Should Trees Have Rights?”

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That would be the book that Many Summits referrenced above called “Do Trees Have Standing?”. A lot of the work related to the Rights of Nature are based on the concepts from that book.


This is so great! We caught wind of this as Green Party Maryland and didn’t have the name so dropped it. Now we’re in PA and I just signed up. I will call in the morning to discuss a strategy for Nature’s rights advocated by our community. Thank you for posting this!


PA is where CELDF and the Community Rights movement started! In Grant Township. You already have multiple townships in PA doing this work that you can join up with, depending where you are. Getting connected to my neighbors and community in this movement is the most empowering thing I’ve ever experienced.

Welcome aboard and say “Hi” to Chad for me.

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It may be that this idea of Rights for the Environment - that’s its time has come - is in fact NOW ? It would be nice if Greta picked up on this, and Edward O. Wilson.

In this complex world, one never knows what is going to catch fire. Maybe this will - I hope so.

I’ve just sent an email to Mari Margil - thanks for that, and your work on this front Rebel_Farmer !


Who is Edward O. Wilson? I’m having a terrible times with names. Is he the guy that wrote “Do Trees Have Standing”? Sorry, I’m too busy to look him up… :slight_smile:

And just so you know, CELDF started doing this work in PA over 20 years ago in PA. Ecuador was Mari’s first “win” when they put the rights of nature in their constitution. But you’re right, maybe now it will start to catch on. Maybe we have hit a tipping point.

By the way, the lawyer that has represented and defended rivers and ecosystems in Ecuador under their rights of nature laws (and won!) will be at the University of Oregon in Eugene to do a presentation on Rights of Nature there. A lot of my cohorts in “crime” here in Oregon will be going. Unfortunately I can’t get away. Have to get my brain function tested for three hours tomorrow.

This getting old stuff is not for the faint of heart. It’s actually kind of cool in a lot of ways, but the brain and body are just not keeping up with the tasks at hand at this point. But I’m always moving forward. It’s the slower pace that is making me crazier than I am normally.

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Agreed ! But it may not be so much age as fury at the system. When I climbed full time, I literally could not book a climbing hut myself, but had to get a friend to do so - that is how much I hated bureaucracy.

I have a grudging admiration for anyone who can handle it - such as yourself or Jim Mattis.

Here on CD - I find myself fed up with the political threads - and people in general, to be blunt.



By the way, it’s people like you and others that “get it” that keep me going. I love it when people actually engage with the whole concept of community rights, the rights of nature, and working with their neighbors to make it happen.

It’s been a long slog, but the consciousness of the universe seems to be starting to come into a sort of alignment. We have a long ways to go, and many hurdles to overcome, and it may take longer than we hoped, but it will happen if we keep at it long enough. And this “work” is the most empowering thing we will ever do. Because we will do it together with your neighbors and friends, and people you will meet everywhere. And doing the “right thing” that you know in your heart is like climbing a mountain and eventually reaching a formidable summit.

And we will reach that summit. It may not be in my lifetime, but you and others will make it.


And - having the benefit of reasonably close contact with Swedish news - if Stockholm really is ‘the safest place on earth for women and children to travel unmolested on public transport’, that’s a pretty conclusively damning comment on everywhere else!

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Laura, thought you might be interested in this PA, Grant township lawsuit related to their very log time effort to save their water and community from fracking wastewater injection wells. And by the way, the Hellbender is a type of salamander indigenous to the area. Great name for their group of community fighters!!

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