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Grant Legal Personhood to Nature


The Whanganui River in New Zealand has been a legal person since 2017


In the article "What if nature became a legal person?" published by the World Economic Forum (see the article here https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/nature-legal-personhood ) the author examines the consequences of lifting nature from legal object to leagal person


From the article:


"Humans have long treated nature as little more than an exploitable resource - and we are now living with the consequences.

  • Granting legal personhood to things like forests, rivers and species could give them the best chance of survival and renewal.

  • To achieve this, we must first learn to listen to - and understand - the language of nature itself.


The warnings from scientists are not sufficient anymore. In light of the dramatic biodiversity losses we have suffered over the past few decades, we urgently need to hear the voices of nature itself. Today, elements of nature such as oceans, forests, soils and ecosystems are considered, in most jurisdictions, as mere objects - and are treated as such. What if the elements of nature became, per se, legal persons?"


...

At the end of the day, listening to the voice of nature and learning her language is probably the greatest challenge that we humans have ever faced. If we fail to do so, it could be the last we will face, too. In the words of de Toledo: "Making natural entities legal actors in the Anthropocene era would eventually retransfer rights, powers, and even financial levels to those from which the rights of humans derive, namely the Earth itself and all its non-human components." (see the article here https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/nature-legal-personhood )


We are asking the leadership of the city of Miami to use its voice to raise this issue in South Florida with all the stakeholders toward granting legal personhood to nature.


Here are some obvious candidates for receiving legal personhood: Biscayne Bay, the Miami River, the Everglades, the Florida Reef.


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