Earth Jurisprudence is a philosophical approach which views human legal and governance systems within the context of natural systems of order. Humans co-evolved in relationship with other beings, and this community of life is the source of our well-being. Therefore the primary purpose of legal and governance systems must be to ensure that people protect and contribute to the integrity, health and well-being of the entire Earth Community.
Earth Jurisprudence draws on the cosmologies and laws of indigenous cultures which understand the importance of maintaining respectful relationships with other beings. The diversity of human cultures and ecosystems mean that there will be many ‘bio-culturally specific’ versions of Earth Jurisprudence reflecting how different human communities regulate themselves as part of the Earth Community.
Wild laws apply Earth Jurisprudence. They are human-made laws that are aligned with the laws of Nature and promote the flourishing of life, diversity and healthy relationships, instead of legitimising human exploitation of Earth. Wild laws reflect the understanding that, in order for humans to flourish, we must recognise and respect the rights of every member of the Earth community.
Like human rights, Rights of Nature are inherent, inalienable rights that arise from the mere existence of the rights holder. This means that every being or aspect of nature (including people) must, at a minimum, have the right to exist, the right to occupy space, and the right to interact with other beings in a manner that allows them to fulfil their unique role in ecological and evolutionary processes. Different species or parts of nature, all will have different rights, i.e. rivers have river rights, birds have bird rights, and human have human rights.