Our Movement

The Wild Law Institute is part of a worldwide movement that is advancing and defending the Rights of Nature.


We are part of a worldwide movement that is advancing and defending the Rights of Nature.

The Wild Law Institute and its allies within the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) advocate for the legal recognition of the rights of all of Nature as a basis for building ecologically sustainable and just societies.

Our alliance consists of indigenous and local peoples, organisations and individuals from around the world who are united in their love for Earth, and determination to work for, rather than against, the community of life.

We develop, advocate for, and implement new approaches to governance and law that free Earth and humanity from legal systems that legitimise and encourage exploitation.

The Global Alliance For The Rights of Nature

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) is an alliance of organisations, communities and individuals committed to the universal adoption and implementation of legal systems that recognize, respect and enforce Rights of Nature.

The members of GARN are united by the belief that human societies will not be ecologically viable in the long term unless humans reorient themselves from an exploitative and ultimately self-destructive relationship with Nature, to one that honours the deep interrelation of all life and contributes to the health and integrity of the Earth Community.



Rights of Nature in their Constitution

In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to enshrine the Rights of Nature in their Constitution as means to achieve the overall aspiration of living well in harmony with Nature. The Constitution states that “Nature, or Pacha Mama, where life is reproduced and occurs, has the right to integral respect for its existence and for the maintenance and regeneration of its life cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes”. Ecuadorian courts have upheld the rights of Nature in many cases dealing with a variety of issues, such as obstruction of the flow of rivers and mining projects that threaten wild species.



National Environmental Act

In 2019, Uganda became the first African country to recognise Rights of Nature as part of its National Environmental Act. This act states that “Nature has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution".


New Zealand

Whanganui River

The Parliament of Aotearoa/New Zealand has passed legislation recognising the Whanganui River as a legal person and the area that was formerly the Te Urewera national park as a legal entity with “all the rights, powers, duties and liabilities of a legal person".

Wild Law Library

List of resources / documents / downloads

Wild Law Institute - About Us

Watch our video about the Rights of Nature, Earth Jurisprudence, and how the Wild Law Institute is taking an active role in ensuring that we build ecologically sustainable and just societies.

Daily Maverick webinar - "Should Nature Have Rights?"

On Wednesday 14 June 2023, Cormac Cullinan participated in the Daily Maverick's webinar titled "should nature have rights?". The webinar was hosted by Our Burning Plant’s investigative journalist Don Pinnock, and also featured Amy P Wilson, co-founder and director of Animal Law Reform South Africa.

Mulambwane Ecological Mapping Process

A report on the eco-mapping process done by our partners and allies, Dzomo la Mupo, in Mulambwane.

Earth Jurisprudence and Human Rights

A short reflection on the relationship between rights of Nature and human rights.

Earth Jurisprudence, Land and Property

A short introduction on how land is conceived of from an Earth Jurisprudence perspective.

Earth Jurisprudence and African Philosophy

A short introduction to the overlaps between Earth Jurisprudence and African Philosophy.

Earth Jurisprudence and Climate Change

A short introduction to the relevance of Earth Jurisprudence to the fight against climate change.

World Environment Day Statement by GARN African Hub

Celebrate World Environment Day 2022 by joining the Rights of Nature movement

Climate Change Bill Submission

Comments on the Climate Change Bill by the Wild Law Institute and the EMS Foundation

Earth Jurisprudence and Systemic Change

A short introduction to Earth Jurisprudence and the ways in which it is part of, and contributes to, movements for systemic change to address the huge challenges facing us in the 21st century.

Cormac Cullinan On Wild Law

Cormac Cullinan speaks at the World People's Summit on Climate Change and Rights of Nature, Cochabamba, Bolivia - April 2010

The Green Interview - Cormac Cullinan

Cormac Cullinan speaks to the Green Interview about Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence

Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth

World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth Cochabamba, Bolivia

Changing the terrain: The significance of rights of nature for environmental and social activism

Any honest assessment of the effectiveness of environmental movements over the past several decades must conclude that their successes have been insufficient to prevent the on-going degradation of ecological systems.

Rights of Nature Movement

Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and Tribunal Story

International Rights of Nature Tribunal Paris Introduction

Paris Introduction was produced by Clement Guerra.

World Charter for Nature

Reaffirming the fundamental purposes of the United Nations, in particular the maintenance of international peace and security, the development of friendly relations among nations and the achievement of international cooperation in solving international problems.

A Tribunal for Earth: Why it matters

Imagine how different the world would be if courts decided on the legitimacy or otherwise of human conduct on the basis of whether or it was in the best interests of the whole community of life.

United Nations Harmony with Nature Programme

Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network