27 December 2020
Environmental Justice Australia supports the legal precedent of the Rights of Nature. In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to codify the Rights of Nature in constitutional law. In October 2020, the Rights of Nature law was tested in the constitutional court of Ecuador to protect a world class biodiverse rainforest sanctuary from mining exploration by Canadian company Cornerstone mining.
Los Cedros Reserve in north-western Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse habitats in the world, with more than 4,800 hectares of primary cloud forest feeding the water catchments of four major rivers. A positive ruling would not only protect Los Cedros‘ forests from mining, but could provide a precedent to safeguard all 186 protected forests in Ecuador, totaling some 2.4 million hectares.
The outcome of this case was expected to be announced in December 2020 and will serve as a precedent for all future Rights of Nature cases in Ecuador and across the world. At this time in history we need strong laws to protect endangered ecosystems and species on the verge of extinction. We need to protect primary forests for our climate future and their inherent value. Environmental Justice Australia supports the worldwide movement to enshrine the Rights of Nature in local, national and international law.