Laura Burgers & Jessica den Outer - Rights Of Nature

Compendium #1: Case-Studies From Six Continents


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In our time of ecological crisis, the law may provide some new and much- needed perspective. Worldwide, an increasing number of natural entities – forests, rivers, mountains, even Mother Earth herself – are being recognized as so-called legal persons. In this legal revolution, nature is no longer seen as an object to be used and discarded, but rather as a subject with intrinsic value and, importantly, legally enforceable rights.

The Embassy of the North Sea commissioned Laura Burgers and Jessica den Outer to author this Compendium, which focuses on one or two case-studies per continent. Each case-study offers a sketch of the different ways in which the rights of nature have been recognized, with the authors detailing the context and world view underpinning those rights, as well as their current implementation and enforcement.

Both dr. Laura Burgers and Jessica den Outer are experts on the rights of nature within the UN Network 'Harmony With Nature'.

Published in September 2021 | Paperback | with photographs | 64 pages | ca. 40,000 words
Full English manuscript available
German rights sold to Hirzel Verlag
English edition published by the Embassy of the North Sea

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Laura Burgers defended her PhD thesis on climate change litigation in November 2020, and works as an assistant professor at the law faculty of the University of Amsterdam. For the Embassy of the North Sea, she wrote an essay on the question whether the North Sea should become a legal person with its own enforceable rights, which was published in the book The Voice of the North Sea. This book was nominated as the best Dutch philosophy publication of 2020. Burgers is an expert on the rights of nature within the UN Network Harmony with Nature.

Jessica den Outer has a Master degree in international environmental law and works as an independent consultant, writer and speaker on ecocentric law (the rights of nature and ecocide). She started her journey researching the rights of nature for her Master thesis in 2017. In 2019 she was recognized as one of the youngest rights of nature experts within the United Nations Harmony with Nature network. In 2020, she obtained a place in the ‘Sustainable Young 100’. She is currently focusing on the implementation of the rights of nature in the Netherlands. She is one of the initiators of project ‘Maas in de Wet’, which pleads for legal rights for the river Meuse.


Foreword by the Embassy of the North Sea


I South America

II North America
White Earth Band of Ojibwe

III Oceania
New Zealand

IV Africa

V Asia

VI Europe
The Netherlands

VII International developments
Post-2020 global biodiversity framework

Concluding remarks

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