Ontario Chapter

Resolution

Press the button to Download the Resolution format supporting the recognition of the legal personality and rights of the Magtogoek / Saint Lawrence River

Rights of Nature :
what are we referring to ?

is the basis for the Rights of Nature movement.

This philosophy is inspired by Indigenous traditions.

It recognizes the intrinsic value and dignity of Nature: there should be a right that protects the existence of various species and ecosystems.

Ecocentrism also considers humans as part of Nature. When seen as such, Nature is not merely a resource to be exploited, but rather a living environment to be protected.

The rights of Nature movement aims to make Nature a subject of law, similar to human beings and corporations.

Why give
the St. Lawrence River
legal personhood?

Despite various legislative reforms and important court decisions, the state of the St. Lawrence River is deteriorating. It is urgent to act! A new legal framework is required!
If the river is granted legal personality, this recognition would bestow it with various rights, such as the rights to protection, respect of its natural cycles, and restoration
It would also allow the River and its tributaries to have specific rights recognized and to be represented by selected Guardians who would:
Increased responsibility of the actors and users of water. Alliance between law, ancestral knowledge and science.
Representation of the River by various Guardians (ancestral and legal) who will enforce its rights. Organize governance to avoid conflicts of interest.
Use the watershed model with capacity to act and extend the model to the tributaries of the River.
Avoid building in flood-prone areas. Avoid damage to the population during the spring flood cycle.
Preventive approach advocating the protection of species’ habitats.
Protect the habitat of all species without waiting for a species to become endangered or threatened.
Allow a holistic vision of the river considering the freshwater-marine, downstream-upstream part.
Ensure a safe water supply. Promote access to safe swimming.
Integrate indigenous perspectives. Make the River suitable for recreational boating (equitable access).
River blue sky vertical view

Some international
recognitions

From rivers and national parks to broader concepts like Mother Earth, these legal milestones represent a profound reimagining of our relationship with the natural world, signaling a step towards more holistic and ecologically sensitive governance models.

Click the points to expand them.

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Some international
recognitions

From rivers and national parks to broader concepts like Mother Earth, these legal milestones represent a profound reimagining of our relationship with the natural world, signaling a step towards more holistic and ecologically sensitive governance models.
Map International Recognitions

Ecuador
In 2008, Ecuador incorporated the recognition of the rights of Nature in its Constitution.

Bolivia
In 2010, Bolivia passed a law on the rights of Mother Earth.

Colombia
In 2017, the Constitutional Court of Colombia declared the Atrato River a subject of law.

New Zeland
In 2017, New Zealand recognized the Whanganui River and the Te AwaTupua National Park as legal entities.

India
In 2020, the court declared both the Ganges and the Yamuna River as legal persons.

Bangladesh
In 2019, the court declared all the rivers of Bangladesh as a living entity with rights.

Canada
On February 17, 2021, the Conseil Innu d’Ekuanitshit and the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de la Minganie recognized the legal personality of the Magpie River.
On April 19, 2023, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador recognized the legal personality of the St. Lawrence River.

Timeline

Launch of the Ontario Chapter

Drafting of our article on the rights of Nature in Canada

Seeking government support and funding for collaboration and consultation