Rights of Nature in Europe: Encounters and Visions

Jenny García Ruales (Editor), Katarina Hovden (Editor), Helen Kopnina (Editor), Colin D. Robertson (Editor), Hendrik Schoukens (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book addresses the recognition of the Rights of Nature (RoN) in Europe, examining their conceptualisation and implementation. RoN refers to a diverse set of legal developments that seek to redefine Nature’s status within the law, gradually emerging as a novel template for environmental protection. Countries like Ecuador and New Zealand, each with distinct histories and ways of dwelling in the world, have pioneered a new era in environmental governance by legally acknowledging rights or personhood for nature, ecosystems, and more-than-human populations. In recent years, Europe has witnessed growing interest in RoN, with academic, legislative, and political initiatives gaining momentum. A significant development is the September 2022 passage of a law in the Spanish Parliament, granting legal personhood and rights to the Mar Menor, a saltwater lagoon severely affected by environmental degradation. Given the diversity in interpretations and articulations of ‘Rights of Nature’, this edited volume argues that their arrival in Europe fosters different kinds of interactions across distinct areas of law, knowledge, practices, and societal domains. The book employs a multidisciplinary approach, exploring these interactions in law and policy, anthropology, Indigenous worldviews and jurisprudence, philosophy, spiritual traditions, critical theory, animal communication, psychology, and social work. This book is tailored for scholars in law, political science, environmental studies, anthropology and cultural studies; as well as legal practitioners, NGOs, activists and policy-makers interested in ecology and environmental protection.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages380
ISBN (Electronic)9781040012987, 9781003318989
ISBN (Print)9781032332659
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2024

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