Let’s Recognize Legal Rights for Nature

The January 2022 episode of “Glen’s Parallax Perspectives” provides a fresh perspective — and proposes a fresh solution — for some environmental problems that are serious but are not being solved by conventional methods.

Glen Anderson interviewed two experts — Kai Huschke and Elliott Moffett — who have savvy insights and practical experience working to protect environments and establish legal rights for nature.

Very often, when people want to protect the environment by filing appeals in governmental hearings or in courts, the environmentalists’ cases are dismissed because – even though the environment is being hurt – those individuals themselves are not hurt by the damage to the environment, so their cases are dismissed because those individuals lack legal “standing.”  However, if we recognize legal rights for the environment (e.g., a river, a forest, or an ecosystem), that entity would have legal “standing” and could protect its interests in court.

In the U.S., Latin America, and elsewhere, a movement is growing to recognize legal rights for nature.

This TV interview explores the concept, why it is so important, and some successes in pursuing legal rights for nature.  We encourage organizing further progress.

Two guests explored this topic:

  • Since 2008 Kai Huschke has worked as a Community Organizer in the Pacific Northwest for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF, www.celdf.org).  He works to strengthen local democracy by helping local areas pass Community Bills of Rights.  He also works to promote legal rights for nature.
  • Elliott Moffett has long been a very active member of his tribe, the Nez Perce, and has helped it work on a variety of tribal government and environmental issues.  Grounded in 16,000 years of sustainable living in the Northwest, he and his tribe have been organizing to help our region’s population and governments to respect Mother Nature in very practical ways.  He also is the president of Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment (www.nimiipuuprotecting.org), a non-profit organization that includes indigenous people and others who want to protect Mother Earth.



I typed up a very thorough summary of what we said during the interview.  The thorough summary also includes some additional information beyond what we said during the TV interview.  It ends with a great many links to additional articles, books and videos.


After I produced this TV program and posted it to my blog, my e-mail address changed from glenanderson@integra.net to glen@parallaxperspectives.org.  When you watch the TV video and/or read the linked document, please use my new e-mail address (and/or phone me at 360-491-9093) if you have any questions or want more information.







About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org