A rights revolution for nature

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Science  29 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6434, pp. 1392-1393
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav5601


Scientific evidence indicates that the global environmental crisis is accelerating and that environmental laws have not been able to reverse the trend (1). A movement to recognize nature as a rights holder argues that existing laws regulate, rather than stop, the destruction of the natural world (2). Instead of incrementally reforming such laws, a growing number of jurisdictions around the world have recognized rights of nature (see the box). This may better protect natural systems, though questions remain and contributions from various disciplines will be necessary to implement this rights revolution and ensure its effectiveness.

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