GARN was founded in 2010 by global leaders who helped power the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth at the People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia and the Constitutional recognition of the Rights of Nature in Ecuador. These leaders then established an Alliance that could drive the Rights of Nature movement to address the polycrisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequality.
Founders and members believe that for an environmentally sustainable future, humans must reorient themselves from an exploitative relationship with Nature to one that honours the deep interrelation of all life while contributing to the health and integrity of the natural world. As such, environmental laws must shift to tackle the root causes of ecosystem and species decline, mitigating degradation caused by deforestation, overfishing and water pollution.
Global Alliance of Rights of Nature (GARN) Tribunal at COP23 in Bonn in 2017. Image CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED John Englart
GARN’s mission is to serve as a global hub for connecting and fostering relationships, exchanging knowledge, building an intersectional movement, and nurturing collaboration to advance the understanding and implementation of Rights of Nature.
Despite its existence as a concept for millennia in Indigenous wisdom and culture, the first expression of Rights of Nature in law began at the regional level in the U.S. in 2006. Ecuador and Bolivia have followed suit, while New Zealand, Colombia, and India have granted personhood status to culturally and environmentally significant river systems.
Playing a central role in this cultural and legal shift, GARN has worked with social movements, frontline communities, Indigenous communities, and Rights of Nature defenders to promote Rights of Nature as a solution to the ecological and humanitarian crises facing our planet.
This is done through campaigns, public education, successful partnership-building and coalition work, and mobilising a growing global constituency, with a strong membership and activist network.
Synchronicity Earth’s support strengthens GARN’s capacity, allowing them to continue advancing and supporting Rights of Nature cases globally and expanding the International Rights of Nature Tribunal. Funding will also help connect and grow an intersectional movement through the development of global hubs – both regional and thematic – including their Indigenous Council, Academic Hub, Legal Hub and Youth Hub.