GARN is a dynamic and diverse international network of organizations, communities and individuals who work together towards advancing the Rights of Nature around the globe and transforming how humans relate to Mother Earth.
It exists to enable its members to be more effective by connecting and collaborating with others who share this worldview in order to recognize and uphold the rights of Nature as a means of transforming exploitative systems (particularly legal systems) that enable, promote and legitimize ecological destruction.
In order to work effectively throughout the world, GARN works with decentralized hubs to coordinate and support the activities of members within a particular region or area (regional hubs) or with common characteristics and interests (e.g. Indigenous People, young people or legal experts).
These hubs are established and run by GARN members who work in a particular geographical area or who share particular characteristics (e.g. young people).
The purpose of the hubs is to increase localized and focused support and networking opportunities for the organizations, communities and individuals working on Rights of Nature in a region or within a theme/sector; build collaborations and co-create collective, strategies for the recognition and implementation of the Rights of Nature in a region/theme/sector; provide support to local and regional efforts, respond to urgent needs and calls to action and build visibility for key Rights of Nature efforts in a region/theme/sector.
The Youth Hub for Rights of Nature is a global network and GARN Hub by youth and for youth (-35 years old) all over the world. The Hub has the objective to empower youth to become ambassadors of the Rights of Nature movement, generate positive impact and advocate successfully on behalf of the Rights of Nature and future generations. In the Youth Hub, youth and young professionals will find an inspiring atmosphere where they can learn and work together with likeminded people who are engaged and enthusiastic in spreading the word of Rights of Nature. The Hubs‘ members are encouraged to actively take part in Summits and international Events to make their voice heard in the environmental debate.
Lauren Tarr joined the GARN Youth Hub in 2020 and is serving as the hub’s ‘Governance Facilitator‘ for 2021. She joins GARN from the United States, where she is an Environmental Policy PhD Candidate at the State University of New York (SUNY ESF). Her research focuses on Rights of Nature, Environmental Justice, and Community-based Conservation. In addition to her studies, Lauren has worked as an environmental educator and English teacher for several years.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Jack Omondi is an environmentalist by profession and a nature defender by passion. He is highly dedicated towards empowering youth and communities through knowledge sharing, training, events, webinars and campaigns in the field of #RightsofNature. Currently, he is working at Don Bosco Tech Africa as the project officer in charge of Greening the Don Bosco TVET centers in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Jack will take on the position of ‘Membership and Outreach Facilitator’ in 2021, to support GARN Youth Hub to bring new members, communicate with the current member base, and develop partnership with other youth groups and organizations.
Anastasia Körner is a student of Environmental Sciences with her Major in Environmental Policy and Economics at Wageningen University, NL. Next to her dedication for the Rights of Nature, she is actively part of the local Environmental and Social Justice Group OtherWise, and has been a volunteer for Human Rights at Amnesty International for several years. Her passions lie in Environmental Philosophy and Law, in Human Rights and Justice as well as in Indigenous Knowledge systems. Anastasia will take on a position as ‘Communications Facilitator’ in 2021, where she will contribute in spreading #RightsofNature to youth worldwide.
The European Rights of Nature Hub is a regional hub of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN). It is a European network of organizations and individuals working together to promote and advance the Rights of Nature movement in the region.
Zoe Lujic is a deep environmentalist, founder of Earth Thrive, small but highly dedicated Rights of Nature organization, currently concentrating on rivers and her native Balkans but also working on pesticides, mining, trees & animal rights issues. Holds MSc in Environmental Decision Making and also has a background in permaculture and the Law of Ecocide campaign on which she worked for several years with the initiator, late Polly Higgins.
Marine Calmet is a lawyer in environmental law and indigenous peoples rights, spokesperson for the NGO Or de question opposed to the mining industry in french Guiana and president of the association Wild Legal, a training program and taking action for the defense of the rights of Nature in France.
Sophie de Maat
Sophie de Maat is a master student in the Netherlands, studying Environmental Policy, while also focusing on Rights of Nature through her previous internship at GARN and her thesis research. She serves as the Membership facilitator for the GARN Europe Hub.
Latin America HUB
The Latin American Hub is a regional network in Latin America that aims to promote and guarantee the Rights of Nature in the region and with the global movement.
This Hub seeks to collaborate and implement strategies for the defense of the Rights of Nature (RoN) in the region; organize events, workshops, meetings and mobilization actions; support and promote research, training and other educational events and activities for the RoN; develop and distribute educational tools, publications, etc.; work together with other GARN networks and the Executive Committee of the Alliance to establish and fulfill GARN’s strategic objectives and priorities; and support the joint organization of events such as the International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature (Chile 2019).
Henny Freitas(Brazil) is a journalist, ecoativist, photographer, permaculture expert and environmental educator. She is co-founder, counselor and coordinator of the Circle of Alliances for the Rights of Mother Earth of CASA Latina (Council of Sustainable Settlements of Latin America); Counselor and coordinator of CASA Brazil and articulator of the New Parks Network, São Paulo, Brazil. She is coordinator of the Permaculture Circle of the North American organization SoFA (Sociocracy for All), co-founder of AWIRE, Multiethnic Permaculture Alliance and the EarthCode project (Earth Code: www.earthcode.org). Author of the e-book: Sociocracy, new forms of Democracy in Latin America. He researched and documented more than 200 intentionally sustainable communities in Europe, Oceania and Latin America. It promotes conferences, talks, workshops and courses in the areas of Permaculture, Sociocracy, Social Design, Recycle and continues to document ethnic, alternative and conventional communities in the world
Juan Sebastián Acosta
Juan Sebastián Acosta(Colombia) is an artist graduated from the National University of Colombia, researcher of the body in movement, activist and biocultural manager. Juan has several years of experience in event production and network management. He has led community pedagogy processes, such as the Escuela ZewuaCultural where he has facilitated spaces for the application of the Colibrí Pedagogy and his methodology of the Cultivation of the Seed Being. Since 2016, he is co-director of the Fundación GaiaUnionSpiral, through which he articulates projects of social and environmental impact, such as the Earth Festival (2012-2018) and the permaculture workshops “Siembra Semilla Universo del Aula ZewaCultural”. He is currently working in partnership with the Universidad de Sabiduría Ancestral, Raices de la Tierra Colombia, the Council of Sustainable Settlements in Latin America as coordinator and manager of the 3rd International Forum for the Rights of Nature in Colombia, 2019.
Earth jurisprudence efforts are taking off across the Africa continent. The Africa Hub aims to offer a centralized way for grassroots groups to share, learn from and coordinate their efforts. Currently led by Executive Committee members, Cormac Cullinan and Nnimmo Bassey are setting up its initial structure and outreach strategy. In the coming year the hub will work to expand membership, host and organize an ongoing bi-monthly series of meetings and training and manage a website where members can connect, share and advance their work.
Cormac Cullinan (South Africa) is an author, practicing environmental attorney and governance expert who has worked on environmental governance issues in more than 20 countries. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa and is a director of a specialist environmental and green business law firm (www.cullinans.co.za) of the governance consultancy, EnAct International (www.enact-international.com), and of the Wild Law Institute. His groundbreaking book “Wild Law A Manifesto for Earth Justice” has played a significant role in informing and inspiring a growing international movement to recognize rights for Nature. In 2008 he was included in Planet Savers. 301 Extraordinary Environmentalists, a book that profiles environmentalists throughout history. At the invitation of Bolivia, Cormac spoke at the 2009 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and led the drafting of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth which was proclaimed on 22 April 2010 by the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia. In September 2010 he played a leading role in establishing a Global Alliance
Nimmo Bassey (Nigeria) is director of the ecological think-tank, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and member steering committee of Oilwatch International. He was chair of Friends of the Earth International (2008-2012) and Executive Director of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013). He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the “Alternative Noble Prize.” In 2012 he received the Rafto Human Rights Award. Bassey has authored books on the environment, architecture and poetry. His books include We Thought it Was Oil, But It was Blood –Poetry (Kraft Books, 2002), I will Not Dance to Your Beat – Poetry (Kraft Books, 2011), To Cook a Continent – Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa (Pambazuka Press, 2012) and Oil Politics – Echoes of Ecological War (Daraja Press, 2016).
Recognizing the importance of Indigenous leadership and guidance for the growing Rights of Nature movement, GARN Executive Committee members, Tom Goldtooth and Casey Camp Horinek, have put forward a plan to build a global Inigenous Council that will invite Indigenous leaders from around the globe working on Earth jurisprudence to join together and have a leading voice at GARN. The Council will host an initial global gathering to plan and prioritize work for the coming year. The Council will also offer member and member communities learning opportunities, tools, legal support appropriate to the Indigenous and Tribal context, as well as have a leadership role in guiding GARN’s global work – for example, testimony and influence on the COP26 Amazon and Climate cases.
Casey Camp (USA), Councilwoman and Hereditary Drumkeeper of the Womens’ Scalp Dance Society, of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma is a longtime activists, environmentalist, actress, and published author. First taking up the cause of Native and Human Rights in the early 70’s; it has been in the last 15 years that she began her plea for Environmental Justice for her Ponca people as well as people around the globe. Calling it the “toxic tour”, Casey has identified, and diligently worked to remediate, and bring attention to the corridor of toxic environmental industry surrounding the historic lands of the Ponca people. Having started at home with her efforts, Casey has since become a internationally renowned Environmentalist, speaking on such prestigious stages as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, marching on Washington DC with Moms for Clean Air, supporting the efforts of the Indigenous Environmental Network, and now serving as a Board Member of Movement Rights as well as on the International Advisory Committee of WECAN. Casey was instrumental in the drafting, and adoption of the first ever International Indigenous Women’s Treaty protecting the Rights of Nature, a work of which she is most proud, and continues her support of grassroots environmental organizations and budding activists around the world.
The Academic Hub was founded to harness the extensive and multidisciplinary scholarship that has developed, particularly over the last decade, around GARN’s core commitment to the support, adoption and implementation of legal structures that respect and enforce Rights of Nature. It is proposed as intellectually independent and multidisciplinary in scope, and as transcending the purely ‘legal’. Rather, its goal is to extend to all disciplines, scholars, and research projects connected to the emergence of what some call an ‘Ecological Jurisprudence’.
Its multifaceted questions include confronting ideas of endless economic growth (and the underlying question of what a Rights of Nature economy looks like), engaging with multicultural ontological and epistemological perspectives (questioning the very idea of Nature itself, and an overall reimagination of the idea of law as a purely human (or human-mediated) construct. The main goal of GARN’s academic hub is to leverage educational pathways to increase knowledge
sharing and raising global awareness on the emergence of an Ecological Jurisprudence. It is GARN’s hope that this will, in turn, open the gateway for the general public to welcome Rights of Nature and Earth Jurisprudence into local, national and international governance. Furthermore, a corollary goal of the academic hub is to create a space for critical inquiry, to facilitate and foster novel research on Rights of Nature, Earth Jurisprudence and related ideas.
Dr Alessandro Pelizzon
Dr Alessandro Pelizzon (Italy) is an academic in the School of Law and Justice at Southern Cross University, where he also serves in a number of administrative roles. Alessandro completed his LLB/LLM at the University of Turin in Italy, specializing in comparative law and legal anthropology with a field research project conducted in the Andes. His Doctoral research, conducted at the University of Wollongong (Australia), focused on native title and legal pluralism. Alessandro has been exploring the emerging discourse on rights of nature, Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence since its inception, with a particular focus on the intersection between this emerging discourse and different legal ontologies. He has organised a number of events in Australia on Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence, he is one of the founding members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, he has been a moderator at the UN General Assembly Dialogue on the Harmony with Nature, and he is an expert member of the UN Harmony with Nature programme. Alessandro’s main areas of research are legal anthropology, legal theory, comparative law, ecological jurisprudence, sovereignty, and Indigenous rights.
Craig Kauffman (USA) is Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon. Much of his research analyzes the application of Earth law around the world as a tool for realizing a more sustainable approach to development. Craig’s research seeks to understand the obstacles that arise during efforts to implement Earth law and identify strategies for overcoming these obstacles. He does this by conducting in-depth field research in countries that have implemented rights of nature laws (including Ecuador, Bolivia, New Zealand, India, and the US). Currently, Craig is implementing a global survey designed to map transnational rights of nature networks in order to create a global dataset of individuals and organizations working on Earth-centered law as well as identify opportunities for increased collaboration and more effective targeting of resources. Craig is also a member of the United Nations Knowledge Network on Harmony with Nature and works with Rights of NatureCommunity Rights Lane County, Oregon, to advance rights of nature in his local community
Elizabeth Macpherson (New Zealand) – Law scholar and Associate Professor in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at the University of Canterbury. Her research interests are in comparative environmental and natural resources law, human rights and Indigenous rights in Australasia and Latin America. She has published widely on these topics including the book Indigenous Water Rights in Law and Regulation: Lessons from Comparative Experience (2019, Cambridge University Press). She currently co-leads two major externally-funded research projects: the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge project funded by the New Zealand Government on Law and Policy for Ecosystem-Based Marine Management; and Norwegian Research Council funded project Riverine Rights: Exploring the Currents and Consequences of Legal Rights for Rivers.
Founded by Executive Committee member, Margaret Stewart, the Director at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, the Legal Hub will provide legal guidance, support and training to GARN members. For example, the hub will take the lead on relevant GARN Amicus Curiae, finalize and publish Tribunal verdicts, respond to community or member inquiries on legal Rights of Nature questions and under-take the development of legal toolkits.
Margaret Stewart (USA) serves as the Director at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, a United States based legal advocacy center. The mission of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence is to advance law, policy, and governance systems aimed to legally protect the sustainability of life and health on Earth. She oversees CEJ’s programs and operations and represents the Center on various coalitions. She has created educational forums throughout the United States and abroad and generates strategic partnerships. She manages CEJ communications, including social and print media, and is responsible for the identification and application of grants and other fundraising initiatives that have supported CEJ’s continued work. She also serves as the key Advisor to three law students that work with CEJ as Earth Law & Policy Fellows. Margaret serves on the Executive Committee and formerly chaired the Legal Committee of the Florida Springs Council. She serves on the Board of the Orange County League of Women Voters, chairs the Natural Resource Committee, and chairs the Solar Co-Op Committee. She is a member of the Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers, the Orange County Bar Association, and the Environmental & Land Use Law and Public Interest Law sections of the Florida Bar. She earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, her Masters in Non-Profit & Human Resources Management from Penn State University, her Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law, and her LL.M. from Western New England School of Law.