4th Tribunal, 2017 – Bonn, Germany

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) held the International Rights of Nature Tribunal in Bonn, at the LVR Landesmuseum on the 7th and 8th of November 2017. The Tribunal offers the opportunity to visualize a world in which law and authorities work in the side of Nature. It tests new legal concepts, the recognition of the Rights of Nature under the public law at the international and local level – based on the “Universal Declaration of the Rights of Nature” – which recognizes the rights of ecosystems to exist and the duty of humanity to respect the integrity of their life cycles.

For program brochures and related publications visit  Bonn Tribunal Agenda and Resources 

To view a summary of Case Findings visit, Bonn Tribunal Case Findings.

Bonn International Rights of Nature Tribunal
To view International Rights of Nature Tribunal Agenda, click Bonn Tribunal Agenda or scroll down to find the Tribunal schedule below the Tribunal banner.

Final Press Release Bonn Rights of Nature Tribunal

Press release Bonn Tribunal (final)-ES (Print Spanish)

Press release Bonn Tribunal (final) (Print English)

Tribunal Judges’ Bios

Tom BK Goldtooth, President of the Tribunal, Dine’/Dakota, United States is the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, an international indigenous NGO based in Bemidji, Minnesota near the border of United States/Canada. A social change maker within the Native American community for over 36 years, has become an internationally renowned environmental, Climate and economic justice leader, working with many Indigenous People and social movements around the world. Tom co-produced the award-winning documentary, Drumbeat for Mother Earth, which addresses the effects of bio-accumulative chemicals on indigenous people. Co-founder of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. Nationality: Turtle Island, United States

Shannon Biggs is the co-founder and Executive Director of Movement Rights, advancing legal rights for communities, indigenous peoples and ecosystems.  Working in California and with Native American tribes and allies nationally, Shannon assists communities to ban harmful projects by passing binding laws that assert the rights of communities and nature over corporate projects.  Internationally she is a recognized leader of the rights of nature/Mother Earth movement, a co-founder of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, and the co-author/editor of two books including “The Rights of Nature, Making the Case for the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Nature.”  Though Movement Rights she also leads trainings on community rights and rights of ecosystems throughout the US. Previously she was a senior staffer at Global Exchange and the International Forum on Globalization. She holds a Masters of Science degree from the London School of Economics (LSE) in Economics — Politics of Empire. Nationality: United States

Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to mobilize women for climate justice, resilient communities, systemic change and a just transition to a clean energy future. Osprey serves on the Executive Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is the visionary behind the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, which brought together 100 women leaders from around the world. She directs WECAN’s advocacy work in areas such as Women for Forests, Divestment/Investment, Indigenous Rights, Rights of Nature and United Nation Climate Conferences. Osprey is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature. www.wecaninternational.org Nationality: United States

Alberto Acosta. Ecuadorian economist. Before being appointed Minister of Energy and Mines he was a researcher at the Latin American Institute of Social Research (ILDIS). Former president of the Constitutional Assembly that recognized Rights of Nature in Ecuador. Former candidate for the Presidency of the Republic of Ecuador. College professor, lecturer and book author. Nationality: Ecuador

Cormac Cullinan is a director of the Wild Law Institute as well as of Cullinan & Associates Inc. a leading environmental law firm in Cape Town, and of the law and governance consultancy, EnAct International. He has drafted environmental laws, policies and strategies and advised on institutional reforms in more than 20 countries. Cormac’s ground-breaking book Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice developed the Earth jurisprudence approach and helped inspire the growing global rights of Nature movement. Cormac led the drafting of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, was one of the founders of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and was in 2008 was include in “Planet Savers: 301 Extraordinary Environmentalists” a book which profiles environmental champions throughout history. Nationality: South Africa

Simona Fraudatario has worked with the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal since 2007 as coordinator of its processes, closely involved with the movements, associations and communities, as well as the international experts convened by the PPT. The Sessions she has coordinated were related to cases of severe violations of human rights caused by States and private actors, committed in Latin America, Asia and Europe. In particular, the cases of Colombia (2006-2008), Mexico (2011-2014), the case of the women working in the garment industry in Asia (2011-2014), and the case of the megaprojects implemented in Italy and Europe (2014-2015). She has also coordinated the recent Session held in Malaysia on Myanmar States crimes committed against Rohingyas and other minority groups and she is currently involved in the Session launched in Barcelona last July on migrants and refugee peoples.Due to her activities and investigations, she participated in international conferences in Latin America and Europe. Nationality: Italy

Fernando “Pino” Solanas is a cinema director and Argentinian politician, currently National Senator for the City of Buenos Aires, after being elected in the 2013 legislative elections. He presides the Senate’s “Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development” As a Senator he promoted bills such as recognizing Nature as the subject of Rights and the prohibition of mega-mining activity. He has also stimulated debates within the National Congress on the issue of GMOs, fumigation, fracking, climate change, among others. His proposal focuses on the recovery of the natural resources of Argentina, the defense of Nature and the end of the negotiations of large companies of income, capital, mining, oil, etc. to make available to the national state those economic resources, redistributing them, to end poverty and indigence. He has also made a series of films related to natural resources and the defense of Nature. He was a presidential candidate of the Republic Argentina in the elections of 2007. Nationality: Argentina

Ute Koczy is the co-Chairperson urgewald e.V. Ute Koczy has long standing experience in international cooperation and development including human rights politics. She works for global social and ecological transformation. As a former parliamentarian on regional and national level she was involved in the fight against the financing/building of the OCP-Pipeline and the support for the Yasuní-Nationalparc without Oil-Exploitation (ITT), Ecuador. Her focus is resources, conflict regions and gender politics. Urgewald is a German environment und human rights organization, whose mission it to adress the underlying causes of global environmental destruction and poverty (www.urgewald.org). Known for its successful coal divestment campaigns on the Norwegian Government Pension Fund urgewald has created a customizable database for investors and insurers: the „Global Coal Exit List“. Ute Koczy is member of the party Alliance 90/The Greens (Chairperson on the regional level), of the human rights organization Terre des Femmes and locally in the group for the Fairtrade-Town Lemgo (www.ute-koczy.de). Nationality: Germany

Ruth Nyambura is a political ecologist, researcher and eco-feminist from Kenya whose work focuses on the intersections of gender, economy and ecological justice in Africa. She has previously worked as the advocacy and communications coordinator for the African Biodiversity Network (ABN), a founding member network of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA). Ruth presently works with several national and regional agrarian/ecological justice movements challenging the neo-liberal onslaught that seeks to privatize and commodify the commons (seeds, land, labor, traditional and/ indigenous knowledge) etc. These movements are also actively working on radical alternatives grounded in freedom and justice for all. Ruth is also a member of the No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN), which brings together climate justice activists from around the continent who reject the financialization of nature and specifically forest related carbon market mechanisms such as REDD/REDD+. The network offers political education related to the climate crises and the radical solutions needed.” Nationality: Kenya

Earth Prosecutor Bios

Linda Sheehan is Executive Director of Planet Pledge, a project of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, where she advances global investment and philanthropic solutions to climate change. Prior to Planet Pledge, she was Executive Director of Earth Law Center, where she advocated for nature’s rights. Ms. Sheehan also ran the California Coastkeeper Alliance and Pacific Region office of Ocean Conservancy. Ms. Sheehan was recognized as a California Coastal Hero by Sunset Magazine and the California Coastal Commission. Ms. Sheehan holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.P.P. from U.C. Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley Law School. Nationality: United States

Ramiro Ávila holds a Doctor in Juridical Sociology, Universidad del País Vasco. Ramiro is an Ecuadorian lawyer, Director of the Law Department at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. He is Professor of Law Philosophy and Constitutional Law at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Quito. Ramiro is also a member of the Yasunidos Collective. Nationality: Ecuador

Click FLYER for printable Bonn Tribunal Flyer

International Rights of Nature Tribunal Agenda

Day 1, 7 November 2017
1st Session

8h00 Registration
8:15 Welcome from Bonn Authorities
8h35 Opening Ceremony
9h00 Introductory Remarks on the International Rights of Nature Tribunal
9h35 First Case – Climate Change and False Energy Solutions
– Fracking, Coal and Nuclear
– Consolidation of the fossil fuel industry in North America
11h00 Second Case – Financialization of Nature and REDD+
12h00 Third Case – Lignite Mining: Hambach Forest

2nd Session

14h30 Fourth Case – Defenders of Mother Earth
– Indigenous Violations at Standing Rock, USA
– Indigenous Violations in Russia
– Indigenous Violations of Sami People, Sápmi (Scandinavia)
16h00 Fifth Case – Water Deprivation in Almeria, Spain
17h00 Prosecutors for the Earth and Judges’ statements from Day 1
18h30 Tribunal CLOSURE DAY 1

Day 2, 8 November 2017
3rd Session

8h15 Registration
8h30 Welcoming and Overview
8h40 Opening from Tribunal President and Prosecutors for the Earth
9h00 Sixth Case – Amazon Threats
– Ecuador’s Amazon and Sarayaku
– The Amazon in Brazil
– Tipnis Highway in Bolivia
– Montagne D’Or in French Guyana
11h30 Seventh Case – International Trade Agreements: Implications on Nature
12h30 Prosecutors Final Statements
13h00 Judges statements
13h20 President’s Final Sentences and Tribunal Recommendations
13h35 Tribunal CLOSURE DAY 2

4th Session

15h00 Rights of Nature Teach
In Introduction: Osprey Orielle Lake and Shannon Biggs

15h10 Session 1
– Group 1 – How to Bring a Rights of Nature Tribunal to Your Home: Natalia Greene
– Group 2 – Game Changers for Climate Change: Kjell Kuehne, Osprey Orielle Lake
– Group 3 – United Nations of the Spirit: Thomas Patita Fiedler, Cormac Cullinan

16h20 Spokesperson Reports

16h40 Break/Session Change

17h10 Session 1
– Group 1 – Building the Rights of Nature Movement: Osprey Orielle Lake, Shannon Biggs, Robert Wager
– Group 2 – How to Bring Rights of Nature to Your Country: Cormac Cullinan, Nnimmo Bassey
– Group 3 – Solutions for the Amazon: Kevin Koening, Samanta Novella

18h20 Spokesperson Reports

18h40 Teach In Closing

Return to top of page

Admission is free but reservations are required. To book your seat visit: Bonn Tribunal Booking

LVR Landes Museum – Bonn – How to Get There

LVR-Landes Museum Bonn
Colmantstr. 14-16, 53115 Bonn

LVR Landes Museum Bonn
For transportation options, click How to Get to the