Hello! As we settle into 2024, we wanted to take the time to reflect on the work we have done and the achievements we are most proud of from the past few months.
Nature on the Board
In December, we celebrated the one year anniversary of putting Nature on the Board with Faith in Nature. It’s been a joy to see how this work has developed, whilst learning and growing together. We also welcomed the start of Nature on the Board at House of Hackney, adding a Director for Nature and the Voice of Future Generations. This new twist on the Nature on the Board format shows the potential for a variety of iterations of this innovative approach in the future, which we hope to see across companies and the third sector. We are looking forward to continuing our work with these companies, as well as many others, in 2024.
We were proud to publish a report by LFN’s Researcher, Alex May, titled ‘Realising Rights of Nature: Understanding the Variety of Legal Instruments’. This ground-breaking report maps out the variety of different legal instruments which have been developed globally in the pursuit of realising Rights of Nature. Our intention is to develop a series of reports, with the overarching title ‘Realising Rights of Nature’ - watch this space!
Looking to the future, in partnership with House of Hackney, we are at the start of a journey, campaigning to change the UK dictionary definition of Nature to include humans. Humans are currently excluded from the definition of Nature as a noun in all major dictionaries in the UK. We need your help - using this form, tell us how you define nature!
Rights of Nature in Ireland
In a fantastic piece of news that came in right at the end of 2023, Ireland has the chance to give Nature constitutional rights. The idea will go to a national referendum, with the possibility of becoming a constitutional amendment. Claire Nevin from Lawyers for Nature worked alongside the Centre for Democratic and Environmental Rights to push forward this work.
Scottish Government’s Human Rights Consultation
We also submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on ‘A Human Rights Bill for Scotland' to emphasise the importance of taking an ecological approach to the Right to a Healthy Environment, and to highlight the role that Rights of Nature can have in realising this. Read more about that here.
The LFN team was busy participating in many events towards the end of 2023, including the Blue Earth Summit, Anthropy 23 and the Love Our Ouse Summit. You can read more about Love Our Ouse’s Rights of Rivers Summit in this blog. Attending these events has been inspiring - we’ve met so many great people who are equally passionate about the Rights of Nature as we are.
We also took part in the first ever Our Earth Week at the end of 2023. This was an exciting project run by the Community Radio Environment Network, to which LFN contributed a series of short audio clips and our Co-Director Brontie Ansell was interviewed for the One Love One Planet show. If you didn’t catch it, you can listen here.
All of these engagements and more have contributed to the incredible growth of Lawyers For Nature. Thank you to everyone we have met and everyone reading this newsletter!
In 2024, we are raising funds to support our work in 3 main areas: Research, Outreach and Nature-Positive Corporate Governance.
Support through your donations is vital to the work we do. Consider a one-time or monthly donation to help Lawyers For Nature grow. Together, we can give Nature a voice.
Favourite Nature Memories from Our Directors
“Throughout the winter months I have taken many walks through my local forest. My favourite Nature memory was seeing the growth and changing nature of the mycelium networks in the forest on one of these walks. The different mushrooms add so much variety and detail to the forest. My particular favourites are photographed here. I found these ones which look exactly like Autumn leaves until you get closer and realise they’re not fallen leaves, but a living and thriving part of the forest.”
“My favourite recent Nature moment was visiting the Los Cedros cloud forest during a Rights of Nature research trip to Ecuador. The forest had been saved from being destroyed by a groundbreaking decision in the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court, based on the Rights of Nature provisions in the constitution. I was excited to visit for the first time a forest that had been given its legal rights and I was blown away by the richness and beauty of Nature there. Life was piled upon life, the whole forest hummed with noise and I had a profound realisation of the sacredness of this special place.”
Thank you for reading and we hope you are as excited as we are to see what comes next!
All the best,
The Lawyers for Nature Team