Amend the New York State Constitution to recognize legal rights for nature
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We call upon the State of New York to amend its constitution to recognize legal rights for nature. Please support this initiative to ensure that we leave a healthy planet to future generations!
Our flawed legal system treats nature as property. We injure both nature and people by treating the natural world as a resource to fuel incessant economic growth. And our environmental laws merely slow but never reverse the degradation. Nature sustains all life -- including our own. To protect it, we must elevate its status under the law.
There is a global movement to recognize legal rights of nature. Already, two countries and dozens of municipalities worldwide recognize nature's rights. Some governments and courts even recognize certain rivers as legal persons, including in New Zealand and Colombia. Rights for nature means inalienable rights, legal guardians, and restoration to health.
This is the next great rights-based movement. Rights of nature follows in the footsteps of other rights-based movements that transformed society -- including universal human rights, women's rights, the abolishment of slavery, civil rights, and others. Even corporations have rights, so why not nature?
New York State can be a model for the country and world. New York has long been a leader in the environmental movement, from the New Yorker publishing Silent Spring in 1962 to protecting the Hudson through landmark legal victories to the hosting the People's Climate March in 2014. By becoming the first state to recognize nature's rights, New York will inspire other governments to do the same.
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