In Ecuador, they have a different perspective. In 2008, Ecuadoreans rewrote their constitution and became the first country to recognize the rights of nature to defend itself against humankind. The constitution recognized nature’s right to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.” Citizens have the right, by law, to enforce nature’s rights, and nature itself can be named as the defendant in Ecuador’s court system. Nature is acknowledged not as the property of humans to do with as we please, but as an equal partner in the protection and health of the planet.

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Date: 2015-07-13

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