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Proposal Details

Proposal ID1111
Proposal2022 Platform Amendment: Chapter III, new Section O Rights of Nature
PresenterPlatform Committee Sponsor: EcoAction Committee
Floor ManagerTony Ndege
Discussion09/19/2022 - 10/16/2022
Voting10/17/2022 - 10/23/2022
Presens Quorum32 0.6666
Consens Quorum60 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


It is evident in conditions throughout the United States that our environmental regulatory system has failed to adequately protect our natural ecosystems upon which our health and lives depend. Permitting allowable amounts of pollution and damage has been a useful tool for corporate destruction of our environment. The regulatory system is not the only method at our disposal for protecting nature. Rights of Nature (RON) exists as a shared worldview and legal theory to understand and protect ecosystems and natural entities in countries around the globe and here in the United States.

Every U.S. resident has a right to clean water and a healthy environment. Flourishing natural systems nourish and sustain us. Our rivers, lakes, streams, springs and wetlands are the very lifeblood of our existence, our security and our future stability. Wetlands are of the utmost importance as productive systems that purify waters, control floods, provide storm protection, recharge groundwater, provide wildlife habitats, and purify our waters acting as natural filtration systems of pollution, making the environmental productivity of wetlands vital to all agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial and public uses in the United States.

The mission of the EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the U.S. is to “protect and promote ecological wisdom and sustainability.” Rights of Nature embraces an indigenous philosophy of interdependent relations, an ecological wisdom needed more than ever in this heightened time of humankind’s delusion of our separation from nature. The GPUS platform does include a RON provision under Chapter III. Ecological Sustainability, Section N. International Environmental Policy, which states, “legal personhood to large swaths of wildlands like the Brazilian Amazon and Nile River, including rivers longer than 1,500 km and wildlands larger than 1,000,000 acres.” It logically follows that recognizing the rights of our domestic natural ecosystems is both correct and necessary to help safeguard a healthy future for all our communities, for our children and grandchildren. “We need to transform from the rights of corporations to the rights of nature. It’s going to take a lot to change the system,” urged Winona LaDuke, two-time Green Party vice presidential candidate, in her 2016 speech, “Native Rights and the Rights of Nature.” Inclusion of a U.S. Rights of Nature provision in our GPUS Platform is a vital component for a democratic ecological vision.


Amend Chapter III Ecological Sustainability by adding a new section O entitled "Rights of Nature" reading as follows:

O. Rights of Nature

We support the adoption of local, state, and federal laws which recognize the legal rights of natural communities and ecosystems – including wetlands, streams, rivers, aquifers, and other water systems – to exist, flourish, regenerate, naturally evolve, and be restored. We support the inclusion in those laws of the ability of people and communities to file legal actions in the name of the affected natural community or ecosystem, and for courts to require restoration of the natural community or ecosystem back to its pre-damaged state.


Approval of this proposal will amend the 2020 GPUS Platform.

Lizzie Adams,


This proposal is also available for comment at:


Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)

Earth Law Center

Florida Rights of Nature Network

Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

Rights of Nature video segments in GPUS EcoAction Climate webinar on Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021 including RON Intro Slideshow at 3:22 and presentation at 8:30 by Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of Indigenous Environmental Network and Cofounder of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature

Rights of Nature Proposal Slideshow

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