When Rivers Hold Legal Rights

In the beautiful land of New Zealand flows a river that now has a voice to protect it. The voice is not like ours, but in every other way the Whanganui River has been given the same legal protections accorded to any person living in New Zealand. The river now "owns itself" and has the law to speak up for it when the river's rights are being violated. This growing global movement for Rights of Nature-- or the Rights of Mother Earth as some cultures prefer to call it -- seeks to pass laws that give legal standing to ecosystems. In a world that heedlessly exploits nature for profit, here is a story that shows how a longing for respectful relationship with Mother Earth can be restored for the good of all. As the River People say, "I am the river and the river is me."