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June 2018


Protecting our Coral Reefs Coral reef cover less than 1% of the ocean, yet provide habitat for a quarter of known marine species. These highly biodiverse and breathtaking ecosystems face threats including ocean acidification and warming, pollution, tourism and overharvesting. While scientists say we have lost half the world's coral reefs – WE CAN STILL SAVE HALF! Earth Law Center is developing a new framework for coral reef protection that incorporates the rights of nature, rights of local communities, and the rights of fishermen. Partners in this endeavor include Reef Life Restoration and Sea Legacy Project. Read more here.

From the Executive Director Thank you for making our work possible. Your engagement and support allowed us to launch half a dozen new legal initiatives this year already. From La Bievre River in France to biodiversity rights in Serbia; we will create new laws to strengthen existing environmental efforts with stronger legal protection. Our new tagline "Champions for rights of nature" highlights the proactive, frontlines approach of ELC while reflecting the growing global movement to restore the natural environment to health. A special thanks to our entire passionate community including our 100+ volunteers and the Board of Directors of ELC who dedicate their time and expertise to grow the movement.


Earth Law Textbook The Earth Law textbook is officially underway, with 10+ environmental law experts from across the country and world having signed up as primary authors. They are being supported by 5+ law school interns and other volunteers. The textbook will have a standard law school format, with chapters including background of the law, case law examples, analysis, and study questions. Completion of the book is scheduled for late 2018. It will begin to be taught in summer 2019. This will be the first law school textbook focused on rights of nature and related ecological governance movements. Photo by Derek Keats (Creative Commons)

June 2018


Mo Irmak, Policy Team Lead “Working at the Earth Law Center has been an eye opening and enriching experience for me. ELC’s purpose of challenging current legal paradigm to bring forward the rights of nature and introduce Earth Law is the single most aspiring goal I have shared in my life.

During my tenure at the ELC, I have had the privilege to work with young and professional staff on ambitious projects with several stakeholders. ELC’s efforts to transform law to reach its bold vision requires perseverance with constant and inventive solutions. And ELC has showcased that it has what it takes on several occasions. ELC’s energetic and diverse structure of the staff with volunteers and interns as well as easily approachable management are its advantageous points and I am excited to be a part of this team.”


Reef Life Restoration “As dedicated environmentalists, unreservedly passionate about bringing advanced science to oceanic problems, we often encounter sections of law, as yet undefined. The logic that Nature HAS RIGHTS, defendable and irrefutable, resonated deeply with me when I first met the highly impressive Earth Law team. Earth Law is the idea that ecosystems have the right to exist, thrive, and evolve—and that nature should be able to defend its rights in court, just like people can. Reef Life Restoration was created to give scientific solutions to ocean infrastructure. We can rebuild a

coral reef with habitats created from coral mineral matrices, as well as provide massive coastal wave break systems. All of our product lines are ocean based, so there will be elements which encompass the Laws of Nature, and the societies, nations and territorial boundaries which depend upon an improved environment. This is where the massive need for Earth Law will become even more necessary! We respect and appreciate the absolute professionalism of the Earth Law experts, and greatly look forward to working with all of you!" Melody Saunders Brenna, CEO and CoFounder Reef Life Restoration Nanoscience.

June 2018


Our first Amicus Brief

Photo by Mateo Gable (Creative Commons)

Earth Law Center has a campaign to submit amicus briefs on rights of nature to courts around the world. An amicus brief is a legal document filed in a court case by a non-party (or “amicus curiae”) who has a strong interest in the subject matter. The term amicus curiae literally means “friend of the court.” ELC just submitted amicus briefs to two courts in Colombia calling for recognition of the rights of the Anchicayá River in Colombia. Both cases arose from over 15 years of legal proceedings after illegally discharged dam sediment devastated both human and river health. Our amicus briefs draw on national and international legal precedents and make compelling legal arguments for the recognition of nature’s rights. Such amicus briefs can lead to recognition of nature’s rights by educating judges on important legal precedent.

Earth’s environment continues to degrade despite decades of environmental law work. This is why we need the laws to evolve. Earth law protects nature the way corporate law protects businesses.

Photo by Yann Arthus Bertrand

Will you consider donating $25 today to support our work in changing the law to recognize rights of nature?

June 2018



Orca Awareness Month

What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins

Washington State celebrates Orca Awareness Month in June. For 11 years the event has given Orca lovers the opportunity to reflect on how to restore safe habitats for these beautiful creatures. Join our initiative to save the Southern Resident Orca population by signing our petition here or donating.

Do fishes think? Do they really have three-second memories? And can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? Myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe’s latest book reviews an impressive array of scientific research to demonstrate that not only do fish think and feel, but they also strategize and socialize. A fascinating read, available here.

Photo by Robert Pitman (Creative Commons)

ELC in the News! Have you read about our initiatives in the press? Click here to see articles on ELC in the news. You can also follow our big announcements here.

Photo by Yann Arthus Bertrand

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Final elc newsletter june 2018  
Final elc newsletter june 2018