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Rights of Nature upheld by Ecuadorian provincial court ruling

In a welcome piece of good news, a judge in a court case opposing the Llurimagua mining concession in the biodiversity-rich cloud forests of north west Ecuador has ruled in favour of nature.
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As the first country in the world to recognise the Rights of Nature in its Constitution, the Ecuadorian judge’s ruling is groundbreaking. The judge upheld the country's Constitutional Rights of Nature, saying that Nature is not a subject to be given rights by humans, but has its own intrinsic rights, which humans are obligated to respect and protect.

The judge has given the Ministry of the Environment 90 days to remedy the violations to the rights of Nature and Judicial security that the mining concession would create or the mining company’s environmental license will be revoked. Several respected institutions have been tasked with validating and overseeing any actions. The Ecuadorian government is appealing the decision and the case will go now go to the higher courts.

This is only the second time that a lower court in Ecuador has ruled so clearly in favour of the Rights of Nature. The case will provide a very helpful legal precedent for the similar Los Cedros Reserve court case, which is currently being heard by Ecuador's Constitutional Court.

Carlos Zorrilla, of the Ecuadorian conservation NGO, DECOIN, which brought the court case action, said: ‘Although we have a long way to go before the case goes to the higher courts, this ruling is fantastic news for all those fighting to protect the cloud forests of Ecuador’.

Peter Bennett, Executive Director of the UK conservation NGO, Rainforest Concern, which has been supporting the case, said: ‘This is a much needed ruling after many years of work and I hope this may greatly help the next stage of proceedings at the higher court.’

For more information on how you can help protect the Ecuadorian rainforest, please see https://www.rainforestconcern....