Granting Rights to Nature: A Legal Exploration of Environmental Personhood

  • Aradhya Gupta
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  • Aradhya Gupta

    Student at Department of Law & Legal Studies, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, U.P., India

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In the whispering embrace of ancient forests and the gentle currents of pristine rivers, a silent plea echoes through the ages – the voice of nature itself, yearning for recognition and protection. This research paper embarks on a profound exploration of the emerging movement to grant legal rights to nature, known as environmental personhood, and its transformative potential for the conservation of Earth's diverse ecosystems and precious biodiversity. Drawing upon a multidisciplinary approach encompassing legal, philosophical, and practical perspectives, the paper investigates the rationale, challenges, and opportunities associated with recognizing nature's rights within the context of environmental law and governance. The paper begins by introducing the historical and philosophical background of the rights of nature movement, tracing its origins and evolution in response to growing environmental concerns and calls for a paradigm shift towards ecocentric approaches to governance. It then examines the legal foundations and precedents for environmental personhood, analyzing case studies from around the world, including landmark examples from India such as the Chipko Movement and the Silent Valley National Park. Through cross-country comparisons and policy recommendations, the paper assesses the global landscape of nature's rights recognition, highlighting successes and challenges in different jurisdictions and proposing practical strategies for advancing the rights of nature agenda. Key themes explored in the paper include environmental justice, sustainability, and participatory governance, with a focus on empowering marginalized communities and ecosystems to advocate for their rights and interests. The paper concludes with reflections on the significance of recognizing nature's rights for environmental law, policy, and practice, emphasizing the need for collective action and solidarity in addressing environmental challenges and promoting a more just, resilient, and sustainable relationship with the natural world.


Research Paper


International Journal of Legal Science and Innovation, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 50 - 72


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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