Today’s Solutions: December 04, 2021

Laws focused on natural spaces often hone in on protecting what humans can gain from the natural resource, rather than protecting the space itself. However, “Rights of Nature” laws, which give natural spaces protection as legal entities, are beginning to crop up in an effort to change the narrative from one of protecting human interests to protecting nature for its own sake. 

The Whanganui River in New Zealand and other examples in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Bangladesh have all experimented with granting legal sovereignty to natural spaces. Now, Lake Erie is attempting to achieve legal protection of its own via “Rights of Nature” proceedings. 

The Lake Erie Bill of Rights is a citizen-led movement which gained enough petition votes to earn a spot on the ballot and eventually pass. The law would more strictly regulate agricultural pollution, which causes deadly algae blooms in the water. In opposition, local farmers and some politicians favor funding for a pollution prevention fund instead.

Re-categorizing natural spaces as entities with legal rights will likely face many roadblocks on its way to being written into law, but the effort has produced benefits of its own. Awareness about the lake’s pollution levels have increased dramatically, and it is helping encourage citizens to view nature, not as a commodity, but innately beautiful in its own right. We applaud the citizens of Lake Erie for taking action and agitating for change.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Rwanda’s mountain gorillas represent a successful conservation story

Following years of poaching and habitat destruction, the population of mountain gorillas in Rwanda once numbered under 260 individuals. Now, Rwandan gorillas represent a rare conservation success and a key economic engine for the East ... Read More

Germany plans to put 15 million electric vehicles on its roads by 2030

Making electric cars the dominant vehicles on the road is key to curbing planet-warming emissions and protecting the climate. In a bid to reach that goal, an increasing number of countries and cities across the ... Read More

Here are 5 Indigenous-led eco-charities you can support today

The climate crisis has caused us to reconsider our consumerist lifestyles and turn to Indigenous peoples to learn from their superior understanding of living in harmony with nature. Here is a list of five organizations ... Read More

Scientists discover a peculiar new planet

Deep into the Hercules constellation, 855 light-years away from Earth, lies a record breaking exoplanet. This newly discovered gas giant was named TOI-2109b, and the thing that makes it so special is the fact it ... Read More

High altitude experiment shows that snow monkeys are excellent at fishing

Snow monkeys, also known as the Japanese macaque, are native to many of the main islands of Japan. These fluffy creatures are the most northern-based non-human primate out there, meaning they have some cold temperatures ... Read More