Defending Rivers: Vilcabamba in the South of Ecuador


How is Ecuador—the first place in the world to write Rights of Nature into its Constitution— implementing this new reform? Berros describes some of the opening cases in which Rights of Nature was directly referenced in the courts, illustrating the potential of Rights of Nature to support and conflict with existing environmental laws. In particular, she raises the issue of defining and protecting Nature across boundaries between indigenous and non-indigenous groups, and across existing protected or commercial territories. Rights of Nature laws will, she argues, be shaped not just by what happens in the legal field but also through environmental, cultural, and social changes.