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Legal rights of nature: an ecocentric turn in the history of law?

Aparecida Vilaca

This seminar aims to present a historically new set of laws, called "rights of nature", which form part of, among others, the constitutions of Bolivia and Ecuador. They are considered radically different from so-called environmental laws, as they do not take human well-being as the reason for protecting nature butconsider that nature itself has its own rights. Considering that this approach to nature is seen as close to indigenous cosmologies, labelled as "ecocentric", we will examine some of these cosmologies to find out some important discontinuities between them and the visions of environmentalists and lawyers.