Rights of Nature Legislation for British Columbia: Issues and Options

23 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2021

See all articles by Rachel Garrett

Rachel Garrett

Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia

Stepan Wood

Peter A Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia

Date Written: September 1, 2020

Abstract

This paper explores how the rights of nature could be protected through legislation in British Columbia (BC). Canada is far behind other countries in protecting rights of nature. Canadian law does not currently recognize the rights of nature in any meaningful way. Numerous statutes in Canada make nature—from fisheries to wildlife, to the land itself—the exclusive property of humans, with no inherent right to exist, flourish or be restored. We explore two potential avenues for protecting the rights of nature in British Columbia: 1) amendment of existing legislation, and 2) a new stand-alone rights of nature statute. We examine trailblazing rights of nature laws in other jurisdictions to identify key elements of a rights of nature law for BC. This paper presents a preliminary annotated draft of a possible rights of nature statute, not as a proposed model law but as a starting point for discussion.

Keywords: Rights of Nature, British Columbia

JEL Classification: K32, K38, N42, N52, O13, P18, P48, Q56, Q58

Suggested Citation

Garrett, Rachel and Wood, Stepan, Rights of Nature Legislation for British Columbia: Issues and Options (September 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3823357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3823357

Rachel Garrett

Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

Stepan Wood (Contact Author)

Peter A Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada
+1 604-827-0441 (Phone)

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