Preprint Brief Report Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Tipping Point Towards Biodiversity Conservation? Local and Global Consequences of the Application of ‘Rights of Nature’ by Ecuador

Version 1 : Received: 20 August 2021 / Approved: 23 August 2021 / Online: 23 August 2021 (10:49:44 CEST)

How to cite: Guayasamin, J.M.; Vandegrift, R.; Policha, T.; Encalada, A.C.; Greene, N.; Ríos-Touma, B.; Endara, L.; Cárdenas, R.E.; Larreátegui, F.; Baquero, L.; Arcos, I.; Cueva, J.; Peck, M.; Alfonso-Cortes, F.; Thomas, D.; DeCoux, J.; Levy, E.; Roy, B.A. Tipping Point Towards Biodiversity Conservation? Local and Global Consequences of the Application of ‘Rights of Nature’ by Ecuador. Preprints 2021, 2021080428 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0428.v1). Guayasamin, J.M.; Vandegrift, R.; Policha, T.; Encalada, A.C.; Greene, N.; Ríos-Touma, B.; Endara, L.; Cárdenas, R.E.; Larreátegui, F.; Baquero, L.; Arcos, I.; Cueva, J.; Peck, M.; Alfonso-Cortes, F.; Thomas, D.; DeCoux, J.; Levy, E.; Roy, B.A. Tipping Point Towards Biodiversity Conservation? Local and Global Consequences of the Application of ‘Rights of Nature’ by Ecuador. Preprints 2021, 2021080428 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0428.v1).

Abstract

In 2008, Ecuador recognized the Constitutional Rights of Nature in a global first. This recognition implies a major shift in the human-nature relationship, from one between a subject with agency (humans) and an exploitable object (Nature), to a more equilibrated relationship of respect. However, the lack of a standard legal framework has left room for subjective interpretations and variable implementation. The recent widespread concessioning of pristine ecosystems to mining industries in Ecuador has set up an unprecedented conflict and test of these rights. Currently, a landmark case involving Los Cedros Protected Forest and mining companies has reached the Constitutional Court of Ecuador. If Ecuador’s highest Court rules in favor of Los Cedros and the Rights of Nature, it would set a legal precedent with enormous impact on biological conservation in Ecuador and, potentially, the world. Such a policy shift offers a novel conservation strategy, through citizen oversight and action.

Keywords

Ecuador; Rights of Nature; Reserva Los Cedros; Conservation; Mining

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