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Nature as a Stakeholder – A love story

From our Gulf of Maine Blue Marble Hub in Portland Maine, we have a Love Story about Nature. In today’s world, the dominant worldview is one where humans have control over nature. What if our love for the abundance that nature provides can be translated as legal status as a living being, not a bundle of ecosystem services that we quantify and sell like a commodity? The Latin word anima (source of the word animal) is actually translated as spirit, breath, life. By re-imagining the life and vulnerability of the natural world, we can transform our seeing nature as a “resource” to be used and transform our world view as one to be loved and granted appropriate legal status.

The Gulf of Maine Hub has documented numerous examples in a creative “Story Map” that has abundant examples across the world. We have documented several Blue Marble exemplars from the River Dart Charter at Dartington led by the amazing team from the Bioregional Learning Centre in Totnes UK to the Lake Erie Bill of Rights designed by residents of Toledo Ohio. In this Story Map, the team at the BME Hub (located on the shores of Casco Bay which used to be one of the most polluted systems in the Gulf of Maine until massive stakeholder engagement in the restoration of the system) are documenting a growing movement of legal actions in jurisdictions around the world. This love story is celebrating our interdependence with nature, a concept well understood and well documented by indigenous communities across the globe. The story map explores examples in Ecuador, New Zealand, Colombia, Bangladesh and concludes with a brief analysis and links to the folks leading this global movement.  Join us, in this time of love to imagine what kind of “natural rights” or “rights of nature” you would like to contribute to in your own bioregion.

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