Table des matières

  • Preface
  • Three Damaging Ideas and a Potential Solution

    • The Honorary Vertebrate
    • 1. Breakthroughs in Understanding Animal Minds

      • Lucy


    • 2. The Evolution of Animal Welfare
    • 3. Can a Chimpanzee Be a Legal Person?
    • 4. The Expansion of Animal Rights


  • Part II. The Rights of Species

    • A Fish, a Dam, and a Lawsuit That Changed the World
    • 5. Saving Endangered Species: “Whatever the Cost”

      • A Dirty Cop and the Unicorn of the Sea


    • 6. Endangered Species Laws Go Global


  • Part III. The Rights of Nature: From Trees to Rivers and Ecosystems

    • Walt Disney, the Sierra Club, and the Mineral King Valley
    • 7. Watershed Moments: Asserting the Rights of American Ecosystems
    • 8. A River Becomes a Legal Person

      • The Land Was Here First


    • 9. Te Urewera: the Ecosystem Formerly Known as a National Park


  • Part IV. The Rights of Nature: New Constitutional and Legal Foundations

    • A River Goes to Court
    • 10. Pachamama and Ecuador’s Pioneering Constitution

      • An Unlikely President and Champion for Nature’s Rights


    • 11. Bolivia and the Rights of Mother Earth

      • A Voice for the Great Barrier Reef


    • 12. Global Game Changers


  • Conclusion: Right Planet, Rights Time
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index

La description

Around the world, more and more laws are being passed recognizing that ecosystems have legally enforceable rights. And if nature has rights, then humans have responsibilities. In The Rights of Nature, noted environmental lawyer David Boyd tells this remarkable story, which is, at its heart, one of humans as a species finally growing up.


  • Winner, Green Prize for Sustainable Literature 2018


“Expertly written case studies in which legalese is accessibly distilled … are empowering reminders that the seemingly inevitable slide toward planetary destruction can be halted. Boyd persuasively shows that treating the law as an evolving instrument, combined with public-awareness campaigns and political pressure, can help curb humanity’s worst excesses.” — Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Despite the heady subject matter, The Rights of Nature is a breeze to read. Boyd punctuates his chapters with case studies that illustrate how legal decisions have affected specific animals and ecosystems. It's in these pages that Boyd's work is especially affecting. Well-researched and written for the layman, this stirring look at the history and current state of environmental lawmaking demonstrates how powerful — and inspiring — legislation can be.” — Shelf Awareness for Readers

“This is a real-life legal thriller. Imagine constitutions and laws acknowledging that rivers and ecosystems have rights and cannot be owned by humans. Envision judges recognizing that sentient animals are ‘legal persons’ and should no longer be regarded as property. Leading environmental lawyer David Boyd takes us on a trip around the world to look at these stunning shifts in humanity’s relationship with nature. A pioneering work.” — David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster

“Changing our laws to better reflect that laws of nature may be the only way to save the planet. David Boyd has written a brilliant call to arms to get behind a movement whose time has (finally, thankfully) come.” — Maude Barlow, author of Boiling Point

“If there’s one that really stands out among the pack, it’s David Boyd’s The Rights of Nature: A Legal Revolution That Could Save the World. The title says it all, and those of a greenish bent should put it under the tree for any judges and lawyer on their list. They’ll never look at flora and fauna the same way again.” — The Georgia Straight

“Boyd has an infectious writing style that makes for enjoyable reading … I marvel at his optimism, and thank him for it … This book gives excellent food for thought.” — Watershed Sentinel

“Boyd has given us a transformative book​. This is a must-read for students, lawyers, policy-makers and citizens of all nations. This is a profoundly important book, one that should be read by anyone who cares about creating a new, more equitable and sustainable relationship between humans and their Earth. It may one day be recognized as the Silent Spring of the twenty-first century.” — Professor Lynda Collins, Centre for Environmental Law & Global Sustainability, University of Ottawa

“This book has given me hope… I thank David Boyd for reassuring me that we are finally on our way.” — Green Spirit Magazine

“At once a fascinating history and a spirited call-to-arms, The Rights of Nature provides a vital dose of optimism in this age of environmental woe. Filled with stories of crusading lawyers, pugnacious civilians, and (yes!) enlightened world leaders, David R. Boyd’s work illustrates how good intentions can change the world, but only when backed by the full clout of the law. It deserves a place on every concerned citizen’s bookshelf.” — Andrew Westoll, author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

“The rights of nature movement is needed now more than ever, especially if we hope to ensure the well-being of Earth’s species and ecosystems for this, and future, generations. David Boyd compellingly helps to chart that journey.” — Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation