Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World—Introduction (01:14)
Citizens in the Netherlands, Ecuador, and the Philippines sued governments and corporations over violating rights of nature and won. Citizens in North America cannot sue on their own behalf.
Legal Right to a Healthy Environment (03:23)
Silver Donald Cameron learned that most people have the right to fresh air, clean water, and healthy food; the U.S. and Canada are exceptions. The Riachuelo River in Argentina has been polluted for over 200 years; citizens sued the government and 44 companies in 2004. Attorney Daniel Sallaberry discusses the effectiveness of law.
Mendoza Case (03:27)
The Argentina Supreme Court ruled in favor of the petitioners and ordered governments and corporations to clean the Matanza Riachuelo Basin. Under the supervision of a judge and a citizens group, ACUMAR was responsible for the cleanup; see the river eight years after the ruling.
Boat Harbor (03:34)
In Nova Scotia, the Northern Pulp mill spews toxic effluent into the Pictou Landing First Nation; it ultimately flows into the Northumberland Strait. Locals reflect on the impact. The government has not fulfilled several promises to clean the waste.
Northern Pulp (02:20)
The mill produces double its capacity and its air pollution equipment has not worked properly for many years. In 1015, the government issued an industrial approval that required the mill to make significant improvements but compromised with the company.
Salmon Farming (02:38)
In Canada, Alexandra Morton has spent decades defending wild salmon from the impact of open net salmon farming pens. Justice Bruce Cohen eventually headed a judicial inquiry, but gained no results.
Barrington, New Hampshire (05:42)
In 2005, the town granted gravel quarries the right to operate in residential areas; Jim Conley reflects on the impact. Thomas Linzey discusses the ability of a community to stop corporate development; the "system" harms sustainability. CELDF teaches democracy schools.
Environmental Protection and Human Rights (05:37)
The 1972 Stockholm declaration had a transformative impact on environmental and constitutional law around the world. In the Philippines, Antonio Oposa Jr. reflects on legal victories. In 1999, he sued 10 government agencies for infringing on the rights of citizens by allowing the pollution of Manila Bay.
"Chevron Toxico" (05:15)
See an open pool of waste oil created by Texaco in the late 20th century. Pablo Fajardo reflects on the environmental impact of Texaco's actions. The fight against Texaco led to a series of lawsuits lasting into the 21st century.
Urgenda Climate Case (05:27)
The 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit failed. Dutch citizens won a lawsuit against the Dutch State, forcing the government to increase measures against climate change. The Urgenda victory inspired other legal actions.
Right to a Healthy Environment in North America? (04:42)
In 2016, Barrington citizens voted to institute a community bill of rights. David Suzuki organized a Canada-wide Blue Dot movement. Polly Higgins' goal is to eradicate ecocide; Cameron thinks the climate change issue will eventually arrive at the International Court of Justice.
Recognizing the Rights of Mother Earth (05:40)
Ecuador includes the rights of "Pachamama" in its constitution; humans must be in harmony with people, communities, and nature. Ecuador needs a new model of development. Conversations are the start of change.
Elsipogtog Protests (04:45)
In 2013, New Brunswick citizens marched against the government's allowance of fracking; SWN targeted land rights. See footage of demonstrations and police reaction.
Police Raid Protestor Encampment (03:59)
See footage of the aftermath in Elsipogtog, New Brunswick. Protestors from across the country arrived and SWN eventually left. RCMP conduct underwent formal review, a new government instituted a moratorium, and lawyers filed lawsuits against fracking and the government.
Bagua Massacre (04:15)
In 2008, the Peruvian government signed a free trade agreement with the U.S. and opened the Amazon region to oil development without consulting indigenous peoples. Civil disobedience erupted; 32 police and 41 natives died. Experts reflect on the concept of global citizenship, Canada's three legal traditions, and the meaning of law.
Is the Earth Property or Sacred? (01:28)
Cameron reflects on world ownership and what that means to human and Earth rights. Canada's 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms affirmed treaties, aboriginal rights, and aboriginal titles.
Living in Harmony (02:38)
The Labrador family has a tradition of building birch bark canoes. A Wampum belt is an indigenous record of treaties.
Credits: Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World (01:01)
Credits: Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World
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