Why "Human" Rights Should Apply To Ecosystems
Our "relationship" with natural ecosystems is very similar to our relationship with other humans - symbiotic, mutually beneficent, and absolutely crucial to our survival. This is why New Zealand just gave human rights to a river.
The value of a child, a river or a valley cannot be calculated in immediate economic returns, but should account for their contribution to the health of the whole system they inhabit, over time. If we accord a koala community rights based on its role in the overall scheme, given all our lives depend on the vigour of our environment's biodiversity, can it be sacrificed for short term gain at the expense of the greater goal?
The current NSW Government, like many before it, values our environment as purely commercial real estate, and is busy selling it off now for immediate gain. The traditional definition of real estate, however, includes the natural resources of the land, uncultivated flora and fauna, farmed crops and livestock, water and minerals.
Plants, animals and waterways are not the furniture in the house. They are the house which shelters us all.
This is why TEC and the Stand Up For Nature alliance are fighting so hard to protect the laws which protect these currently undervalued elements of our environment. Here is our petition.
It's also why New Zealand's Maori Iwi people have fought for recognition of their relationship with the Whanganui River since the 1870s. The landmark legislation recognises the symbiotic, mutually beneficent and irreplaceable bond the community feels must be honoured and protected as fiercely as any house, crop or family on the same land.
If you get this, why not read up on the campaign to strengthen the laws which protect biodiversity in NSW, including all the native flora and fauna, water and minerals.
You can read about the Whanganui River here
And if you have a green space filled with plants and animals you care about, which you think is in danger of being bulldozed or developed without your community's informed consent, then join our SOS Green Spaces campaign here. Put your Green Space on our Map which charts over 70 areas in Greater Sydney where locals are banding together to protect their trees, parks and bushland.
Tell Gladys! Sign our petition to let the NSW Government know our trees and parks are not for sale.