Book launch compendium Rights of Nature at Ocean Space, Venice

Sorry, this text is only in English

With: Jessica den Outer, Laura Burger, Daphina Misiedjan, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Justin Sobion and Shrishtee Bajpai. Moderated by Harpo ‘t Hart

In our times of ecological crisis, the law may provide an enthralling perspective. Worldwide, an increasing number of natural entities – forests, rivers, mountains, even Mother Earth herself – are recognized as so-called legal persons. In this legal revolution, nature is no longer seen as an object to use and dispose, but rather as a subject with intrinsic value, and, importantly with legally enforceable rights.

The Embassy of the North Sea commissioned Laura Burgers and Jessica den Outer – both experts on the rights of nature within the UN Network Harmony with Nature – to write the first edition of the compendium Rights of Nature. Case studies from six continents, zooming in on one or two case-studies per continent. Per case-study, they depict the context, expand on the underlying world view, point out which rights are recognized, and describe their implementation and enforcement.

Read more about the Compendium Rights of Nature here.


On the occasion of the launch, part of the public programme of Who is We? the Netherlands official contribution to La Biennale di Venezia, we will dive into questions like: how do the concepts of different indigenous cultures translate to legal instruments? How to work with the inevitable frictions between indigenous traditions and the legal systems that, to some extent, all derived of European models and their cultural preferences? And how to organise rights of nature in European jurisdictions whose cultures developed the narrative of separation between humans and nature?

Dr. Daphina Misiedjan will interview Justin Sobion (doctoral candidate Environmental Law, University of Auckland) about rights of nature case-studies in New Zealand, Shrishtee Bajpai (researcher and activist) about cases in Bangladesh and Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (senior researcher at Het Nieuwe Instituut) about Zoöp in the Netherlands. Followed by a discussion with Daphina Misiedjan, Jessica den Outer and Laura Burgers about the relation between different indigenous worldviews and their tactics for implementing legal standing for nonhuman life.

The morning will close with a short introduction to the Zoöp model by Klaas Kuitenbrouwer. This model is designed to allow organisations to collaborate with (representatives of) non-human life and to realise the principles and effects of the Rights of Nature within their own operational sphere. Zoöps work towards the realisation of a regenerative economy. Read more about Zoöp here..


— The launch of the compendium is part of the programme How to Do a Zoöp, organized and curated by Het Nieuwe Instituut during The Pavilion Days from 23 to 24 September 2021, part of the official Dutch contribution to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

— Location: Ocean Space, collaborative platform for Ocean Imagination and Ocean Action

— Follow the live stream of the launch here. 


Embassy of the North Sea, Laura Burgers & Jessica den Outer © 2021

Graphic design: Corine Datema

Translations: Edward Jacobson / Vuurtoren Editing; printer: Zwaan Lenoir

Publication date: 23 September, 2021;  Price: 15,00 € excl shipping

Order your copy (English edition) here.