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Do Rivers Have Legal Rights?

Do Rivers Have Legal Rights?

Native groups, environmental organizations, local residents, and all those who rely on a river’s health know the importance of protecting them. One idea that has been proposed in order to address this is giving rivers the same legal rights as people in courts. ADVERTISEMENTIn 2019, Bangladesh became the first country to grant every one of its rivers environmental personhood. Meanwhile, California’s Yurok Tribe passed a resolution to declare legal personhood for the Klamath River, and a court in India’s Uttarakhand state bestowed the Ganges and Yamuna rivers with legal personhood, too. Granting rivers the legal rights of humans in court would create a more concrete foundation for the their protection and it would prompt conversation around the conservation of these veins of the Earth.

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