Rights of nature laws are key to protecting Blue Mountains: Greens candidate

Affording nature the same rights as a person is an emerging legal movement globally that is gathering steam in Australia, says the Federal Greens candidate for Macquarie.

Enshrine First Nations' inherent recognition of the rights of nature: Kingsley Liu and Wagana Dancers at the Blue Mountains Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation this year.

Enshrine First Nations' inherent recognition of the rights of nature: Kingsley Liu and Wagana Dancers at the Blue Mountains Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation this year.

Kingsley Liu said that rights of nature laws are the key to protecting the Blue Mountains and its rivers from "death by a thousand cuts".

Ecuador enshrined the rights of nature in its constitution in 2008, he added.

"Other countries have drawn inspiration from this. The Ganges in India and Whanganui River in New Zealand have both been granted personhood by their respective governments."

In her inaugural speech to Parliament last year, Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said Nature had intrinsic value and was not a commodity to be used and abused.

"Let's enshrine the rights of nature in law to protect natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Artesian Basin and the Murray Darling system from greedy exploitation," she said.

Mr Liu said he wanted to add the Blue Mountains and the Cox-Nepean-Hawkesbury River system to that list.

"We have running battles to stop the raising of the Warragamba Dam, construction of an airport near the foot of the Mountains, longwall mining in the Gardens of Stone, dumping of Sydney landfill in the old Bell Quarry ... the threats never stop and they are all fought on the grounds of human and corporate rights."

Mr Liu said the first steps in Australia have been taken in Victoria with the Yarra River Protection Act 2017.

Kingsley Liu said "We need to be partners with nature, not owners. This can start through grass roots action and legal mechanisms that enshrine First Nations' inherent recognition of the rights of nature.