08 May 2017
In March 2017, New Zealand’s parliament granted the Whanganui river legal personhood, something which its Maori people have been fighting for since 1873. The granting of legal person status to the Whanganui River formally acknowledges the special relationship between the river and the Maori people.
A few weeks later, in India, the Uttarakhand High Court granted the Ganga and Yamuna rivers the status of “living human entities”. India further extended this order to include other natural entities within this ambit of a “juristic (non-living) person”. These entities now include glaciers, rivers, streams, rivulets, lakes, meadows, dales, jungles, forests, wetlands, grasslands, springs and waterfalls.
… Sangeetha Yogendran is a Senior Analyst with the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme, Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 17/05/2017