I Executive Summary
This paper looks at nature and the environment through a double lens. On one hand, it analyzes nature as a rights holder, referring to the legal rights of nature and its protection. On the other hand, the paper analyzes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the human right to a clean and healthy environment, in Canada and internationally. This paper will discuss new legislation granting oceans, trees, mountains, rivers, and ecosystems the same legal rights as human beings. The focus is placed on Canadian and international law regarding the legal standing of nature and the environment. We focus on countries that have passed legislation granting legal rights to the environment, including India, Bolivia, New Zealand, Ecuador, and we address the situation in Canada. In courtrooms and countries all over the world, laws and perspectives are changing and moving towards protecting the environment. This paper provides information about new legislation and perspectives in many places.