Barry Law's Sister Pat Siemen Attends Nature-Rights Summit in Ecuador

CEJ Director Among Leaders at Environmental Summit

Barry University School of Law’s Sister Pat Siemen, OP, is among the key leaders of the emergent nature-rights movement participating in the first international Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature summit and tribunal from Jan. 13-17 in Ecuador.

Summit participants will analyze the experiences of communities in Ecuador, Bolivia, and the United States that have implemented “Rights of Nature” laws. They also will discuss a unified global strategy for advancing the Rights of Nature movement.

Sister Pat is Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, a collaborative initiative co-sponsored by Barry and St. Thomas Universities.  A Dominican Sister and civil attorney, Siemen has been a leading environmental advocate in Florida, championing issues such as the ongoing Wekiva Springs cleanup and serving as a speaker in last fall's TEDx Jacksonville event. A video of Sister Pat's presentation is linked below.

The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature was created in 2010 to help advance the message that humans are one part of an interdependent community of life on Earth and human existence is wholly dependent on the health of the world’s rivers, plants, animals, oceans, forests, and other ecosystems.

Other summit participants include Indian physicist Vandana Shiva, South African attorney and author Cormac Cullinan, North American indigenous leader Tom Goldtooth, former Bolivian U.N. ambassador Pablo Solón, and U.S. community rights attorney Thomas Linzey.

The five-day summit will conclude with a public tribunal in Quito, where key Rights of Nature cases will be heard, including the Chevron/Texaco case in Ecuador, the oil exploitation of Yasuní-ITT in Ecuador’s rainforest, and the destruction of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Read more about the summit and the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature: