Motion: Rights of Nature

Council Meeting - 5th July 2021

“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council notes the legal and social movement globally for the ‘Rights of Nature’ aimed to strengthen protections for people, place and planet.


We believe that ‘Rights of Nature’ can help inspire an innovative rethinking about how to create regenerative, not extractivist, economies while also making human and other living communities safer, stronger and more resilient.


The positive work already being done by Council staff and groups on the climate emergency and biodiversity crises are commendable, but we recognise the need for a rights-based approach to nature.


We propose, that over the next 6 months, this Council will collaborate with civic society to explore what rights of nature mean for the people and economies of the region and to investigate how Rights of Nature could be expressed in community plans, corporate plans, improvement objectives and other strategic frameworks. In particular, the council will in the next 6 months hold two community workshops and work with the local community and stakeholders to draw up a Declaration for the Rights of Nature for the District area to be brought back before Council for adoption.


We also request that a report, authored in collaboration and with input from the local community be brought to FODC in relation to embedding ‘Rights of Nature’ as a keystone concept into Council’s operational practices, planning processes and long-term decision making.


Mindful of our mutual environmental obligations under the Espoo Convention we call on all Councils, North & South, to also explore ‘Rights of Nature’ for their Council areas, not least in Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan, Mid Ulster & Causeway, Coast & Glens”.

Proposed by: Proposed by Councillor McAleer, seconded by Councillor Keenan and supported by Councillors Deehan, O’Cofaigh and Swift.