The global Earth rights movement and its significance in relation to climate change

Date: 
5 April 2017 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Venue: 
Environmental & Geographical Science: Studio 5
Contact Person: 
Claire van Wyk
Contact Email: 

Climate change cannot be successfully addressed without building social movements that are powerful enough to compel governments to act and to make fundamental changes to governance systems which currently legitimise the activities that cause climate change.  This talk will explore the potential of the growing global Earth Rights Movement to fulfill this role both globally and in Southern Africa.

Cormac Cullinan is an internationally respected environmental lawyer, author, speaker and advocate for ecological sustainability. In 2008 he was included in a book profiling 301 extraordinary environmentalists in history and in 2012 he was awarded the Nick Steele award for the South African environmentalist of the year.

Cormac has worked on environmental law and policy projects in more than 20 countries and has drafted many environmental treaties, statutes and policies. He is a director of the leading specialist environmental and green business law firm, Cullinan & Associates Inc. which was established 20 years ago and advises public sector, private sector and NGO clients on a wide range of environmental law issues. His groundbreaking book Wild Law A Manifesto for Earth Justice was the first book to define Earth Jurisprudence and it has played a significant role in informing and inspiring a growing international movement. In 2010 Cormac led the drafting of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth which was proclaimed on 22 April 2010 by the People’s World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature and participated in the United Nations interactive dialogue on living in harmony with Nature in April 2011. He drafted the Peoples’ Convention that establishes the International Tribunal on the Rights of Nature and was the presiding judge at the Tribunal hearings in December 2015 in Paris.