23 October 2009

Future Generations Ombudsman & Rights for Nature

Excerpt from Identity Campaigning, 30 September 2009

'Hungary [has established] an Ombudsman for Future Generations, the first office of its kind. The independent but state-funded department, headed by a Parliamentary Commissioner, is made up of a team of scientists and lawyers responsible for holding to account the decisions and strategies of the Hungarian government, representing the voice of future generations in any decision. This is an extraordinarily creative legal step, and one that in one fell swoop has the potential to shift the mindset of a country, by making an explicit statement that the future matters....

Almost a year ago to the day, Ecuador became the first country to write rights for nature into the national constitution. This intervention works in a fairly similar way to the Hungarian concept, by allowing representation for an otherwise unrepresentable entity. Any Ecuadorian citizen now has the right to bring a lawsuit on behalf of nature. This is signficant for its practical implications of course; but again, what a statement, what a shift in mindset!...'

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