People everywhere are taking action to protect the health of the planet–which is directly connected to the health of the people. Please join us in a lively conversation on what you can do in your community!
Humanity stands at the brink of global environmental collapse. Our environmental protection laws more often protect the very corporations that they are supposed to regulate, rather than our rivers, forests, mountains, and other ecosystems.
A global movement is starting to change that. Using indigenous value systems to create legally enforceable rights for nature, cities, towns, and counties across the United States are creating laws which recognize the rights of nature.
This session will include a segment on how to design and adopt “rights of nature” laws in your own community.
But right now, people within the community rights movement aren’t waiting for power brokers to fix the system. They’re beginning to envision a new sustainability constitution by adopting new laws at the local level that are forcing those ideas upward into the state and national ones. In doing so, they are directly challenging the basic operating system of this country—one which currently elevates corporate “rights” above the rights of people, nature, and their communities—and changing it into one which recognizes a right to local, community self-government that cannot be overridden by corporations, or by governments wielded by corporate interests.
Confirmed Guests and Topics include:
- Allan Savory, Keynote: Savory Center for Holistic Management: Harare, Zimbabwe and Boulder, Colorado
- Thomas Linzey, Chief Counsel, Center for Environmental and Democratic Rights
- Chuck O’Neal, Florida Rights of Nature Network
- Rob Moir, Ocean River Institute: The things that you can do in your community to help stave off climate catstrophe
- Howard Bloom, Celebrated Author and Superstar Publicist: The Stars are within you.
llan Savory, born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa (University of Natal, BS in Zoology and Botany) pursued an early career as a research biologist and game ranger in the British Colonial Service of what was then Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) and later as a farmer and game rancher in Zimbabwe.
In the 1960s he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and, as a resource management consultant, worked with numerous managers on four continents to develop sustainable solutions.
He served as a Member of Parliament in the latter days of Zimbabwe’s civil war and became the leader of the opposition to the ruling party headed by Ian Smith. Exiled in 1979 as a result of his opposition, he immigrated to the United States, where he continued to work with land managers through his consulting business. The growth of that business, a desire to assist many more people and the need for furthering his work led him to continue its development in the nonprofit world. In 1992 Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, formed a non-profit organization in Zimbabwe, the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, donating a ranch that would serve as a learning site for people all over Africa. In 2009Savory, Butterfield, and a group of colleagues co-founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado to serve the world through an international network of entrepreneurial innovators and leaders committed to serving their regions with the highest standards of Holistic Management training and implementation support. The Africa Centre became the first of the Savory Institute’s locally led and managed “hubs.”
Savory’s book, Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making (Island Press, 1999), describes his effort to find workable solutions ordinary people could implement to overcome many of the problems besetting communities and businesses today.
In 2003, Allan Savory received Australia’s International Banksia Award “for the person or organization doing the most for the environment on a global scale,” and in 2010 Savory (and the Africa Centre) received the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Challenge award for work that has “significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.” A TED talk Savory gave in 2013 has received over 3.4 million views and in 2014 was voted one of the 50 most intriguing TED talks of all time. The Savory Institute is one of 11 finalists in the Virgin Earth Challenge, a $25 million initiative for the successful commercialization of ways of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and keeping them out with no countervailing impacts.
Chuck O’Neal, You may have read about his campaign in the Guardian. And you may have heard about him from one of your friends or colleagues.
“Our waterways and the wildlife they support have been systematically destroyed by poorly planned suburban sprawl. They have suffered in silence and without representation, until now.”
A network of streams, lakes and marshes in Florida is suing a developer and the state to try to stop a housing development from destroying them.
The novel lawsuit was filed on Monday in Orange county on behalf of the waterways under a “rights of nature” law passed in November. It is the largest US municipality to adopt such a law to date.
Laws protecting the rights of nature are growing throughout the world, from Ecuador to Uganda, and have been upheld in courts in India, Colombia and Bangladesh. But this is the first time anyone has tried to enforce them in the US.
The Orange county law secures the rights of its waterways to exist, to flow, to be protected against pollution and to maintain a healthy ecosystem. It also recognizes the authority of citizens to file enforcement actions on their behalf.
Thomas Linzey serves as Senior Counsel for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), an organization committed to globally advancing environmental rights. He is the co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), and is widely recognized as the founder of the contemporary “community rights” movement which has resulted in the adoption of several hundred municipal laws across the United States. He also sits on the Board of Advisors of the New Earth Foundation.
Linzey is a cum laude graduate of Widener Law School and a three-time recipient of the law school’s public interest law award. He has been a finalist for the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, and is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union’s Golden Triangle Legislative Award. He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, and he is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Third, Fourth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania.
He is a co-founder of the Daniel Pennock Democracy School – which has been taught in twenty-four states across the country and which has graduated over 5,000 lawyers, activists, and municipal officials – which assists groups to create new community campaigns which elevate the rights of those communities over rights claimed by corporations. Linzey is the author of Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community (Gibbs-Smith 2009), the author of On Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability (PM Press 2016), the co-author of We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States (PM Press 2016), has served as a co-host of Democracy Matters, a public affairs radio show broadcast from KYRS in Spokane, Washington and syndicated on ten other stations, was featured in Leonardo DiCaprio and Tree Media’s film 11th Hour and We the People 2.0 (Official Selection of the Seattle International Film Festival), assisted the Ecuadorian constitutional assembly in 2008 to adopt the world’s first constitution recognizing the independently enforceable rights of ecosystems, and is a frequent lecturer at conferences across the country.
His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, the Nation magazine, he was named, in 2007, as one of Forbes’ magazines’ “Top Ten Revolutionaries,” and, in 2018, Linzey was named as one of the top 400 environmentalists of the last 200 years in the two volume encyclopedia, American Environmental Leaders (3rd Ed. Grey House Publishing 2018). He is currently working on a new book, “Modern American Democracy (and other fairy tales)” (forthcoming Spring, 2021). Linzey currently resides in Spokane, Washington.
Rob Moir, Ph.D., President and Executive Director, Ocean River Institute
Dr. Moir is an educator, scientist, and activist with a proven history of institutional management and marine policy success. Dr. Moir has been a leader of citizen science and efforts to clean up Salem Sound and Boston Harbor, as president of the advocacy organizations Salem Sound Harbor Monitors, Salem Sound 2000 and later Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, and through his appointment by the Secretary of Interior to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership.
When he was Curator of Natural History at the Peabody Essex Museum, he created the first bioregional management collaborative organization, Salem Sound Coastwatch in 1988. Dr. Moir established The James Baldwin Scholars Program at Hampshire College where he worked as a major gifts officer. He was formerly Curator of Education at the New England Aquarium and Executive Director of the Discovery Museums in Acton, Massachusetts.
Dr. Moir was awarded a Switzer Environmental Fellowship from the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation, and the James Centorino Award for Distinguished Performance in Marine Education by the National Marine Educators Association, which he also served as president. He was Sea Education Association’s first assistant scientist contracted for multiple voyages of the R.V. Westward in 1979 and 1980 W45, W49, W50, W52, and W53, and served on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Cambridge School of Weston.
Dr. Moir has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies, a Masters of Science and Teaching from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire. a B.A. from Hampshire College, and certificates of studies from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island.
Howard Bloom is the celebrated author of “The Global Brain,” “The Lucifer Principle” and many other books and was instrumental in helping the original SPIN Magazine find its soul. As the founder of the Howard Bloom Organization,the long-time considered public relations firm where artists and record companies would go to achieve higher media status, Howard Bloom was able to tap into the heart and soul of clients such as Prince, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp, Amnesty International and hundreds of others by empowering the artists he represented to realize their true potential, by enabling journalists to understand the artists’ truth, the stories that enabled them to “bleed their souls” in the music that would eventually touch and move their audiences of millions.