Earth Law Center’s First Initiative in Africa

| 3/20/2018 10:19:00 AM

Tags: Earth Law Center, River Ethiope Trust Foundation, advocacy, river rights, legal rights, Darlene Lee,

Earth Law Center’s First Initiative in Africa

 Ethiope River

I’m so excited to tell you that Earth Law Center and the River Ethiope Trust Foundation (“RETFON”) just launched an initiative to establish legal rights for the River Ethiope in Nigeria. The River Ethiope would be the first waterway in Africa to gain legal rights recognition. The Ethiope is also Earth Law Center’s first initiative in Africa!

So what does rights recognition mean for the Ethiope River?

The Ethiope doesn’t get human rights, by the way. It’s not going to vote or pay taxes. With rights, the Ethiope gains legal protection from pollution, diversion, and dams. It also means that local communities have the right to sue would-be destroyers of the river in court because they’d be suing on behalf of the river.

More about the Ethiope River

You can find the River Ethiope in the Delta State of Nigeria. It begins in the community of Umuaja, where it emerges from the earth at the base of a giant silk cottonwood tree – a place of worship for adherents to the traditional Olokun and Igbe religions. The river then runs for approximately 70 kilometers (43 miles) and empties into the Atlantic. It is believed to be the deepest inland waterway in Africa.

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