Workshop: Grassroots Campaign Strategy for Legal Recognition of Non-Human Relatives With Rights of Nature Pioneer Mari Margil of the Center for Democratic & Environmental Rights

Event Date: Friday, May 6, 2022    |    Event Time: 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Event Location: Room 123 Allard Hall, 1822 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

The Centre for Law and the Environment (CLE) at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, in collaboration with the UBC Sustainability Initiative and the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), is hosting an in-person training workshop for individuals and organizations from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities interested in enacting laws that respect and protect non-human beings like rivers, lakes, species and ecosystems. This workshop is the capstone event of a series of webinars in which attendees heard directly from people who have taken part in campaigns to achieve legal recognition of non-human relations in Canada and abroad, about why and how they pursued such recognition, what opportunities and obstacles they encountered and what lessons they learned. 

Led by rights of nature pioneer Mari Margil of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights, the workshop provides a full day of hands-on training in grassroots campaign strategy for participants who want to take action to advance legal recognition for non-human relations in their own communities. Participants will receive training materials they can take home. They will explore past successes and failures, campaign goals and tactics, legal options for recognizing non-human relations, interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and other issues. They will also have the opportunity to brainstorm and receive feedback on their own efforts to enact or strengthen laws to respect and protect non-human relations.

The workshop will take place at the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia, which is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam Nation. Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Space is limited to 25 participants, first come first served, with priority given to individuals who have attended one or more of the previous webinars in the series. We invite attendees to watch one or more of the webinars before registering:

  • Webinar 1: Rivers. This webinar focuses on rights for rivers and water bodies.
  • Webinar 2: Supernatural Beings and Sacred Places. Panelists speak to Indigenous peoples' efforts to enact or revitalise laws that respect and protect the ancestors and supernatural beings embodied in sacred places in their territories.
  • Webinar 3: Non-Human Species. Panelists discuss efforts to secure legally effective recognition of non-human plants and animals as rights holders in Indigenous and non-Indigenous legal systems.

To cover a portion of the cost of the workshop, there is a fee of $100 (Canadian currency) for private sector and public sector participants and full-time academics, and pay-what-you-can for Indigenous, civil society, retired, unemployed and student participants. The fee is payable when your registration is accepted.

Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation and accommodation and for identifying and complying with all applicable COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

A few travel subsidies are available, upon application, to enable attendance from outside the BC lower mainland and southern Vancouver Island, with preference given to Indigenous and civil society participants.

The workshop will observe COVID-19 precautions. All participants must show proof of vaccination at the door and wear a mask at all times indoors, except when actively eating or drinking. Food and drink will be served and consumed only during breaks in the workshop program. Thank you for your cooperation.

We are also planning a side event for Thursday, May 5th. Stay tuned to our website for more details.

NOTE: when you first fill out the registration form below, you will see that the "Payment Options" section shows that you owe $0.00. Please ignore this, the actual amount you owe will be shown correctly after we accept your registration and send you the link for payment. At that point you will select your payment category and amount. Thanks for your patience!

Cancellation and refunds: If you cancel after we have received your payment, we will refund your payment on the following schedule: 50% refund for cancellation on or before 5:00 pm Pacific time Friday April 29, 2022; no refund thereafter. Thanks for your understanding.


Sorry, registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact The Centre for Law and the Environment at [email protected] for more information.