Protecting rivers and defending the rights of the communities that depend on them

Rights of Rivers Report

NEW REPORT | Rights of Rivers: A global survey of the rapidly developing Rights of Nature jurisprudence pertaining to rivers

A new report by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, Earth Law Center, and International Rivers finds that a movement to grant legal rights to rivers and nature is rapidly gaining momentum globally. The report examines how the ancient notion that nature possesses basic rights is being adopted in laws from New Zealand to Colombia.

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Our Rivers, Our Water Future

Since 1985, International Rivers has been at the heart of the global movement to ensure river-dependent communities’ voices are heard and their rights are respected.

Our Approach

Rivers are the arteries of the earth, supporting the highest rate of biodiversity compared to any other ecosystem and providing for the livelihoods of millions of local, indigenous and traditional peoples. Rivers are also under extreme threat, with less than 10% of the world’s river basins protected.

International Rivers strengthens movements of communities and civil society at the forefront of defending rivers by:

  • Undertaking investigative research to generate robust data and evidence to inform policies and campaigns.
  • Remaining independent and fearless in campaigning to expose and resist destructive projects.
  • Developing a vision that protects rivers and the communities that depend upon them. 

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Our Impact

0 Number of community groups, movements, and civil society organizations we have partnered with to provide campaign and advocacy support.
0 Destructive river projects delayed or stopped, resulting in millions of people retaining access to their traditional lands and livelihoods.
$ 0 B Funds (USD) channeled away from investment in destructive projects, toward sustainable and just alternatives.
Explore Our Priority Areas

Latest News

PRESS RELEASE | Report: Rapid gains in giving rivers rights

PRESS RELEASE | Report: Rapid gains in giving rivers rights

Rulings loom as UNGA meets on biodiversity OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA—A new report by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, Earth Law Center, and International Rivers finds that a movement to grant legal rights to rivers and nature is rapidly gaining momentum globally. The report examines how the ancient notion that nature possesses basic rights…

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Teesta River campaign:  Mingma

Teesta River campaign: Mingma

By: Ayesha DSouza, South Asia Program Coordinator & guest writer Melanie Scaife The Teesta River originates in the eastern Himalayas, winding its way through the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal before entering Bangladesh and emptying into the Bay of Bengal. For Sikkim’s Indigenous Lepcha people, the river is sacred. For the Sikkim Government,…

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