Rivers are essential to life on the planet. Free-flowing rivers act as the planet’s arteries, providing ecosystems with critical freshwater, nurturing animal and plant life, recharging fertility in floodplains and providing nutrients to deltas, estuaries and near-shore reefs.
They are also the cornerstones of cultural and spiritual practices for diverse groups around the world. However, dams and other destructive developments are fragmenting rivers and their ecosystems, driving an unprecedented loss of freshwater habitat and biodiversity.
Current legal protections for rivers are often unclear, weak or insufficient, leaving rivers and communities vulnerable. While we’ve stopped many bad projects over the years, even a big win can feel short-lived without permanent protections. In truth, bad projects (and what we call “zombie dams”) have a way of rearing their heads repeatedly, year after year.
But there is another way. In the United States, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act has shown that governments and communities can band together to protect our most precious rivers.
Our Work to Support Permanent Protections for Rivers
That’s why we are working with local communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America to prioritize key rivers for permanent legal protection and restoration. We’re collaborating with legal experts to identify gaps in the law and crafting legislation to vibrant, healthy, free-flowing rivers. We’re developing scientific evidence to justify protections, evaluating the feasibility of permanent legal protections, and working to strengthen and support river protection movements.
Join the call!
Rivers are essential to all life. Rivers play a vital role in the functioning of the Earth hydrologic cycle and are the lifeblood for cultures around the globe. Help us ensure the permanent protection of rivers by signing the Universal Declaration for the Rights of Rivers!
- Wild Rivers Law: contributions to the ecosystem and local development that urge progress in the protection of rivers in Chile (2020)
- What is the National River Protection Group? (2019)
- “Wild Rivers Law”: the environmentalist proposal that seeks to “preserve and restore” the rivers of Chile (2019)
- Conclusions Meeting of Defensores / as Rivers by Foro Social Panamazonico (2019)
- Free Flowing Rivers, Sustaining Livelihoods, Cultures and Ecosystems (2018)
- Press Release | Advocates at IUCN Congress Highlight a Wave of New Support for the Rights of RiversFor immediate release: September 8, 2021 Contacts: 1. Monti Aguirre, International Rivers (707-591-1220; email@example.com) 2. Grant Wilson, Earth Law Center (510-566-1063; firstname.lastname@example.org) Marseille, France—Today, advocates from across the globe gathered at…
- Press Release | Coalition of International Organizations Files an Amicus Curiae Brief Calling for the Recognition of the Intrinsic Rights of the Marañón River in PeruFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 12th, 2021 Contacts: Constanza Prieto Figelist (email@example.com, +1 202-621-3877), Monti Aguirre (firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 707-591-1220) Lima, Peru—On July 5th, a coalition of international organizations filed an Amicus…
- Celebrate World Water Day with the Coalition for the Permanent Protection of Rivers in Brazil!By: Anna Maria Cárcamo, Legal Policy Advisor, Amazon Program Portugues abaixo To celebrate the importance of rivers and the movement for their protection, and to recognize actions of resistance and…
- Why Recognize a River’s Rights? Behind the scenes of the Magpie River case in Canada.By: Pier-Olivier, SNAP Quebec; Monti Aguirre, International Rivers; Grant Wilson Earth Law Center Lire en Français Keywords: environment, conservation, rivers, protection, law, Nature, Magpie, legal personhood, First Nations, municipalities On…