Citizen, collective and transnational mobilisation.
Over the past fifteen years, numerous actions have been undertaken in some thirty countries to give legal status to natural elements to ensure their preservation. The laws that govern our societies do not take into account our interdependent links with our natural environment, with the ecosystems and species that allow life on Earth.
On this principle, the association id·eau, sustainable imagination for fresh water, supported by the signatories, invites you to join the «Appel du Rhône».
Recognising a legal personality for the river, from its glacier in Switzerland to its delta in France, means giving it the means to ensure its integrity and to protect itself against destructive activities.
L’Appel du Rhône : guaranteeing the safeguarding of our fundamental rights and the living conditions of future generations.
Because water has no borders and represents an essential and vital common, and because it is necessary to change the law to guarantee a healthy environment and stable climatic conditions :
RIGHTS OF NATURE.
RHÔNE RIVER, SUBJECT OF LAW.
Other international actions for the legal recognition of a river
Across the planet, in order to enable humanity to respond to ever more alarming ecological challenges, each year more and more ecosystems, animal and plant species have been endowed with legal personality aimed at protecting our vital resources from devastating threats.
Au cours des dix dernières années, plusieurs de ces actions ont déjà permis à des fleuves et cours d’eau de se voir attribuer un statut juridique, parmi lesquelles :
⇾ The Vilcabamba River in Ecuador (2011)
⇾ The Atrato River in Colombia (2016)
⇾ The Whanganui River in New Zealand (2017)
These decisions have had a decisive legal impact. In the case of New Zealand, the use of water, soil or trees must first take into account the needs of the communities and ecosystems concerned in order to guarantee the protection of the rights of the Whanganui River and the surrounding park. In Bangladesh, the Supreme Court in 2019 ordered the National River Protection Commission to act as the guardian of the Turag River, and the country's 450 rivers have been recognised as subjects of law.
A legal personality for the Rhône River
In most countries that have adopted treaties, charters, constitutional articles or laws related to the environment and climate, the legal texts concerned too rarely allow for binding application of their provisions. At most, in some cases, they admit a notion of financial compensation for damage suffered, and in no case a preventive, anticipatory and preservation action. If the damage caused is irreversible, it is too late to act.
The recognition of a legal personality and the rights that emanate from it would allow recourse to binding legal tools so that everyone can prevent or stop activities that could destroy or hinder the regeneration of the ecosystems and biodiversity of the Rhône and its tributaries, on which present and future generations depend.
Thus, while none of the national and international legal instruments have made it possible to stop or slow down the processes that have led to the global ecological disaster we are experiencing, the Rhone Appeal aims to give each and every one of us, individuals and communities concerned, the means to act to defend the rights and survival of the river.