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Rights of nature versus conventional nature conservation: international lessons from Australia’s Tarkine wilderness


Richardson, BJ and Hamasaki, N, Rights of nature versus conventional nature conservation: international lessons from Australia's Tarkine wilderness, Environmental Policy and Law, 51, (3) pp. 159-173. ISSN 1878-5395 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

© Benjamin J. Richardson and Nina Hamaski, 2021. The definitive, peer reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Global law and policy, 51, 3, 159-173, 2021, 10.3233/EPL-201066

DOI: doi:10.3233/EPL-201066


The rights-of-nature model is gaining traction as an innovative legal approach for nature conservation. Although adopted in several countries, it remains in its infancy, including in Australia. An important research question is whether rights of nature will offer superior environmental outcomes compared to traditional nature conservation techniques including creation of protected areas. This article investigates that question through a case study of the Tarkine wilderness, in the Australia state of Tasmania. It first identifies key lessons from existing international experience with affirmation of rights of nature, such as in New Zealand and Ecuador. The article then explores how rights of nature could apply in Australia’s Tarkine region and their value compared to existing or potential protected areas and other nature conservation measures under Australian or Tasmanian law. Affirming rights of nature represents a major conceptual shift in how people via the law relate to the natural world, but whether the model offers practical benefits for nature conservation depends on a variety of conditions, in addition to the need to address broader societal drivers of environmentaldegradation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:nature rights, environmental law, Tasmania
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Environmental and resources law
Research Field:Environmental law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Law reform
UTAS Author:Richardson, BJ (Professor Benjamin Richardson)
UTAS Author:Hamasaki, N (Miss Nina Hamasaki)
ID Code:145838
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2021-08-07
Last Modified:2021-09-07
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