New Earth Charter Affiliate from Australia

ECI would like to offer a warm welcome to The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) as a new Affiliate of Earth Charter International. AELA was created in 2012 to promote the understanding and practical implementation of Earth jurisprudence – Earth-centered law, governance, and ethics. 

AELA’s Director Michelle Maloney said that the Earth Charter is one of the important Earth-centered governance tools that AELA has adopted and promotes in its public education work and other events.

In 2014, the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) promoted understanding and use of the Earth Charter in a number of its events.  In particular:

  • AELA presentation at Thomas Berry Colloquium, Melbourne – 9 November 2014
  • Evening seminar, Melbourne – “Should rivers have legal rights?” – 6 November 2014
  • Earth laws and regional community environmentalism, Byron Bay, NSW – 23 October 2014 : AELA, EDO NSW and Southern Cross University hosted this fascinating afternoon of discussions about Earth laws and regional community activism.
  • Earth laws and governance workshop, Adelaide – 17 October 2014: AELA co-hosted a morning workshop exploring Earth laws, rights of nature and indigenous Earth governance. Speakers included representatives from AELA, EDO SA, local indigenous custodians, and the University of Adelaide.
  • Rights of Nature Tribunal, Brisbane (Is the Great Barrier Reef a victim of Ecocide?) – 15 October 2014: AELA hosted Australia’s first Rights of Nature Tribunal in Brisbane. This Tribunal was a Regional Chamber of the International Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature, and part of the International “Earth Rights Days of Action”.
  • Building the Sharing Economy Workshop and Sharing Law Roundtable, Brisbane – 10 October 2014
  • Half day Symposium, Sydney – 12 September 2014:  The topic was “New trends in environmental law and governance” – Keynote Speaker: Judge Preston, Chief Justice of the Land and Environment Court. 
  • Exploring Ecospirituality Workshop, Brisbane – 25 July:  In collaboration with Griffith University’s Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, the objective of this workshop was to explore ecocentrism and ecospirituality from indigenous, Buddhist, Islamic, Pagan, Christian, and secular points of view. 100 people participated for the presentations and the day also featured an open space and small group discussions. 
  • Community and nature’s rights workshops – Perth, Margaret River, Jarrahdale (early July – 7, 8, 9):  This series of workshops were organized with the Western Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA). The idea was to investigate the strategies local communities can adopt to block unwanted natural resource exploitation from mining, coal seam gas extraction, and forestry. 
  • AELA’s Law and Governance Clinic, Brisbane – 4 July:  The session was attended by 85 people from a range of organizations interested in legal business structures, the sharing economy, DGR, and other taxation issues for not-for-profit organizations, insurance, legal services in SEQ, and conflict management. 
  • Environmental Justice Symposium, Brisbane – April 2014: AELA and Griffith University’s Urban Research Program hosted a one-day Environmental Justice Symposium at Griffith University Ecocentre (Nathan).  The aim of the symposium was to bring together academics, activists, legal practitioners, students and regulators, to explore Environmental Justice in Queensland and to identify opportunities for future collaborative projects.