Granting Nature Legal Rights: a path towards a balance between people and the natural world?


What actually is a river? A highway, a habitat, a pantry? A straight line, as a symbol of tamed nature? A sewer for wastewater? The impacts and price that Nature – and eventually also people – have been paying as a consequence of overexploitation, inequitable economic considerations are becoming increasingly apparent. What if we have invited the river to take its place in the courtroom, as a legal entity? An increasing number of court rulings and legislation worldwide are recognizing the rights of nature to be protected and preserved. Precedents emerge. A Southern case study going down the Mississippi River...

Fritz Habekuß, Editor at ZEIT, Author I Dirk Steffens (Terra X), Host, Science Journalist, Nature Filmmaker


CALL TO HALLENSER*INNERS AND ROOM RESIDENTS: Why rivers should be given rights, Dirk Steffens and Fritz Habekuss will play out these thoughts in an example on the Mississippi. Beforehand, they want to find out from residents of Halle and the river Saale what the river means to them and what memories it awakens in them. What discoveries, special moments, stories or habits do you associate with your river?

Please send your photos, pictures, stories, keywords, quotations or audio and video recordings to by 11 October 2020. A selection of the submitted materials will be presented by Dirk Steffens and Fritz Habekuß on October 17, 2020, during their discussion at SILVERSALZ.


Fritz Habekuß

Editor | Author

Dirk Steffens

Science Journalist, Moderator, Nature Filmmaker