to the Interdisciplinary Network on the Study of the Rights of Nature (INSRoN)

As the frequency and magnitude of environmental crises accelerate, one innovative approach to offer a more sustainable and equitable relationship with nature is emerging under the banner of ‘the rights of nature’.

The recognition of the rights of nature (RoN) is gaining momentum worldwide and represents a significant paradigm shift, from nature seen as a resource or object of protection to a subject of rights on its own. RoN is increasingly lauded as the legal transformation needed to address the pressing social-environmental crises of our time, including climate change, habitat destruction, and biodiversity loss.

To fully understand how human beings relate to the non-human environment, to comprehend and act upon the obligations we have towards that environment and to each other, and to navigate and creatively re-think our social, legal, and political approaches to non-human nature, we need more cross-disciplinary dialogue and understandings notably between humanities, social sciences, and environmental sciences.


The aim of INSRoN is to support interdisciplinary dialogue around the rights of nature. Our aim is to analyse the opportunities and the challenges which the RoN movement affords, and we are particularly interested in issues and questions which require cross-disciplinary collaboration.


This research project explores the potential of the rights of nature, considering it from an interdisciplinary perspective, where people from various disciplines share their knowledge to help facilitate a more balanced relationship between humans and nature to address the ecological crisis. Our research highlights that despite its promising role…
To combat the vast environmental problems which we face, we need to develop new strategies for protecting the non-human environment. One promising strategy has been to grant ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, and mountains, legal personhood. These entities then possess the legal rights to protect their interests from human…


Jérémie Gilbert

is a legal scholar working in the field of human rights and environmental justice. As a legal advocate, he is working in support of several Indigenous peoples who have engaged in litigation to fight for the recognition of their rights to land and natural resources and as such has learnt on the needs to decolonise the mainstream legal approach to nature.

Ilkhom Soliev

is an institutional economist and interdisciplinary social-environmental scholar with research focus on governance of common pool resources. His research examines societal transformations across domains of water, land, forests, biodiversity, and climate, as well as in various cultural and political contexts.


Within the framework of the Silbersalz international science and media festival in Germany, INSRoN team investigator Dr. Ilkhom Soliev (in cooperation with Dr. Stefan Knauß, Julia Schünzel, Marie Schreiber) has co-organised a public discussion focused on initiatives and research perspectives on Rights of Nature. The live-streamed panel – the prime-time event of the festival – included INSRoN team lead Prof. Jeremie Gilbert and advisor Shrishtee Bajpai, Researcher-Activist, KALPAVRIKSH, who were joined by Dr. Rachel Killean, Human Rights Centre, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast and Dr. Carolijn Terwindt, Lawyer, Embassy of the North Sea. The discussion was moderated by Fritz Habekuß, Journalist, Die Zeit. For further information see: https://www.silbersalz-festival.com/en/programme/silbersalz-science-media-festival-2022/rights-nature-human-survival-strategy.

This international collaborative project aimed to better understand human-environment interactions around river systems to minimize the unintended negative consequences of development on nature and people.


INSRoN team leader Professor Jeremie Gilbert and INSRoN team members Professor Anne Robertson and Dr Neil Williams discussed interdisciplinary approaches to understanding Rights of Nature.v


Gilbert, J., Soliev, I., Robertson, A., Vermeylen, S., Williams, N.W., Grabowski, R.C.

Understanding the Rights of Nature: Working Together Across and Beyond Disciplines – (Published, June 2023) In: Human Ecology…