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.

Though legal rights of nature have been introduced in various countries across the world, a full analysis of these rights from an interdisciplinary perspective is required for these rights to be properly understood, interpreted, and acted upon.

A holistic analysis of RoN requires (at least): a scientific understanding of the nature of the ecosystems in question, as well as of the constituent flora and fauna; an understanding of the natural entity, an ethical analysis of the rights and duties in question; a philosophical grasp of the relevant concepts; a comprehension of the socio-economic path dependencies and consequences associated with granting rights to nature; and a socio-legal analysis of how those rights are adequately represented and defended within a particular legal system.

As well as the humanities offering a critical analysis of RoN and its application, the arts can offer the kinds of creative reimagining of our relationship with nature required to reflect on usefulness and new governance arrangements such as RoN, initiate a societal dialogue and boost action on increasingly urgent environmental challenges.


The current team has been assembled as part of a funded scoping project to review the current application of the Rights of Nature (RoN) from an interdisciplinary perspective. Our aim is to expand this interdisciplinary dialogue and see the team growing!

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.

Robert Grabowski

is an environmental scientist that studies rivers. His research investigates how natural processes and humans activity interact to affect the form, function, and ecology of river-floodplain systems.

Neil W. Williams

is a philosopher specialising in the history of philosophy and environmental ethics. His current research focuses on the conceptual grounding of the Rights of Nature, and how we should think about the representation of those rights.

Saskia Vermeylen

is a socio-legal property scholar, focusing on legal anthropology and environmental law/justice.

Marie Schreiber

is a young researcher with an interdisciplinary social-environmental focus and particular interest in agriculture, a research assistant in the scoping project.

Anne Robertson

is an environmental scientist who focuses on freshwater biodiversity- and in particular the biodiversity of groundwaters, the impact on freshwater ecosystems of disturbances such as climate change and emerging contaminants including microplastics and the monitoring and conservation of groundwater ecosystems.