Overused as commodities, many ecosystems and species are now facing collapse. Creative Commons: Neal Wellons, 2012.

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

July 11, 2015

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund brings together public interest law and grassroots organizing into a unique legal and organizing strategy – partnering with communities, civil society, and governments to drive a new paradigm for environmental protection based on rights.

The mission of CELDF is to drive a new movement for environmental protection which for the first time elevates ecosystems and species from being considered “property” under the law – and thus “right- less” – to being rights-bearers. Treated as property, environmental laws regulate the “use” of nature, such that these laws legalize harm and exploitation of the environment. Under this legal framework, ecosystems and species are facing collapse. Today CELDF has assisted close to 200 communities across the U.S. to establish environmental rights of communities and nature, and stop factory farming, fracking, water privatization, and other threats as a violation of those rights. This includes the first-in-the-nation laws codifying the Rights of Nature.

CELDF is now building upward from the grassroots – establishing state and national Community Rights Networks – to advance state and federal change.

Related News

Grantee spotlight: Oceans 5

LDF grantee Oceans 5, an international funder’s collaborative dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and constraining overfishing, has undertaken numerous projects to implement marine protected areas throughout the world.

National monuments under attack: An unprecedented threat to our national heritage

Bears Ears National Monument, a Utah landscape sacred to numerous Native American tribes,  is under threat after President Trump issued an executive order calling for a review of national monuments designated since 1996.  LDF grantee Utah Dine Bikeyah and the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition have joined forces to send a strong message to Interior Secretary Zinke: protect this sacred land.

LDF featured at CERES Conference

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was featured at the recent CERES Conference hosted in San Francisco. Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, was invited to present and discuss sustainable, climate-friendly investing to a diverse crowd of stakeholders. CERES believes that good governance, transparency, stakeholder engagement and bottom line performance are all hallmarks of a… View Article

Project Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan to reverse global warming

On April 17th, Project Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming was released. The book, edited by Paul Hawkin, is the culmination of two years of research and collaboration to present the best available information on climate solutions.

LDF Grantee Spotlight: Our Children’s Trust

LDF is proud to support Our Children’s Trust (OCT), who represented 21 youth in a historic lawsuit arguing that the Federal Government is not only violating the youth’s fundamental right to life, liberty, and property but also the Public Trust Doctrine, by knowingly engaging in actions that create a dangerous climate situation.