Gaia Foundation News

Carine Nadal | 12 years ago

UKELA Wild Law weekend, Loch Ossian, Scotland
The first UKELA Wild Law weekend event in Scotland took place 30th April – 3rd May 2010 in Loch Ossian, Scotland.  Steve, Simon, Vicki, Jamie and Sir Crispin Agnew were key initiators, coordinators and organisers of the workshop. 20 lawyers, NGO representatives, academics and policy makers from Scotland, England and Luxemburg (Europe) participated in a weekend exploring and experiencing wild law and wilderness in Scotland.  In true wild law spirit, the group stayed in an ecologically sustainable youth hostel powered by renewable energy with compost toilets.

Presentations were given by Simon (overview of Wild law see separate doc attached), Sir Agnew (WL in Scotland) and John Muir Trust (wilderness protection). Central to the weekend was learning through experience, walks in the hills and informal discussions on visions, challenges and strategies for developing and living Earth Jurisprudence and wild law in Scotland and Europe.

Main outcomes:
– Potential strategies to take wild law forward identified– key ones: education, promotion and implementation of the EC Landscape Directive and a proposal for a new wild law to protect wild areas (see notes below), working as an alliance, petitioning the Scottish Parliament with a proposal.  Others include campaigning, media, training judges, re-activating EJ study groups, ‘Bringing the wilderness to the cities’, organising a Europe wide Wild law weekend.
– Wild law network extended and strengthened
– Wild law weekend in Scotland 2011 proposed.

For more information see UKELA’s Wild Law Specialist interest group –, UKELA E-law (May edition) and Carine’s Wild Law Story

Gaia Partnership EJ, 23-25th July 2010(postponed)
This weekend retreat, led by Ian Mason and Elaine Brook (Gaia Partnership), would have explored ‘Making Earth Law work’ through practical experiential learning in an eco-conscious venue.  Participants would have explored how to live lawfully and in harmony with Nature.  Unfortunately due to difficulty in finding participants, this course did not go ahead. However, Gaia Partnership are still keen to work with Gaia, Resurgence and interested parties to host an EJ immersion course on practical themes relating not just to law, but also to food security, governance and the economy. There is scope to embrace a wider audience including business leaders and local groups to start their own initiatives.

UKELA- Gaia Wild Law weekends
In September 2009 UKELA organised its 5th WL weekend in Magdalen project on an organic farm with camping facilities.  Over 40 people participated in the weekend.  Speakers included Stephan Harding on Gaia Theory and Resilience and participants lead open space workshops on themes such as values and ethics in law, private law and WL, and dialogues with Nature.
For more see David’s excellent summary on

24-26th September 2010 – Mel, David and Cain with support from the UKELA Wild Law group have been organising the 6th UKELA WL event in Lee Valley, Hertfordshire – aspired to be the biggest event yet.  The workshop will explore “Wild Law and Our Habitat: from Resource to Relationship” in a Lee Valley Country Park, one of the last remaining semi-natural habitats in Greater London. It will offer participants the opportunity to learn directly from nature, feed back on current initiatives and be inspired to plan together for the future with speakers: Colin Tudge, biologist and author of The Secret Life of Trees; Mayer Hillman, Senior Fellow Emeritus of the Policy Studies Institute and author of How We Can Save The Planet; and David Hart QC, a leading environmental lawyer.  Approximately 30 people have booked so far with potential for 60 people.
To book please visit:

A session on WL was also held at the recent UKELA Conference [update coming soon].

NB Discussion point about capacity and viability of future events – events are costly, dependent on voluntary and hard work, and challenge of meeting expectations.  Should future events be ‘wilder’ (see separate discussion document).  How to share outcomes with other events?

Schumacher College EJ courses
Since 2008, Schumacher College and Gaia have been collaborating on annual courses on Earth Jurisprudence and community resilience.  An Earth Jurisprudence Retreat on 27th Sept – 1st October 2009 brought together 25 international community leaders to share experiences and strategies addressing urgent ecological and social crises, to explore and distill common principles of EJ and to build a strong alliance working on EJ.

The 3rd EJ course on Whose Land is it Anyway? Empowerment and community of place, 27 September – 1 October 2010, run with Gaia and Landscope, will focus on our relationship with land. Speakers will include Alastair McIntosh (author of Soil and Soul) and Iain MacKinnon (community development and PhD) who will explore why our relationship with the land is also about our relationship with ourselves and in community with one another, and how this is fundamentally a spiritual question.  Sulemana Abudulai from Gaia Foundation will share intercultural experiences from Africa where communities are living in a mutually enhancing way with Nature based on an understanding that human governance derives from the laws of Nature.

Australian EJ conference
The 1st Australia Wild Law conference took place at the University of Adelaide in October 2009.  Liz Rivers gave a keynote address and ran a 1 day workshop after the event on Wild Law and Personal Leadership.  For more information see FoE Adelaide website: and Liz’s report:

The 2nd EJ conference will explore ‘Keeping the Fire: Cultural Integrity, Wild Law and Economic Development’ on 23-25 August at the University of Wollongong, NSW So far it has attracted over 100 people and will involve leading Australian philosophers, as well as videoconference with Cormac Cullinan (keynote) and Liz Rivers (session on Remythologising the Law – the Divine Feminine).  Alessandro/Alex Pelizzon is coordinating this year’s event – and is potentially coming over in September for the UKELA WL and possibly Schumacher events.

World’s People Conference on Climate Change and Rights of Mother Earth
Following the failure of Copenhagen Summit, the Bolivian Embassy organised an alternative conference for communities, NGOs, lawyers, academics, scientists and Governments from around the world, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, coinciding with Mother Earth Day on April 22nd 2010.  Around 35,000 people registered for the conference from 140 countries. Preparatory groups invited people to contribute to 17 main subject areas including structural causes, Rights of Nature and harmony with Nature, indigenous peoples and climate adaptation. A final declaration – the Peoples Agreement – was adopted as was a Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth (see precedents below).  For more information including recorded discussions see and

The Peoples Conference group are aiming to influence policy and have called for the UNFCCC to take into account the Peoples’ Summit ‘Life and Earth saving’ proposals including implementation of the Declaration for Mother Earth Rights and an International Climate and Environment Justice Tribunal in forthcoming negotiations such as in Cancun.  The Bolivian embassy are seeking to build an active movement in the UK and to plan a meeting in October to support and plan for Cancun negotiations.  This provides a real opportunity for the Wild law group to have a presence at the meetings and share an EJ/wild law perspective to influence law and policy.

Rights of Nature conference, Chito, Ecuador – August
Alex and Peter from Australian WL Conference will be attending the gathering on rights of nature, to be held in Chito, Ecuador at the end of August.  More information coming soon.

About the author

Carine Nadal'