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Nature Advocacy and the Indigenous Symbol

Mihnea Tanasescu

Environmental Values 24 (2015): 105-122. doi: 10.3197/096327115X14183182353863


In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in history to grant constitutional rights to nature. What is termed the indigenous symbol played a significant role in this event. The rights of nature are used as an occasion to interrogate the indigenous symbol in order to reveal what it does, as opposed to what it says. The account of the rights of nature originating in indigenous sensibilities is presented, and subsequently critiqued. The argument makes use of the notion of representative claim to show the strategic construction of indigeneity as ecologically harmonious. An alternative genesis of the rights of nature is presented. It is further showed that the indigenous symbol is employed as a veneer of moral authority hiding the strategic machinations of representative politics.


Political ecology, nature rights, indigeneity

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: The Dying Planet Index: Life, Death and Man’s Domination of Nature. Clive L. Spash

The Problem of Inclusion in Deliberative Environmental Valuation. Andrés Vargas, Alex Lo, Michael Howes, Nicholas Rohde

Decolonising Dignity for Inclusive Democracy.Christine J. Winter

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