‘One Ocean’ Symposium

Saturday 24 August 2019, 9am – 5pm (EDT)
Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States

Please join us for thought-provoking presentations and discussions with delegates, academics, policy makers and NGOs, exploring key issues for the United Nations’ proposed treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

See the full details on the ‘One Ocean’ Symposium page or reserve your place via Eventbrite.

Past Events


In October 2018, the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) is hosting “RONA18” – a week of events that explore and promote the Rights of Nature. Everyone’s invited to join us. For more information please scroll down or email:

  • Tuesday 23 October – Evening event: Public lecture “Rights of Nature and Legal Personhood for Ecosystems: developments around the world, Old Museum Building, Brisbane
  • Wednesday 24 October – One day community workshop “Rights of Nature and Legal Personhood for Ecosystems”, Griffith Ecocentre, Brisbane
  • Wednesday 24 October – Evening event: Australian Launch of ELGA, the International Ecological Law and Governance Association, Springhill Reservoirs, Brisbane
  • Thursday 25 + Friday 26 October – 2 Day International Symposium “Exploring our legal relationship with the living world: Caring for Country, Rights of Nature and Legal Personhood for Nature”, Griffith Ecocentre, Brisbane
  • Saturday 27 October – 1 Day Peoples Tribunal for the Rights of Nature, Banco Court, Brisbane
  • Saturday 27 October – Live streaming of the RONA Peoples Tribunal in locations around Australia, hosted by AELA partners and participants in the RONA18 National Arts Fiesta
  • Monday 22 – Monday 28 October – RONA18 National Arts Exhibition, Springhill Terrace, Brisbane

Tuesday 23 October 2018 – Evening event: 6pm – 7.30pm

Public lecture: ‘Rights of Nature and Legal Personhood for Ecosystems: developments from around the world’

Old Museum Building, 480 Gregory Terrace, Brisbane, 4006 (map)

Register here [registrations opening soon]

Everyone’s invited to join us for a lively and fascinating evening of talks, which provide an update about the growing global movement to recognise the legal rights of nature. In the USA, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, India and New Zealand, new laws and court cases are recognising the rights of ecosystems to exist, thrive and evolve. What impacts might these laws have? What happens when forests and rivers own themselves? Could Rights of Nature laws ever exist in Australia?

Speakers include:

  • Hugo Echeverria – Lawyer, Ecuador. Hugo has led many Rights of Nature cases in Ecuador, which have been made possible since 2008’s Constitutional Reform that saw the Rights of Nature enshrined in Ecuador’s National Constitution
  • Katy Gwiazdon, Executive Director, Center for Environmental Ethics and Law, USA
  • Dr Michelle Maloney, National Convenor, Australian Earth Laws Alliance

Wednesday 24 October 2018 – 1 Day Community Workshop – ‘Rights of Nature and Legal Personhood for Ecosystems’

Griffith Ecocentre, Griffith University, Nathan Campus (map)

Register here [registrations opening soon]

AELA is hosting a free workshop for the growing number of community organisations around Australia who are interested in the innovative legal approaches being used in New Zealand, the USA, Ecuador, Bolivia, India and Colombia. These legal approaches are transforming the way that people are thinking about and managing the environment. The community meeting will include presentations by Rights of Nature experts from Australia and overseas, and will include time to discuss community issues and strategies. Community representatives are attending from Brisbane, North Queensland, Northern NSW, the Blue Mountains, Hobart, Margaret River (WA), Lake Tyers (Victoria), Bathurst and other places around Australia.

More details will be available soon – to reserve your place, please email:

Wednesday 24 October 2018 – Evening Event: 6pm-8pm
Australian Launch of the International Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA)

Spring Hill Reservoirs, Spring Hill, Brisbane (map)

Register here [registrations opening soon]

AELA is pleased to be co-hosting the Australian Launch of ELGA – the Ecological Law & Governance Association. Please join us for an evening of drinks, canapes and fascinating talks.

Guest speakers include:

  • Professor Klaus Bosselmann – University of Auckland, New Zealand and Co-Founder of ELGA
  • The Hon. Justice Brian Preston – Chief Judge of the NSW Land and Environment Court
  • Katy Gwiazdon, Executive Director, Center for Environmental Ethics and Law, USA and Co-Founder of ELGA

ELGA is a new international network of academics, professionals and organisations committed to tackling the causes, and not just the symptoms, of global environmental degradation. ELGA advocates for an expansion of existing law and practice, so that it encompasses truly ecological thinking and practice.

For more information:

Thursday 25 + Friday 26 October 2018 – International Symposium:
Exploring our legal relationship with the living world: Caring for Country, Rights of Nature and Legal Personhood for Nature

Griffith Ecocentre, Griffith University, Nathan Campus (map)

Register here [registrations opening soon]

Download the symposium program.

This 2 Day Symposium features international and national speakers from the judiciary, legal profession, academia and First Nations communities. Speakers include the following:

  • The Hon. Justice Brian Preston – Chief Judge of the NSW Land and Environment Court
  • Associate Adjunct Professor Mary Graham – University of Queensland and Kombu-merri First Nations Peoples
  • Professor Irene Watson – Professor of Law and Pro Vice Chancellor Aboriginal Leadership and Strategy, , University of South Australia Business School. Professor Watson belongs to the Tanganekald, Meintangk Boandik First Nations Peoples, of the Coorong and the south east of South Australia (via internet)
  • Cormac Cullinan – South African Lawyer, author of Wild Law and Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
  • Professor Klaus Bosselmann – University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Professor Jacinta Ruru – Otago University Law School and Co-Director of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, New Zealand’s Maori Centre of Research Excellence. Jacinta is Māori, of Raukawa, Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāti Maniapoto descent.
  • Mari Margil, Attorney and International Programs, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) – (via internet)
  • Katy Gwiazdon, Executive Director, Center for Environmental Ethics and Law, USA
  • Dr Anne Poelina – Managing Director of Madjulla Inc.; a Nyikina Traditional Custodian from the Mardoowarra, Lower Fitzroy River in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia; and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with Notre Dame University
  • Hugo Echeverria – Lawyer, Ecuador
  • Dr Virginia Marshall, Australian National University and author of “Overturning Aqua Nullius”
  • Dr Geoff Garver – McGill University, Canada (via internet)
  • Ross Williams – Bindal/Juru First Nations Peoples
  • Dr Erin O’Donnell – Melbourne Law School, Australia
  • Valentine Nona – Djiru First Nations Peoples

Saturday 27th October 2018 – Rights of Nature Australia (RONA) Peoples’ Tribunal

Banco Court, Level 3, QEII Courts of Law Complex, 415 George Street, Brisbane (map)

Register here [registrations opening soon]

Join AELA for an important one day Public Hearing, which will explore how we can create ecologically sustainable food systems in Australia. The hearing will include First Nations Peoples, scientists, lawyers and community groups. Read more about the Tibunal.

The RONA Tribunal is a Regional Chamber of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal and is the only public forum in Australia for hearing ecological justice. The Tribunal has been created to enable people to share their concerns about the destruction of the environment, articulate their vision for ecological justice and law reform, and work collectively to develop their ideas for building an Earth centred society.

The Tribunal holds Public Inquiries and hears Ecological Justice Cases, brought on behalf of flora, fauna, ecosystems, bioregions and local communities around Australia. As a ‘citizen’s tribunal’ the RONA Peoples Tribunal is not a government endorsed activity nor do any of its activities, decisions or recommendations have the force of government-sanctioned law. A Tribunal Panel made up of First Nations Peoples, lawyers, community representatives and eminent scientists, hear Inquiries and Cases, and make recommendations for restorative justice, innovative law reform and socio-political reforms that will Care for Country and protect the Rights of Nature.

22 – 28th October – RONA18 – Australia’s Bi-Annual Arts Celebration of the Rights of Nature

RONA18 is AELA’s major Earth Arts Program this year, and has been designed to promote cultural engagement with the Rights of Nature movement, and to celebrate the Rights of Nature Australia (RONA) Peoples Tribunal, which is being held on Saturday 27th October 2018 in Brisbane. AELA’s intention is to blend the creative re-interpretation of environmental governance with cultural responses to the rights of the natural world to exist, thrive and evolve.

  • National Exhibition – 22-28th October, Spring Hill Reservoirs, Brisbane. Evening events will be held at the National Exhibition on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 October 2018.
  • Regional Responses will be hosted throughout Australia, during October, and will be featured on the Earth Arts website
  • RONA18 Virtual Gallery – International artists and creatives can join the celebration by sharing their work on AELA’s “Virtual Gallery” – find out more here.

More information

For further information about any of the upcoming RONA18 events, please contact: