This River Is Officially Recognised As A Human Citizen
This is not your usual daily kind of news, but it definitely is a milestone for the humans’ way of protecting our planet.
You’ve probably never heard of the Whanganui River of New Zealand North Island. However, this river obtained something that even certain people are fighting for: it became the first river on the planet that has the same rights as a human being.
This crazy, yet incredible event happened thanks to the locals. A small group of the Maori people (also known as Whanganui Iwi) has been fighting for the river for nearly two centuries! Ever since the 1870s, these outstanding humans have made efforts so that their unique relationship with the Whanganui River would be recognized by the law.
The bill, which was issued this Wednesday by the officials, offers the river the same rights, liabilities and duties that every other local has. Furthermore, the river can now be represented in court.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson declared:
“I know the initial inclination of some people will say it’s pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality. But it’s no stranger than family trusts, or companies or incorporated societies.”
When it comes to finances, $56 million will be transfered to the settlement of the site, while $21 million will go to a health and wellbeing fund.