Ordinance by the Second Class Township of , County,
Pennsylvania, Acknowledging the Rights of Natural Communities and
Ecosystems and Establishing a System of Enforcing and Protecting Those
Against Corporations and Other Business Entities
Section 1. Name. The name of this Ordinance shall be The Rights of Nature Ordinance.
Section 2. Authority. This
Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the authority granted to
Township by all relevant state and federal Constitutions and
laws, including, but not limited to, the following:
founding documents of the United States, which recognize that
governments are created to secure and protect inalienable and
Constitution of the United States, Article IV, §4, which requires the
United States to guarantee a Republican Form of Government;
Constitution of Pennsylvania, Art. 1, § 2, which provides that all
power is inherent in the people, and that all free governments are
founded on the peoples authority and instituted for their peace,
safety, and happiness;
The Constitution of Pennsylvania, Art. 1, §27, which recognizes that Pennsylvanians are trustees of the natural world;
general authority granted by the Constitution of Pennsylvania and the
Second Class Township Code to make and adopt all such ordinances,
bylaws, rules, and regulations as may be deemed expedient or necessary
for the proper management, care, and control of Township and
its finances and the maintenance of the health, safety, peace, good
government, and welfare of ________Township;
Statutes, Tit. 53, Municipal and Quasi-Municipal Corporations, §66506,
which authorizes Township to enact ordinances necessary
for the proper management, care, and control of the Township and its
finances and the maintenance of peace, good government, health, and
welfare of the Township.
Section 3. Findings and General Purpose. The Township Board of Supervisors recognizes that:
(1) Governments are created to secure and protect inalienable and fundamental rights;
(2) People and their communities are trustees of nature, and communities of nature and ecosystems form part of the natural trust;
(3) It is well-settled law that trustees are required to protect and preserve the trust,
(4) As trustees, people and communities are obligated to protect and preserve natural communities and ecosystems;
communities and ecosystems are currently being destroyed, degraded, and
weakened by corporations and other business entities;
empower those corporations and other business entities through the
bestowal of constitutional rights and powers upon them;
environmental regulatory system merely regulates how quickly natural
communities and ecosystems will be destroyed and degraded;
environmental regulatory system has failed to protect and preserve
natural communities and ecosystems because regulations focus solely on
minimizing the adverse environmental impacts resulting from certain
environmental regulatory system fails to protect and preserve natural
communities and ecosystems because it treats those communities and
systems as property;
and validation of the environmental regulatory system thus fails to
satisfy the duties of humans and communities to be trustees of natural
communities and ecosystems;
by humans and communities that natural communities and ecosystems have
fundamental and inalienable rights is necessary to satisfy the
obligation and duty of people and communities as trustees;
a process for the legal enforcement of those fundamental and
inalienable rights by people and communities is necessary to fulfill
peoples role as trustees for natural communities and ecosystems.
Section 4. Specific Purpose. The
specific purpose of this Ordinance is to acknowledge the inalienable,
fundamental rights of nature, and establish an enforcement system
whereby people and communities can protect and vindicate the rights of
nature against actions taken by corporations and other business
Section 5. Statement of Law.
Natural communities and ecosystems possess inalienable and fundamental
rights to exist and prosper, and no corporation or business entity or
persons acting in corporate or business capacities shall deny those
rights, or interfere with the vitality or functioning of those
communities or ecosystems.
Section 6. Statement of Law.
Every living creature within the Township of ____________possesses an
inalienable and fundamental right to be an integral part of a community
of nature and ecosystem, and no corporation or business entity shall
deprive or deny living creatures that right.
Section 7. Statement of Law.
The Township Board of Supervisors shall not make or enforce any law
which shall abridge the rights of natural communities and ecosystems.
Section 8. Statement of Law.
The enumeration in this Ordinance, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by natural communities,
living creatures, and ecosystems within the Township of
Section 9. Enforcement.
When this Ordinance or the underlying rights recognized by this
Ordinance are violated, it shall be the duty of the Board of
Supervisors of the Township of _____________to file an enforcement
action against any corporation, business entity, or persons acting in
corporate or business capacities. Such action shall seek to protect,
preserve, and vindicate the rights of nature as recognized by this
Ordinance. Any natural person shall also have the authority to file an
action in the appropriate judicial forum against any corporation,
business entity, or persons acting in corporate or business capacities,
which has violated, is violating, or threatens to violate, the rights
of animals or ecosystems within Township as outlined by
this Ordinance. Protecting, preserving, and vindicating the rights
acknowledged in this Ordinance shall include seeking both punitive and
compensatory damages against a corporation, business entity, and/or
managers of those entities, under the authority of state and federal
civil rights statutes.
Section 10. Enforcement.
For purposes of the enforcement of the rights acknowledged in this
Ordinance, natural communities and ecosystems shall be considered
persons within 42 U.S.C. §1983 and other federal and state laws
adopted to vindicate and enforce rights.
Section 11. Severability.
The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any section, clause,
sentence, part, or provision of the Ordinance shall be held illegal,
invalid, or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction,
such decision of the court shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any
of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences, parts, or provisions of
this Ordinance. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Board of
Supervisors of Township that this Ordinance would have been
adopted if such illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional section, clause,
sentence, part, or provision had not been included herein.
Section 12. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall take effect five days after enactment by the Board of Supervisors of Township.