Weber State University
The poster for the documentary "The Rights of Nature."

OGDEN — International environmental experts and a documentary film will introduce audiences to a movement called “The Rights of Nature,” which advocates for granting legal status to the land, during various presentations and discussions Feb. 19 through 22 at Weber State University.

All events are free and open to the public.

Weber State English professor Hal Crimmel and WSU alumnus and filmmaker Isaac Goeckeritz created the documentary “The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement.” The film, shot in Ecuador, New Zealand and Santa Monica, California, focuses on a growing environmental initiative where natural areas are given legal rights that can be enforced by people, governments and communities.

“Nature often has legal rights as codified in environmental laws, but granting nature legal personhood is a different story,” Crimmel said in a statement. “The main difference is that a Rights of Nature framework typically grants legal personhood status to nature, meaning that a river, for instance, would have the same rights as a person.”

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Public screenings of the documentary will be held Tuesday, Feb. 19, at noon in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater, and Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Hurst Center Dumke Legacy Hall.

In addition to film screenings, discussions about the Rights of Nature will take place throughout the week of Feb. 19 through 22. International guests include Chris Finlayson, former New Zealand attorney general and minister for treaty of Waitangi negotiations, and Kirsti Luke, chief executive of Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua, Ngai Tuhoe’s Tribal Authority, New Zealand.

For a complete list of the discussions, visit