“Up to now only a very limited number of species have legal rights, such as species protected under the endangered species act, but you have to be almost extinct before you get to that point.”
Steve Jones, one of the co-founders of the Boulder Rights of Nature Film Festival says that Rights of Nature is a legal term that needs to have broader reach. The film festival is a natural extension of the work of the Boulder Rights of Nature Group “we wanted to show people that rights of nature extends to all of us, it extends to indigenous peoples…the initial rights of nature in the western hemisphere is when the indigenous people of Ecuador marched to the state capitol to demand their traditional rights to block mining and deforestation and other activities that were destroying their environment.”
Jones says that last year’s inaugural Boulder Rights of Nature Film Festival, attracted 525 participants and created a buzz that resonated around the world. After watching the heartbreaking orangutan-rescue film, “Green,” festival patrons donated nearly $10,000 to support recovery and release of orphaned and injured orangutans in Sumatra.
This year’s festival features documentaries on permaculture, wild elephants, the sagebrush sea, Thomas Berry, and the complexity of the world’s dwindling water systems.
Yan Chun Su, another co-founder of the Boulder Rights of Nature Film Festival says that Rights of Nature is both a legal term and a mindset “I’m hoping that some of these films will inspire people to feel that way, that other species have the right to be here as well.”
The second Boulder Rights of Nature Film Festival is happening from November 5th through 8th with film screenings at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder.
The festival will include free weekend workshops on prairie dog ecology, honeybees, and greater sage-grouse. Proceeds and donations from the festival will support wildlife conservation and protection in Boulder County and beyond.