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The programme opens with the presentation of the publication Rights of Nature. Case Studies from Six Continents at Ocean Space in Venice. This compendium of rights-of-nature implementations worldwide pays special attention to the relationship between different indigenous worldviews and various legal tactics. Rights of Nature was commissioned by the Embassy of the North Sea.

The second part of the programme is a research workshop on a Zoöp in Venice, in which the Zoöp approach is applied to Ocean Space and the dynamic surroundings of Venice and the Lagoon. The capstone of the programme is the public launch, in the Dutch Pavilion, of the Zoöp Manifesto and the legal documentation of the Zoöp model.

Follow the live stream of the launch of Rights of Nature and the Zoöp model at on 23 september from  09.45 - 11.15 CET

The public launch of the Zoöp legal framework can be witnessed at on 24 september from  15.30 - 16.00 CET

 Jessica den Outer, (NL, legal expert, adviser and co-author of the Rights of Nature compendium), Laura Burgers, (NL, legal expert, co-author of the Rights of Nature compendium),  Daphina Misiedjan (NL, Assistant Professor at International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam), Shrishtee Bajpai (BD, Rights of Nature activist and researcher), Justin Sobion (NZ,  PhD candidate Environmental Law, Auckland University)  Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, (NL, researcher at Het Nieuwe Instituut, initiator of the Zoöp project), and Harpo ’t Hart (NL, Embassy of the North Sea).

For the full programme, see below.

Rights of Nature

The Rights of Nature is the name for the rapidly developing movement promoting the implementation of legal status for natural, non-human entities. It is a growing practice of urgent legal responses to the climate catastrophe as well as a vehicle for the emancipation of different indigenous cultural practices in various jurisdictions. More than 400 cases of Rights of Nature have been formally implemented in local and national jurisdictions all over the world. In Europe, whose cultures gave rise to the narrative of separation between humans and nature, no formal legal implementations of Rights of Nature have yet taken place, but there is a fast-growing movement of lawyers and activists who make this their aim.

The Zoöp model is designed to allow organisations to collaborate with (representatives of) non-human life and to realise the principles and effects of Rights of Nature within their own operational sphere. Zoöps work towards the realisation of a regenerative economy.

The Zoöp model can complement and anticipate the slow and thorny development of new legislation and, importantly, it can be implemented in situations where legislative reform will not or cannot take place.

Rights of Nature: Compendium and Zoöp

23 September / 09:45 / Ocean Space

The Embassy of the North Sea has commissioned climate-law experts Laura Burgers and Jessica den Outer to realise the first edition of the compendium Rights of Nature.
On the occasion of its launch, Daphina Misiedjan (NL), Jessica den Outer (NL), Laura Burgers (NL), Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (NL), Shrishtee Bajpai (BD) and Justin Sobion (NZ) discuss the relationship between different indigenous worldviews and their tactics for implementing legal status for non-human life. The discussion is moderated by Harpo ’t Hart (NL).


Research: Zoöp in Venice

23 & 24 September / Ocean Space

In collaboration with TBA21–Academy’s Ocean Space and We Are Here Venice, a public research programme makes a baseline assessment for a Zoöp in Venice. The research follows the steps of the Zoönomic Year Cycle that Zoöps apply in order to transform their operation into a practice that supports the quality of life of their multispecies community.
The sessions will lead to the identification of possible interventions to improve the health of the Zoöp in Venice. These will be further studied and developed by students of Design Academy Eindhoven over the following months.

Founding Zoöps

24 September / 15:30 / Dutch Pavilion

The public launch of the Zoöp Manifesto and the Zoöp legal documentation needed to officially establish a Zoöp.