New Zealand passed a bill recognizing the Whanganui River as a legal entity. A world first.
Ruling means the river will be entitled to representation in court proceedings.
The New Zealand Parliament passed the bill making it the first natural resource to be given a legal personality.
I know the initial inclination of some people will say it's pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality, " said New Zealand's Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson. "But it is no stranger than family trusts, or companies or incorporated societies."
With extracts from BBC and Daily Mail
Good to think about the possibility of legal status for rivers here. Locally the Kettle River was given Heritage Status years ago, but Heritage Status and the recent Kettle River Watershed Management Plan, have failed to protect the Kettle River system from past, present and future threats.
A few days later:
An Indian Court, acknowledging the New Zealand action, has given similar protection to the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, "meaning that if anyone harms or pollutes either river, the law would view it as no different from harming a person." See more: