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Guardians of the Forest: Where Do Trees Stand Now?

Wednesday 3 March 2021, 4-5.30pm

Since the seminal publication of Christopher Stone’s 1972 book “Should Trees have Standing?”, the debate on the legal and moral standing of trees, the rights of trees in particular, has grown exponentially. The question as to where trees stand today is not only of legal concern, however. The standing of trees is also a political issue given intense cross-national debates around forest governance, land justice, phytodemocracy and other eco-political ideas deeply embedded in a growing understanding of how trees and plants co-operate, communicate and co-exist in forest systems. How can governance in general be informed by forest and tree knowledge? What can the political sphere learn from how trees co-exist? This presentation will launch the Guardians of the Forest global online course, co-curated by Nicolas Salazar Sutil and Advaya Initiative. Guardians of the Forest brings together local community action on forest guardianship across the globe to better understand how grassroots movements steeped in indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge, can provide a platform for trees to have a say in an earth justice discourse. The presentation will focus on the vital role played by somatic and cultural practices in the transmission of forest learnings and values central to a connected form of earth guardianship and environmental activism.


Cath Scott, School of Earth & Environment – University of Leeds and Director of LEAF

Katy Wright, Deputy Director, Bauman Institute


More info: Maria Rovisco, Bauman Institute