27 de febrero de 2023

UN Water 2023 side event – Rights for rivers and environmental protection

The Environmental Law Department of the Universidad Externado de Colombia is pleased to invite you to participate in its side event “Rights for rivers and environmental protection”, a virtual event included in the general program of side events led by institutions specially accredited by the United Nations in the framework of the United Nations Water Conference 2023.

One of the main objectives of the conference is to develop the agenda for water. The side events aim to consolidate dialogue scenarios where participants can share knowledge and solutions to accelerate the implementation of SDG 6, identify new and emerging issues, exchange national and local experiences and practices, and showcase voluntary commitments to the water action agenda.

Organizing entities

Department of Environmental Law (Universidad Externado, Colombia).
Water, Law and Environment Research Group – AGUDEMA (University of Zaragoza, Spain).

This academic event to be held in cooperation with the University of Zaragoza, is especially relevant in our context because the recognition of rights over rivers is one of the environmental legal issues that has generated the greatest debate and curiosity in the international environmental legal community.

The different visions regarding the legal means necessary to make the protection of the environment a reality occur in a scenario of environmental crisis on a global scale, evidenced by phenomena such as climate change, water pollution, illegal wildlife trade , desertification of soils, the disappearance of natural spaces of ecosystem relevance,  and species of flora and fauna, among other multiple circumstances that show the continuous effects to which the natural environment is subjected.

Hence the need to analyze in detail the theoretical, dogmatic and legal argumentation of those who are in favor of this recognition and those who criticize this position, and to study the cases of recognition of this type of rights, in order to understand its scope, characteristics and foundation, and thus know the opportunities and weaknesses of the proposal in order to build adequate solutions to address the serious damages generated to the water resources, and develop actions aimed at avoiding future effects.

Colombia and Spain have already recognized rights to various water bodies, the experience of these countries can be useful to identify the benefits, difficulties, and opportunities that this type of decision entails. This side event will be based on the experience of these countries addressing other cases on a global scale to analyze if this legal transformation can be useful to achieve the objectives of the Water Action Agenda.

To discuss subjects related to the state of the art, main advances and challenges regarding the protection of rivers and the application of new legal concepts that promote environmental conservation based on classic legal concepts such as “subject of rights”.

To that end, the event will be attended by national and international interdisciplinary experts (Colombia and Spain), who will contribute from this perspective to the development of the Water Action Agenda.

People interested in water care, researchers in water law, environmental law, international law, environmental sciences, social sciences and humanities.

The speakers at this side event are professors and researchers from the Universidad Externado de Colombia who have more than 20 years of experience and publications on the proposed topic. The professors of the University of Zaragoza – Agudema, have been conducting studies related to the legal regime of water and natural resources since 2002.

The group of speakers is mainly made up of women and young people.

Virtual session through zoom platform (10 a.m – 11:10 a.m)
Date: March 23th , 2023
Time: 10:00 a.m – 11:10 a.m. (Bogota, New York) 4:00 p.m – 5:10 p.m. (Zaragoza)

Event presentation María del Pilar García 
Externado University of Colombia
Possibilities for the defense of nature as a subject of rights in international tribunals.Sergio Salinas
University of Zaragoza, Spain
The Mar Menor, (Murcia, Spain) is a legal entity.Antonio Embid Irujo
University of Zaragoza, Spain
Effectiveness regarding the recognition of river rights in ColombiaMaría del Pilar García
Externado University of Colombia
The right of rivers versus land use planning Gloria Lucía Álvarez
Externado University of Colombia
Incidences of citizen participation in the judicial declaration of nature as a subject of rights.Jorge Iván Hurtado
Externado University of Colombia
The role of the Colombian Procuraduría in the monitoring of judicial decisions related to the recognition of river rightsJuliana Hurtado
Externado University of Colombia
Rights of nature: Rivers with representation to litigate in the courtsNicole Walteros
Externado University of Colombia
Indigenous worldview. Positive aspects related to the expansion of the legal concept of juridical personality.Juan Diego Rodríguez
Externado University of Colombia
session conclusions  
The organizing entities reserve the right to modify the academic staff in order to guarantee the highest quality of the event.

Click HERE to read more about the Environmental Law Department’s participation at the UN Water Conference New York- 2023

Click HERE for more information about the agenda of the UN Water Conference New York- 2023

To consult some of our publications on the rights of nature:

  • Recognition of nature and their components as subjects of rights. Click Here
  • Rights of nature. History and current trends. Click Here
  • Animal rights. From reification to zoopolitics. Click Here

Logo obtained from: