Rivers with Rights | Joseph Bonasia and Gary Robbins

Joseph Bonasia and Gary Robbins have a unique approach to protecting our environment: they are working to secure legal rights for rivers and other bodies of water in Florida.  Securing the “rights of nature” would give citizens and municipalities the authority to sue polluters on behalf of natural resources and the people who share them. Joe and Gary emphasize that as humans, we are not separate from nature, but an interdependent part of global ecosystems. They want our legal system to reflect that interdependence. (30m 32s)

Joseph’s Bio

Joseph Bonasia is a retired teacher. He is now Southwest Regional Director for Florida Rights of Nature Network, Inc., which works on the county and state levels to secure legal recognition for ecosystems’ rights to exist, flourish, and evolve naturally. He also serves as Education Director for Citizens’ Climate Lobby of Fort Myers, Florida, educating the public about critical carbon fee and divided programs to drawdown greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally for CCL, he serves as legislative liaison to Florida Senator Rick Scott’s office .As a Community Coordinator of the Pachamama Alliance of Southwest Florida, he helps facilitate Awakening the Dreamer seminars.

Gary’s Bio

Gary Robbins, born into the Kettle Moraine landscape of SE Wisconsin, and shaped also by the rolling farmland hills of SW Wisconsin, is a man who has always sought to be in “Right Relationship” with others and the Earth as well. In his retirement years he is finding that the work of Pachamama Alliance, the Earth Charter and the Rights of Nature are beautiful expressions of how mankind can, and must, finally learn to honor Mother Nature (Pachamama), discover ways to bolster their own spiritual well-being, and to create a just social system that honors “All our Relations.” He is the co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance SWFL, founding member of the Climate Action Fund, and Vice-President of Lee County Rights of Nature, Inc.

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