The Blue Frontiers Podcast

Granting Legal Personhood to Natural Systems: Kara Dentice - Episode 17

June 21, 2018

In this episode, Kara Dentice, a Maori descendant from Te Ureeera, speaks with our Seavangelesse, Nathalie Mezza-Garcia, about granting legal personhood to natural systems. Kara has been involved in two legal processes in New Zealand that gave legal personhood to the Whanganui river and the Te Urewera national park. In this talk, Kara explains why we should change our relation with the environment, going from an extractivist logic, to a logic of coexistence.



0:55 Introduction of Kara Dentice

1:55 A rooster interrupts Kara and Nathalie

2:18 Reframing the relation with the environment to coexistence

4:50  The placenta and mother earth in Maori culture

7:03 The Maoris, land, language and identity

9:55 Taxing farmers for the CO2 emissions of farming cows

11:15 Kara is sweating

11:35 Co-governance of natural resources

12:28 Guanagui River and Te urewera. A river and a national park that owns itself

14:14 Law is nothing but a piece of paper

14:57 Governments want to control

17:06 Can I sue a river that owns itself?

16:50 Can a river sue me?

22:55 Deterritorialization of personal identities

24:30 Kara’s relation with Te ure wera and his family’s tribes

28:30 Automatic translators

29:05 Keeping an indigenous culture alive

33:25 The Mana

32:25 The film Moana and its translations

34:39 Granting legal personhood to natural systems

43:20 Changing our relation with the environment

49:50 Closing




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