New Legal Perspectives:
The Synergy of Law and Science to
Protect the Rights of Nature

September 14, 2023

8:30 Registration - coffee and pastries available
9:00 Welcome
9:15 – 10:45

Panel One

Moderator: Rebecca Wisch
Associate Editor, Animal Legal & Historical Center

Panelist 1: Angie Vega
Animal Law Fellow, Michigan State University Animal Law Program

Presentation: Rights of Nature: Bridging the gap with law to protect the environment

Panelist 2: Dr. Phoebe Lehmann Zarnetske
Associate Professor of spatial and community ecology at the MSU Department of Integrative Biology and the Director of the Institute for Biodiversity, Ecology, Evolution, and Macrosystems

Presentation: Rights of Nature in the context of climate change and biodiversity

10:45 – 11:00 Break (Coffee, tea, and cookies)
11:00 – 12:30

Panel Two

Moderator: Emily Giedzinski
J.D. Candidate at Michigan State University

Panelist 3: Dr. Carlos Contreras
Visiting Fellow, Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School

Presentation: From Ecosystems to Animals: Examining Three Watershed Cases and Bridging the Rights of Nature and its Inhabitants

Panelist 4: Dr. Jerry Urquhart
Associate Professor Lyman Briggs College and Fisheries and Wildlife

Presentation: Biodiversity and the Rights of Nature – Impressions of a Tropical Biologist

12:30 – 1:15 Lunch: Vegan Mexican from Taqueria el Chaparrito
1:15 – 2:45

Panel Three

Moderator: Anne M. Choike
Associate Clinical Professor; Director of the Equitable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Law Clinic

Panelist 5: Maria Mercedes Sanchez
Coordinator of the Harmony with Nature Program at the United Nations

Presentation: The United Nations Harmony with Nature Programme: A Non-Anthropocentric Paradigm

Panelist 6: Dr. Nichole Keway Biber
Tribal citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and Leader of the Wolf/Wildlife Preservation Team of the Anishinabek Caucus in Michigan

Presentation: Gidanawendimin: We are All Related

2:45 – 3:00 Break (coffee and tea)
3:00 – 4:30

Panel Four

Moderator: Lauren Duguid
J.D. Candidate & President, MSU Student Animal Legal Defense Fund Chapter

Panelist 7: Macarena Montes
Visiting Fellow, Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard Law School

Presentation: Animal Rights and the Rights of Nature: The Case of Woolly Monkey Estrellita

Panelist 8: David Favre
MSU Professor of Property Law, Animal Law, and International Environmental Law

Presentation: Can Nature Have Legal Rights?

4:30 Final remarks

Agenda (PDF)