One of the main goals of the project is to transform the right to private property

into Nature’s property and right over its own life


All legal actions are Nature-oriented, land-protective

and designed to prevent the treatment of Nature as mere commodity on the long-term basis.

Nature is considered as a major stakeholder in all legal decisions.

Dura lex, sed lex,

“The law is harsh but it is the law”, basic principle of any legal system, including natural law.


There is no national legislation that protects the decisions of landowners to assign their land to conservation or ecological restoration. Hence the need to develop a custom-fit and workable legal programme for the project, responding to its ethical needs, based on international, comparative and national law.  As a result of the 14 years of experience of legal research and management, it includes:


I. Consolidation of the legal base:

  1. Legal status of land: private property, all laws and legal requirements, relevant to private property, apply. Provide for a legal holistic scheme that embraces all aspects of the future life of the area. Acquiring land in private property was the primordial and crucial step towards its protection. When you buy land you also buy the right to protect it. The efficiency is increased by the fact that land in private property is protected by the present national legislation from use by non-owners. The property was bought for “non-use”;

  2. Strict nature reserve, unharmed nature conservation. Law always reflects dominant ethics, in this case Nature is not only ethical, but also legal guide;

  3. Registered under national Law 19.300 “The Environmental Framework Law” (Ley de bases de Medio Ambiente), which just authorises private protected areas.

  4. Applying national regulations on fauna - for protection of local fauna, especially large predators.


  1. II.A practical test ground for the Rights of Nature, applied within a restricted territory, surrounded by a social institutional environment, hostile to this concept, as well as to ecological restoration and conservation:

  2. Personhood of nature;

  3. Nature as subject of law, rights of Nature as object of legal protection, collective rights of biocenose;

  4. Right to personal responsibility (protect land you have been trusted with);

  5. Restoration of Nature’s rights, which were badly abused in the area as from the first part of the XX century, and of legal principles valuing live matter not possessions;

  6. Emphasizing the value of Natural Law;

  7. Developing legal means to be responsible for land and nature.


  1. III.Direct application of international law:

The national legal system allows for direct application of international law (self-executing international treaties). That is also the legal philosophy of the project. Therefore some concepts and norms of international environmental and information law are used in the project.  The problems the project is addressing are global (nature is destroyed in the same way globally), and as the era of globalisation is over, it is important to preserve the legal norms, developed to cover global problems.  Relevant provisions of and definitions in international environmental agreements are applied to the project and it’s area, based on personal long-term experience with these agreements. A couple of examples:


  1. If it were classified under IUCN, it would have been : “Category Ia: Strict Nature Reserve:

Protected areas that are strictly set aside to protect biodiversity and also possibly geological/geomorphological features, where human visitation, use and impacts are strictly controlled and limited to ensure protection of the conservation values. Such protected areas can serve as indispensable reference areas for scientific research and monitoring.”


  1. Private road: follows the rules of the The Statutory Framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (UNESCO):

“Art. 4: It should include functions, through appropriate zonation, recognizing: ... a buffer zone or zones clearly identified and surrounding or contiguous to the core area or areas, where only activities compatible with the conservation objectives can take place. Art. 7: Provisions should be made for ... mechanisms to manage human use and activities in the buffer zone or zones”.

Legal aspects of land protection

  1. VII.Legal arrangements for reforestation:

As the project is privilege forest-based restoration, legal arrangements for reforestation are essential.

These legal arrangements include implementation of national forest law documents (.pdf), in particular the Law on the recovery of native forest and forest development (Ley sobre recuperación de bosque nativo y fomento forestal 20.283), and relevant management agreements with the National forestry corporation (Conaf), as well as some other legal and guidance instruments, such as Decreto Ley Nº656, Decreto Ley Nº701, National strategy on biodiversity, etc.


VIII. Assessment of effectiveness of legal measures and safeguards:

Assessing effectiveness of legal measures for long term protection, in our ever volatile world, is an effectiveness boosting measure. We can't give trees planted false hope, we need to ensure legal responsibility to trees planted and ecosystems restored.  The case study.


IX. Legal watch, local legal issues:

As the project is partly an experiment of creating a zone of rights of nature in a social environment that is hostile to the concept, using legal means of the time and lessons from various legislations and epochs, in particular ensuring the right to privacy of Nature is essential,  monitoring of cases of exposure of private land to public domain.

  1. IV.Comparative law:

The national federal legislation is a civil (statutory) legal system. The comparative law appraisals are, therefore, better adapted to similar legal systems, in order to identify suitable legal options.

Thus, the solutions leading the choices for issues such as:

  1. Private protection of nature vs. public protection of nature;

  2. Conservation easements vs. land stewardship and/or real rights;

  3. Identification of BLP (best legal practices);

  4. Restoration law vs. conservation law;

  5. Regulations for nature protected areas, in particular strict reserves, permitted and banned uses;

  6. Public access to wilderness;

are mainly based on the analysis of legislation of civil law countries, such as European:

  1. European experience ;                                                Rewilding Abandoned Landscapes in Europe.pdf

  2. Legal aspects of restoration and rewilding in Europe;

  3. Types of land stewardship agreements: landstewardship.eu/land-stewardship/land-stewardship-agreements ;

  4. Land Stewardship manual: www.landstewardship.eu//images/downloads/European_manual_LS.pdf ;

  5. Recent rulings of the European court of Justice, on the fact that the favourable conservation status of a site “shall be regarded in the light of the threats of degradation or destruction to which those sites are exposed; of maintaining or restoring the natural habitat types and the species' habitats concerned at a favourable conservation status in their natural range”;

  6. Land Stewardship networks in Europe, tools, standards and practices;

  7. Respective rights and obligations in the land stewardship or conservation contract.

  8. Catalonia - conservation agreements,

  9. Finland - perpetual easements,

  10. Belgium - private nature reserves, “growing nature” on agricultural land,

  11. Spain - Act 42/2007.

  12. Switzerland: more than 100-years experience of the Swiss National Park (a BLP), its history and means of protection provide the best answer to the legal requirements for the present case; law on the Swiss National Park and the Law of the Mountains. However the Law on Landscape Protection is oriented at conservation only and therefore prevents ecological restoration efforts.


With due respect being paid to achievements of the common law systems, such as in  Australia which gained a long term experience in private conservation and conservation covenants for degraded areas: Guide_to_Private_Conservation_AU.pdf.


V. BLP (best legal practices):

Analysis of different legal solutions worldwide leads to identification of BLP, such as, programmes of buying land for conservation, actively supported by IUCN and used in many countries with success, such as IUCN in the  Netherlands, for example. In some cases mines are bought to restore them for nature:   Fapas (bear protection association in Spain) purchased an open sky coal mine for wetland restoration. The land of the project was bought because it was seriously degraded and to prevent futher establishment of cattle, uncontrolled tourism or other nature destructive activity, and to restore is.


Under the national legal system where the project is located, this opportunity is hampered by the the fact that no public property is foreseen by the legal system, therefore public legal persons cannot purchase land for pure conservation. Also, there are no tax incentives for conservation for landowners, and a 40% tax on donations is applied to donations of land, including for conservation. Thus, locally and for the time being private property on land represents a BLP for land purchases for conservation.

 

The project is not using the conservation law spectrum of norms, but mainly legal instruments regulating ecological restoration, international or national, as conservation laws commonly impede nature restoration.


Endangered species get a huge bump when private lands are brought into the conservation mix.

Planetary ‘safety net’ could halt wildlife loss and slow climate breakdown.


VI. In Rem right of environmental conservation, Derecho Real de Conservacion:

The above is reflected in the conditions developed for contracts under the Law on In rem Right of Environmental Conservation (.pdf), Ley 20930 (2016) on Derecho Real de Conservacion (.pdf), also on the page of ACCh.

In accordance with the law, the contracts become part of land titles, go with the land, not with the landowner.

Conditions of the In Rem right of conservation for land titles of the Pichimahuida project are detailed in this document:

DR contracts.pdf .

The goal is to ensure effective hight quality and irrevocable protection of the land, in perpetuity as a priority, providing reliable legal base for future rather than immediate benefits, a protection independent to the maximum of the social environment.

Redi’s adage: omne vivum ex vivo ("All life comes from life")