Reply to Bridgewater (2021), “Response to Davies et al., ‘Towards a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands’” Article
Date of Publication:
Gillian T. Davies et al., Reply to Bridgewater (2021), “Response to Davies et al., ‘Towards a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands’”, 72 Marine and Freshwater Research 1401 (2021)Clicking on the button will copy the full recommended citation.
We reply to the main concerns raised by Bridgewater (2021) in his response to Davies et al. (2021a), ‘Towards a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands’. We appreciate the contribution of Bridgewater (2021) to this emerging conversation and, although we disagree with some of his assessments and statements, we do not find his points to be incompatible with support for the Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands (ROW). This reply focuses on four areas of concern raised by Bridgewater (2021). First, we describe why a wetlands-specific declaration will add important value to other Rights of Nature declarations. Second, we discuss how the ROW does not detract from, but rather can contribute to and complement, existing conservation and management approaches and mechanisms. Third, we agree on the importance of weaving Indigenous and local knowledge with other knowledges and emphasise that the ROW should not be confused with or misused to undermine the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities. Finally, we explain how legal rights can and have been granted to non-humans, including elements of Nature, such as wetlands.