Your Constitutional right to a healthy environment with Maya K Van Rossum - on The Sustainable Jungle Podcast #environmentaladvocacy #climateaction #sustainablejunglepodcast

Podcast #47 · Maya K. Van Rossum · Your Constitutional Right To A Healthy Environment

“Here in the US, if you want to truly have a right to a healthy environment, you need that constitutional recognition and protection”

Maya K. Van Rossum

Maya K. van Rossum has served as the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network since 1994. Maya is the founder of the national Green Amendment Movement. In her role as the Delaware Riverkeeper, Maya has dedicated her life to being the “voice of the Delaware River.” She has taken on industry, government, and even the U.S. Army, preventing harm to the River, communities, and environments she bravely champions. Now, Maya is working to empower individuals across the nation to stand up for their environmental rights by pioneering the Green Amendment Movement through her organisation the Green Amendments For The Generations..

The goal of the Green Amendments For The Generations initiative is to advance a Green Amendment movement that sweeps the nation and secures for all people constitutional recognition and protection of their inalienable rights to clean water, clean air and healthy environments.

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In this episode, we discuss the following: 

  • Maya’s background, growing up in the Delaware River watershed and exposure to conscious thinking from a young age (~01:30)
  • Becoming a lawyer so as to become a better environmental advocate and her early career (~06:00)
  • An overview of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Maya’s role as the Riverkeeper and why the Delaware River is important  (~08:30)
  • Wins Maya is most proud of from her time with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (~12:30)
  • A groundbreaking case that inspired the Green Amendment movement, Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (~15:20)
  • An overview of the Green Amendment Movement and the Green Amendment For the Generations Organisations (~21:40)  
  • What it takes to get a Green Amendment in a state’s constitution (~26:50)
  • Examples of how this would work – using a constitutional right vs local laws and regulation (~31:45)
  • Thoughts on how environmentally friendly innovation has been hampered by a lack of avoidance of harm from the beginning (~40:00)
  • Where is the pushback coming from and what the opposition is saying? (~44:00)
  • How the Green Amendments can be a powerful tool for environmental justice and equality (~51:50)
  • Things you can do to help drive change (~55:15)
  • Why Maya is still optimistic (~57:10)
  • How to support the work Maya is doing (~58:40)

“We have an impact by being here on this earth, but the impact can be much more sustainable, we can live much more in harmony with the earth that protects these natural ecosystems that are fundamental to our healthy lives. None of us can live without healthy water, healthy air and healthy foods”

Maya K. Van Rossum

Notable Links

Green Amendments For the Generations

Maya K. Van Rossum

Your Constitutional right to a healthy environment with Maya K Van Rossum - on The Sustainable Jungle Podcast #environmentaladvocacy #climateaction #sustainablejunglepodcast

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