On Tuesday, March 29, Maas Cleanup will present the “Maas in Law” petition to the House of Representatives.
After the movement of businesses, (nature) organizations and citizens in 2020 and 2021 has already mobilized thousands of volunteers and removed thousands of kilos of waste from the banks of the Meuse in 2020 and 2021, Maas Cleanup is now putting the river on the political agenda for a structural solution. . Concretely, the petition asks the House of Representatives to study how legislation and regulations can be used to better protect the Meuse and to safeguard and enforce its rights to waste-free flow.
The Meuse in the law: Maas Cleanup presents a petition for the rights of the Meuse to the House of Representatives
Cleanup of the Meuse
Huub Waterval, initiator of Maas Cleanup: “The problem of plastic in rivers has been recognized for twenty years, but it is time for some power to emerge. That’s why Maas Cleanup brings together the strength of business and (nature) organizations for our Maas River. Two months after our actions, the Meuse is full of waste and plastic. We want to tackle the cause. That is why we are now taking the next step with this petition.
The Meuse in the law
Because if many have already committed to cleaning the rivers, in the end no one is really responsible for what ends up in the Meuse, notes Maas Cleanup. That’s why the petition, written by UN nature rights expert Jessica den Outer, Nina Rijsterborgh of Boels Zanders Advocaten and IVN interns, asks the House of Representatives to investigate to find out if the Meuse, for example, can obtain legal personality.
Jessica den Outer: “If people, companies and even municipalities can be legal persons, why not our nature? By granting the Meuse the status of a legal entity, an agent can assert its right to flow without waste on behalf of the river. The Meuse would not be the first river: this has already happened in New Zealand, Bangladesh, Ecuador, India and Colombia. So it’s really possible. »
The Meuse does not only flow in the Netherlands, but the petition primarily focuses on the entire Dutch river basin. Nina Rijsterborgh: “Many surface waters in the Netherlands do not yet meet the chemical and ecological quality requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. To accelerate the improvement of water quality, more unconventional approaches are needed, such as granting rights to nature itself.
On the way to The Hague
On March 29, the Maas Cleanup will set sail for The Hague with a procession to the House of Representatives, where representatives from businesses and conservation organizations will present the petition to members of the House of Representatives at 1:30 p.m. The petition can be signed until March 28 via www.maascleanup.nl/actie/petitie† Interested parties are invited to participate in the march to the House of Representatives, which begins at 11:30 a.m. from Goudriaankade 100, register via ivn.nl/maas-in-de-wet†
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