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A petition on behalf of the River Cam to ask the Council to recognise the rights of the Cam

We the undersigned petition the council help to protect the river by declaring that the river has rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Rivers as adapted for the declaration of the rights of the Cam. These include: • the right to flow and be free from over-abstraction; • the right to perform essential functions of flooding, moving sediment, recharging groundwater and sustaining biodiversity; • the right to be free from pollution; • the right to feed and be fed by sustainable aquifers; • the right to native biodiversity; • the right to restoration; • the right to maintain connections with other streams and rivers.

Our river is dying from pollution, over-abstraction and mass building which exacerbates both. The Cam was the first river in the UK to have a public declaration of its rights, in a midsummer ceremony in 2021 at Jesus Green, which is repeated each year. Hundreds of Cambridge citizens have pledged to become guardians of the river.

Cambridge is in the driest part of the UK, which has already suffered an average temperature rise of 3 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, way above the global average of about 1.2 degrees. Climate change puts a large additional pressure on the river system causing increased drought in the summer months and more intense rainfall in the winter with consequent dangers of flooding.

No aspect of nature is more important than the water in our river systems. Water is essential to life. Most human settlements form around sources of fresh water. The Cam is central to the history, life and survival of our City.

Recognising the rights of nature, has never been more urgent as we attempt to limit its destruction through environmental degradation and climate and biodiversity catastrophes. The nature rights movement can assist people in moving beyond the exploitation of nature to living in harmony with it.

Recognising the rights of the Cam would place an obligation on the Council to consider the effect on our river and its tributaries of all relevant planning decisions.

This petition is from 'Friends of the River Cam'.

This ePetition ran from 15/09/2023 to 20/09/2023 and has now finished.

Nobody signed this ePetition.