Legal systems tend to recognise the rights of people and corporations – but not the forests, rivers, and land that sustains them. That’s starting to change as a growing “Rights of Nature” movement drives new legislation granting ecosystems equivalent legal personhood to humans. In December, the movement toasted a landmark victory when Ecuador’s highest court ruled that a proposed gold mining project in the Los Cedros protected area breached rights of nature clauses in the country’s constitution. It’s not every day that spectacled-bears, brown-headed spider monkeys, endangered frogs and rare orchids are indebted to lawyers. But the victory was also a clarion call for communities around the world working to win new protections for the nature they love.