Return to Declaration of the Rights of the Moon

About the Declaration of the Rights of the Moon

The Moon has been a constant feature of human existence since the time of our earliest ancestors, illuminating the night, regulating cultural activities, and inspiring science, knowledge and belief.

Since the development of the technology to travel into space over 80 years ago, the Moon has also come to be regarded as a resource for use by humans. International space treaties such as the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 proclaim that the Moon is part of the common province of humanity and not subject to territorial claims. Nevertheless, space agencies and private corporations are proposing to extract lunar resources for profit.

There are many legal and ethical complexities around lunar mining but underlying them is the common space community belief that the Moon is a dead world toward which we have no moral obligation. This view is at odds with public beliefs about the cultural and natural significance of the Moon. It also contrasts with a growing movement on Earth recognising the rights of nature, which has seen entities such as the Whanganui River in New Zealand granted legal personhood. There is mounting scientific evidence that the Moon has dynamic ongoing geological and cosmic processes. Given the acceleration of planned missions to the lunar surface, it is timely to question the instrumental approach which subordinates this ancient celestial body to human interests.

A few years ago, landscape architect Thomas Gooch, Director of the Office of Other Spaces, started running public forums to discuss how we should understand our relationship with the Moon, as part of his work with the Moon Village Association (MVA), an international NGO based in Vienna. The MVA is committed to ethical and sustainable engagement with the Moon. The last of these forums, in August 2020, considered whether the Moon could be granted legal personality as a way to acknowledge that the Moon had an existence of its own separate from human perceptions. Watch the recording of the forum here .

The forums led to a discussion between Dr Michelle Maloney (National Convenor, Australian Earth Law Alliance), Ceridwen Dovey (space researcher and writer), Alice Gorman (space archaeologist), Mari Margil (Executive Director of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights, US) and Thomas Gooch, about creating a Declaration of the Rights of the Moon. One issue was clear: as the Moon held such importance for the people and non-humans of Earth, it was imperative to consult widely and gain as much input as possible. However, there had to be some starting point to open the discussion. Slowly the idea that the group would draft such a declaration was born.

Over the course of a year, the group met regularly to define and refine the necessary concepts. The Draft we have created here is the end result. But it’s really just a beginning – a way to start the discussion at a global level. We don’t know how this declaration will evolve, but your participation is a key part of the process.

Read the Declaration for the Rights of the Moon


Register your support

We invite your support (please sign the register below), and your respectful feedback in the comment field below. Thank you!

Facebook LogoConnect with our Facebook Group for discussions and news about the Declaration of the Rights of the Moon.

Register your support

Register your support for the Declaration of the Rights of the Moon.

%%your signature%%

327 signatures

Share this with your friends:



Facebook LogoConnect with our Facebook Group for discussions and news about the Declaration of the Rights of the Moon.

Latest Signatures

327Penny W.Glossop United KingdomI think it's ghastly the way we're going to invade the moon and plunder its resources. Really disrespectful. I don't want to look up in the sky and think that humans are living there. Let's hope some spirit force prevents it and that universal forces just don't allow us to do it.
326Rebecca C.Queensland Australia
325Fiona R.Springfield AustraliaHoping this is one of many such acknowledgements of the rights of nature to exist and persist..
324G L.Old South Wales United Kingdom
323barbara d.Zandeweer Netherlands
322Fleur B.Amsterdam Netherlands
321Frank F.Bend United States
320Li M.Malmö SwedenThis is a unique opportunity to do better than we have before and respect the relationship we have with the moon.
319Rina F.Pretoria South AfricaHumans impact the physical environment negatively, so let us make a promise not to destroy the moon as we did our mother earth.
318simon g.Darmstadt GermanyAn Antarctic treaty for the moon. Don't destroy a pristine environment.
317AnonymousGalway Ireland
315Linda D.Wales United Kingdom
314AnonymousIstanbul Turkey
313AnonymousRandwick AustraliaThe moon is vital for so many aspects of human life, from culture to science, to stabilising our planet. To destroy the moon, its memory unto itself, and any heritage or scientific inforamtion contained within its presence only makes humanity worse off.
312Avery J.Atlanta United States
311Sajidah A.Koah Australia
310Lawrence H.Malanda Australia
309Brian E.Speewah Australia
308Lorraine S.Mornington Australia
307Julie-Ann H.Leura Australia
306Daniel M.Katoomba AustraliaThe Moon is sacred and must be protected.
305Alasdair T.Sydney Australia
304Ana F.Leura AustraliaCan we all understand the violence in mining the earth resources and not make the same mistake on the moon. The moon is a sacred space and deserves respect.
303Maureen A.Aberystwyth United Kingdom
302Ian T.Reedy Creek 4227 AustraliaKeep the ultra rich from pollution our Moon with space junk, habitation and mining ventures.
301Chris S.Koah AustraliaThe moon belongs to us all. Leave it alone for us all to enjoy!
300Leslie M.Randwick AustraliaWe need to protect the Moon from desecration eg human settlement, mining, exploitation,
299Gillian S.Koah AustraliaThank you for this opportunity…
298AnonymousKitakyushu Zimbabwe
297ADRIAN G.CDMX MexicoMexican Space Agency
296AnonymousTbilisi Georgia
295AnonymousTasmania Australia
294Sonya McKay A.Newcastle AustraliaThere is a need for protection towards all heritage, our origin, and who we are
293AnonymousGresham United StatesI fully support the efforts to halt the exploitation of the earth and all entities in existence in outer space.
292Philip H.St John's NL Canada
291Hamish R.Lincoln New ZealandI have used the Moon to teach environmental planning students to think creatively, 'outside the sphere'. Hence interest in this.
290AnonymousCambuslang United Kingdom
289Paul T.NEWQUAY United Kingdom
288Sarah M.Mparntwe Australiadon't nuke the moon! It's hard to write a poem without mentioning the moon
287Iris E.Cincinnati United States
286Juan D.Merida MexicoVery good I like
285Jonah N.Simsbury United States
284Hugues M.Amiens France
283Eleni I.Helsinki FinlandThe Moon (and outer space) shouldn't become the subject of exploitation. Love to read about this initiative. Thank you!
282Ram Ramprasad R.Lansdale United States
281AnonymousSan Diego United States
280Merkel T.Lörrach Germany
279ardaga w.Piatã BrazilBillionaires, military–industrial complex, dog-gone crazy presidentes (...) HANDS OFF THE MOON!
278AnonymousAthens Greece