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.

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Latest Signatures

293 Anonymous Gresham United States I fully support the efforts to halt the exploitation of the earth and all entities in existence in outer space.
292 Philip H. St John's NL Canada
291 Hamish R. Lincoln New Zealand I have used the Moon to teach environmental planning students to think creatively, 'outside the sphere'. Hence interest in this.
290 Anonymous Cambuslang United Kingdom
289 Paul T. NEWQUAY United Kingdom
288 Sarah M. Mparntwe Australia don't nuke the moon! It's hard to write a poem without mentioning the moon
287 Iris E. Cincinnati United States
286 Juan D. Merida Mexico Very good I like
285 Jonah N. Simsbury United States
284 Hugues M. Amiens France
283 Eleni I. Helsinki Finland The Moon (and outer space) shouldn't become the subject of exploitation. Love to read about this initiative. Thank you!
282 Ram Ramprasad R. Lansdale United States https://pureecoindia.in/humans-have-destroyed-earth-now-they-want-to-make-money-off-the-moon/
281 Anonymous San Diego United States
280 Merkel T. Lörrach Germany
279 ardaga w. Piatã Brazil Billionaires, military–industrial complex, dog-gone crazy presidentes (...) HANDS OFF THE MOON!
278 Anonymous Athens Greece
277 Gregor G. Berlin Germany
276 Whitney F. Chevy Chase United States
275 Tim M. Pullman United States It is important to consider heritage before it is lost for good!
274 Mau P. Orleans France This is so important ! And, unfortunately, so needed. Thank you.
273 Jason K. Eau Claire United States An invaluable resource for which without it's existence humanity itself could not exist.
272 Elizabeth V. Eau Claire United States Thank you for leading this invaluable effort to protect our moon.
271 Kate L. Kerrville United States
270 PREAULT V. SURESNES France
269 Tamara A. New York City United States
268 Anonymous Alcester United States Keep humans from destroying our moon! If they hurt the moon they will hurt us on earth! We need our moon more than they need to be on it!!
267 Lauren C. Bega Australia
266 Riley A. Boca Raton United States
265 Kimberly O. Ashtonfield Australia
264 Anonymous Annandale Australia
263 Penny c. Christchurch New Zealand
262 C T. Lyttelton New Zealand
261 Ferrier-Barbut M. Geyssans France Merci !
260 Anonymous Heyfield. Vic Australia
259 Anonymous IVANHOE EAST Australia
258 Giovanni G. Monticello Brianza - Lecco Italy
257 Torsten K. Berlin Germany
256 Margaret B. CARLTON Australia Congratulations on this excellent and important initiative.
255 Markus R. Wien Austria
254 Anonymous Vienna Austria
253 Claudia B. wien Austria
252 Weidinger A. Seewalchen a.A. Austria
251 Anonymous Ambleside United Kingdom
250 Anonymous Balinese Indonesia
249 Sarah F. Whitehall United States
248 Frances W. Los Angeles California United States
247 Dalton K. Herrin United States
246 Nicholas P. Orlando United States
245 Anonymous San Luis Obispo United States
244 Anonymous Dallas United States