Gaarú: the growing African movement for Earth Jurisprudence

“Gaarú stands for a concern for all life.” – Simon Mitambo

Africa’s most iconic ecosystems, from the Okavango Delta to Uganda’s Great Lakes are facing new threats. But a uniquely African hope is also emerging to help navigate towards a better future for the continent and all her peoples and species in the context of climate change.

Launched on African Environment Day 2021, Gaia and our African partners are delighted to share Gaarú, a new short film documenting the emergence and growth of the African Earth Jurisprudence Collective.

Watch the film and find out more in our interactive story, featuring beautiful images, films and quotes here:


Together with Indigenous and local communities, the African Earth Jurisprudence Collective is reviving and re-valorising ways of life that defend and restore the relationship between Africa’s peoples and her lands, waters and forests after centuries of colonial harm.

Central to this work is the philosophy and practice of Earth Jurisprudence, inspired by Thomas Berry, which calls for a transformation from human-centred to Earth-centred cosmology, ways of living, law and governance.

The African Earth Jurisprudence Collective is catalysing the revival of indigenous knowledge and practices and customary laws across the continent – the original, pre-colonial laws derived from ancestral lands, that have governed human communities over millennia to live in mutually-enhancing relationship with the wider Earth community.