Will recognizing oceans, rivers, and forests as legal subjects entitled to special rights allow us to protect them more effectively? In 2008, Ecuador became the first nation in the world to enshrine the rights of nature in its constitution. Since then, the idea has continuously gained momentum around the world, with local initiatives, social movements, NGOs, and even courts invoking rights of nature in their activities and decisions. But what effect do ecocentric rights actually have in practice? This question is the focus of a new research project at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI). The two-year project is funded by a €350,000 grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.