The seminar serves to discuss the Environmental Rights in Cultural Context (ERCC) project that Dirk Hanschel is currently conducting as a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. This project looks at laws in several countries of the Global South which have combined environmental protection with rights by stipulating individual or collective guarantees relating to a sound or healthy environment. Environmental rights are normally granted to human beings, but sometimes to nature itself (earth rights or rights of nature), thereby putting human beings in the position of trustees. By conducting selected case studies, the ERCC project serves to examine the extent to which environmental rights provide protection and serve as a tool of resilience in the face of challenges to local cultural identity and autonomy resulting from environmental threats such as climate change, degradation through harmful economic activities, so-called land grabbing, etc. At the same time, the project recognizes the need for economic development and prosperity and the tensions that result from this. The analysis aims to show to what extent environmental rights as fundamental rights may constitute a powerful tool of protection whilst allowing for the necessary flexibility to help local communities adapt to changing circumstances.