Yenny Vega Cardenas

Yenny Vega

About Yenny

Yenny is a lawyer who is fighting for the legal personhood status to be granted to the St. Lawrence River.

What is your first memory of the St. Lawrence? How did you fall in love with it?

I was in Essipit - the most magical place in the world! The color of the sky at 5am and the sound of whales breathing as they approach the shore are simply... breathtaking!


What's your background in a nutshell?

I'm a lawyer. I have a PhD in Water Law and Governance.

What does your work or approach involve?

At OIDN (the International Observatory on the Rights of Nature), we propose the recognition of legal personhood for the St. Lawrence River. We created the St. Lawrence River Alliance to make it a citizen, scientific and community initiative.

What's the biggest challenge you've ever faced in your work on/by the St. Lawrence?

Making the economic and political players understand that the status quo is no longer an option. Even if we massively pollute the river right now, it doesn't mean that we can continue with these practices.

Share a recent success story, whether big or small, that you've encountered in the course of your work.

The recognition of legal personhood for the St. Lawrence River by the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador.

What do you consider to be the main challenges facing the St. Lawrence today?

The main challenge is that we need to improve our attitudes towards the river, in all sectors of society. We need to understand that the St. Lawrence is not a "resource" but a living environment - of which we are all a part.



How can people support your initiative?

People can sign the petition here, and ask their city council to adopt a resolution in support of the recognition of legal personhood for the St. Lawrence River. 

To get a sample resolution, people can simply contact us at

What is your dream for the St. Lawrence?

That its legal personhood status be officially granted, so that we can protect and promote it everywhere.