Carta de Foresta, the Charter of the Forest of 1217, is among the first statutes in environmental law of any nation. Crafted to reform patently unjust governance of natural resources in 13th century England, the Charter of the Forest became a framework through which to reconcile competing environmental claims, then and into the future. The Charter confirmed the rights of “free men.” Kings resisted conceding these rights. When confronted with violation of the Charter, barons and royal councils obliged kings repeatedly to reissue the Forest Charter and pledge anew to obey its terms.
Nicholas A. Robinson, The Charter of the Forest: Evolving Human Rights in Nature, in Magna Carta and the Rule of Law 311 (Daniel Barstow Magraw et al., eds. 2014), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/990/.