An Indian court has recognized Himalayan glaciers, lakes and forests as “legal persons,” weeks after it granted similar status to the country’s two most sacred rivers, Ganga and Yamuna. The decision aims to strengthen environmental protection by granting rights equivalent to the rights of human beings so that any injury or harm caused to the glaciers will be treated as injury or harm caused to human beings. The court also extended the status of “living entity” to swathes of the Himalayan environment, including waterfalls, meadows, lakes and forests. Photo credit: