In June 2016, authorization was granted to the Oriente Environment company to open and operate a buried waste facility adjacent to the River Tavignanu to dispose of household waste and asbestos products. This prompted a wave of protest and legal action by citizens, professionals, farmers and other members of civil society, on the basis of concerns about the instability of the land and the risks of pollution of the river and surrounding areas, with potentially irreparable consequences. On 21 April 2021, following five years of legal proceedings in the Bastia administrative tribunal by a civil society collective, the Marseille administrative appeal court and the State Council, the case was dismissed and the proposed works permitted to commence. In response, three associations – Tavignanu Vivu, Umani and Terre de Liens Corsica-Terra di u Cumunu – drafted a declaration of rights of the river, taking inspiration from conversations with NGO Notre Affaire à Tous and learning
about similar initiatives around the world, initiating a longer-term process aimed at securing legal recognition of the rights and legal personhood of the river.
In 2021, groups Tavignanu Vivu, UMANI and Terres de Liens Corsica, and assisted by Notre Affaire à Tous launched a declaration of the rights of the Tavignanu river in Corsica, France. The declaration came as the river was threatened by a landfill project for a Ghjuncaghju landfill. Later that year, the Assembly of Corsica approved a motion with a request for priority review on the recognition of the Tavignanu river, and recognized it as a living entity and indivisible from eye to mouth, delimited by its watershed and having legal personality. The motion cited climate change, access to water for the Corsican people, the importance of productive agriculture in Corsica, and a landfill project.