Environmental Ethics – Meaning, Importance & Types

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Explain what is meant by environmental policy, briefly discuss.

What Is Ethics?

Ethics usually refers to a part of philosophy. Which tells us the moral principles and lets us know about the good and bad or right and wrong.

What is Environmental Ethics?

Environmental ethics is a branch or subset of environmental philosophy that studies or knows the ethical relationship between the environment and human beings and how ethics play a vital role in this.

Environmental Ethics provides a new dimension to the conservation of natural resources and it is the base of some fields of action within the society like environmental protection, nature protection, animal rights, sustainability issues etc.

Environmental Ethics is otherwise known as Ecological Ethics. It always helps to create a moral sense of environment or natural resources conservation in each individual person.

People also consider it unethical to unnecessarily destroy the resources of the environment. So they use less of this natural resource.

Therefore, many environmentalists have discussed various types of ethical values. Which is called environmental ethics. They are

1.Nature and nature are not meant only for humans but also for other creatures.

2.Matter and energy are limited, so they should not be wasted.

3.Man and nature are mutually dependent, so it is his duty to respect nature.

4.It is necessary to teach people about ethics.

5.Man should lead a very normal life so that the resources of the environment are wasted very little. Even environmental pollution will be reduced.

6.Man should give priority to other animals and plants as much as he gives priority to himself.

7.Creating public awareness for conservation of environment and natural resources.

Three Main Areas of Environmental Ethics?

There are 3 main areas of environmental ethics they are:

  • Resource Ethics
  • Animal Ethics
  • Ethics of Nature Protection

What Is Resource Ethics?

How do we legitimize the responsible management of scarce and deployable resources and environmental media (water, soil, air, climate, etc.)

What Is Animal Ethics?

How do we legitimize the responsible treatment of animals, particularly those which can suffer from pain?

What Is Ethics of Nature Protection?

How do we legitimize the responsible treatment with ,collective biotic entities’, for example: populations, species, ecosystems?

Importance Of Environmental Ethics

It is Important to study or know about the environment ethics towards nature because it brings us to understand the relationship between the human beings and nature or natural resources.

For the sake of clarification some of the importance of environmental ethics are pointed below.

1.It creates more awareness among the people regarding their impact on the environment.

2.It promotes sustainable practices.

3.It encourages people to think about the natural environment and how to preserve it?

4.It helps to build a better relationship with nature by recognising its intrinsic value.

5.It provides a better quality of living to the current generations.

6.It protects the environment for future generations through the regulation of environmental use.

7.It will spread awareness among people towards the project and the environment.

8.The over or excess exploitation of resources due to the increasing population. It has disturbed the natural balance.

9.The economic growth has been achieved at an enormous cost to nature which can be seen by the growing pollution, loss of biodiversity and critical shortage of basic resources.

10.It advocates environmentally friendly activities towards nature to protect natural resources.

11.Environmental Ethics promotes public policies and laws for proper care of nature or natural resources for future generations.

Thus it can help to assess the effects and consequences of various development activities like deforestation, draining wetland etc.

12.Environmental ethics is essential for protecting the natural resources, spices and environment.

Some questions regarding ethical decisions that human beings should answer with respect to the environment.

There are many ethical decisions that human beings make with respect to the environment. For example:

  • Should humans continue to clear-cut forests for the sake of human consumption?
  • Why should humans continue to propagate our species and life itself?
  • What environmental obligations do human beings need to keep for future generations?
  • Should we continue to make gasoline powered vehicles?
  • Is it right for humans to knowingly cause the extinction of a species for the convenience of humanity?
  • How should humans best use and conserve the environment to secure and expand life?

Types of Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethics is further classified into 3 types, they are;

  • Libertarian Extension
  • Ecological Extension
  • Conservation Ethics

What Is Libertarian Extension?

It is the type of environmental ethics that focuses on the individual’s right to do whatever they want with nature, its environment and natural resources. It is unlike anthropocentrism and extends the rights to animals and the environment.

What Is Ecological Extension?

It is the type of environmental ethics that always focuses on preserving the natural environment and its environment. It maintains the safe health of the ecosystem.

This concept stresses the importance of humans working with nature to sustain the natural resources for future generations.

What Is Conserve Ethics?

It is the type of environmental ethics that focuses on preserving the natural environment and its resources for future generations by ensuring that current resources are not damaged beyond repair.

Methods to generate Public Awareness About Environmental Ethics

To generate awareness in public about environmental ethics there are 2 method followed such as;

  • Formal Method
  • Non-Formal Method

Formal Method

In formal method environmental ethics aim to introduce environmental studies as a course in school and college level syllabus.

Non-Formal Method

1.It creates awareness in public via mass media like TV, radio, newspaper and magazine etc.

2.It creates awareness about youths and children by organising meetings, seminars and conferences at school level.

3.It also organises various traditional folk songs and dance, street plays, TV serial, advertisements and competition to create awareness about the environment and its resources.

What Is Ecological or Moral Justification?

Ecological or Moral Justification of environmental ethics also focus on learning how nature sustains itself and integrating such lessons from nature into the ways we think and act.

What Is Utilitarian Justification In Environmental Ethics?

Utilitarian justification is also known as individualistic ethics. This ethics focuses on human beings’ success depends on how well we manage the earth’s or environments life support system mostly for our benefit.

What is Environmental Equity and Priority Principle?

Environmental equity and priority principle always respect all nature or environment except in cases where strong human rights are at stake.

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