The knowledge problem we have to solve is not how to live sustainably, it is that how may babies we average makes all the difference in the world. Hi - ecocentrism is not a transcendent solution but its opposite, seeing the sacred in the immanence of the land, of which we are a part.
In ecological terms: ecocentrism reminds us that all life is interdependent and that both humans and nonhumans are absolutely dependent on the ecosystem processes that nature provides. An anthropocentric conservation ethic alone is wholly inadequate for conserving biodiversity.
Hence the need for academics to speak out in support of ecocentrism. We believe that ecocentrism, through its recognition of humanity’s duties towards nature, is central to solving our unprecedented environmental crisis. Its importance is for multiple reasons:
This is a religious move, not an ethical move. "We believe that ecocentrism, through its recognition of humanity’s duties towards nature, is central to solving our unprecedented environmental crisis." Our "duty" is to survive and to help ensure our continued survival.
In terms of ecocentrism helping to solve the environmental crisis, ecologist John Stanley Rowe has argued: It seems to me that the only promising universal belief-system is ecocentrism, defined as a value-shift from Homo sapiens to planet earth. A scientific rationale backs the value-shift.
Ecocentrism is thus the umbrella that includes biocentrism and zoocentrism, because all three of these worldviews value the nonhuman, with ecocentrism having the widest vision.
The intrinsic value of nature has had a mixed history in terms of international recognition. The 1972 Stockholm Declaration was anthropocentric, as was the World Conservation Strategy in 1980. In contrast, the World Charter for Nature in 1982 was underpinned by strong ecocentric principles, stipulating that humanity and culture are part of nature. In 1987, the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future argued that development: “must not endanger the natural systems that support life on Earth: the atmosphere, the waters, soils, and living beings.” It also (in a little-noticed passage) expressed the view that nature has intrinsic value. However, the Tokyo Declaration that accompanied this was anthropocentric, as was the later Rio Declaration in 1992.
Four examples of this are: ‘ecosystem services’; ‘strong sustainability’; ‘education for sustainable development’; and the so-called ‘new conservation’ approach.
Enforcement is absolutely necessary in order for a moral system to get off the ground. What changes is our scientific knowledge. We know more about what is good and bad, what sustains us and what will destroys us. Thus it is our duty to incorporate this knowledge into our moral system and change the rules accordingly.
We maintain that nature, and life on Earth is inherently good. That is to say nature has intrinsic value, irrespective of whether humans are the ones valuing it. Environmental philosopher Holmes Rolston argues, “Some values are already there, discovered not generated by the valuer …” It is true that, as far as we know at present, we humans are the only species that reflects on and applies moral values. However, we can also understand that life has co-evolved to form the wondrous complexity of the web of life – and contend nature has value, whether humans perceive this or not. The theory of autonomous intrinsic value of nature frees humanity from its anthropocentric obsession that it is all about our valuing. It states clearly that nature has intrinsic value, whether or not humans perceive and acknowledge this.
The Johannesburg Declaration in 2002 however did not endorse the Earth Charter. Likewise, The UN Rio +20 Summit The Future We Want failed to endorse the intrinsic value of nature. However, in 2008, Ecuador enshrined Rights for Nature as a part of its new Constitution.