Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Environmental Ethics Related Abstracts

3 Polar Bears in Antarctica: An Analysis of Treaty Barriers

Authors: Madison Hall

Abstract:

The Assisted Colonization of Polar Bears to Antarctica requires a careful analysis of treaties to understand existing legal barriers to Ursus maritimus transport and movement. An absence of land-based migration routes prevent polar bears from accessing southern polar regions on their own. This lack of access is compounded by current treaties which limit human intervention and assistance to ford these physical and legal barriers. In a time of massive planetary extinctions, Assisted Colonization posits that certain endangered species may be prime candidates for relocation to hospitable environments to which they have never previously had access. By analyzing existing treaties, this paper will examine how polar bears are limited in movement by humankind’s legal barriers. International treaties may be considered codified reflections of anthropocentric values of the best knowledge and understanding of an identified problem at a set point in time, as understood through the human lens. Even as human social values and scientific insights evolve, so too must treaties evolve which specify legal frameworks and structures impacting keystone species and related biomes. Due to costs and other myriad difficulties, only a very select number of species will be given this opportunity. While some species move into new regions and are then deemed invasive, Assisted Colonization considers that some assistance may be mandated due to the nature of humankind’s role in climate change. This moral question and ethical imperative against the backdrop of escalating climate impacts, drives the question forward; what is the potential for successfully relocating a select handful of charismatic and ecologically important life forms? Is it possible to reimagine a different, but balanced Antarctic ecosystem? Listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a result of the ongoing loss of critical habitat by melting sea ice, polar bears have limited options for long term survival in the wild. Our current regime for safeguarding animals facing extinction frequently utilizes zoos and their breeding programs, to keep alive the genetic diversity of the species until some future time when reintroduction, somewhere, may be attempted. By exploring the potential for polar bears to be relocated to Antarctica, we must analyze the complex ethical, legal, political, financial, and biological realms, which are the backdrop to framing all questions in this arena. Can we do it? Should we do it? By utilizing an environmental ethics perspective, we propose that the Ecological Commons of the Arctic and Antarctic should not be viewed solely through the lens of human resource management needs. From this perspective, polar bears do not need our permission, they need our assistance. Antarctica therefore represents a second, if imperfect chance, to buy time for polar bears, in a world where polar regimes, not yet fully understood, are themselves quickly changing as a result of climate change.

Keywords: Climate Change, Environmental Ethics, Arctic, polar bear, Antarctica, assisted colonization, treaty

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2 The Interaction between Human and Environment on the Perspective of Environmental Ethics

Authors: Mella Ismelina Farma Rahayu

Abstract:

Environmental problems could not be separated from unethical human perspectives and behaviors toward the environment. There is a fundamental error in the philosophy of people’s perspective about human and nature and their relationship with the environment, which in turn will create an inappropriate behavior in relation to the environment. The aim of this study is to investigate and to understand the ethics of the environment in the context of humans interacting with the environment by using the hermeneutic approach. The related theories and concepts collected from literature review are used as data, which were analyzed by using interpretation, critical evaluation, internal coherence, comparisons, and heuristic techniques. As a result of this study, there will be a picture related to the interaction of human and environment in the perspective of environmental ethics, as well as the problems of the value of ecological justice in the interaction of humans and environment. We suggest that the interaction between humans and environment need to be based on environmental ethics, in a spirit of mutual respect between humans and the natural world.

Keywords: Environment, Interaction, Value, Environmental Ethics

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1 A Case for Ethics Practice under the Revised ISO 14001:2015

Authors: Reuben Govender, M. L. Woermann

Abstract:

The ISO 14001 management system standard was first published in 1996. It is a voluntary standard adopted by both private and public sector organizations globally. Adoption of the ISO 14001 standard at the corporate level is done to help manage business impacts on the environment e.g. pollution control. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) revised the standard in 2004 and recently in 2015. The current revision of the standard appears to adopt a communitarian-type philosophy. The inclusion of requirements to consider external 'interested party' needs and expectations implies this philosophy. Therefore, at operational level businesses implementing ISO 14001 will have to consider needs and expectations beyond local laws. Should these external needs and expectations be included in the scope of the environmental management system, they become requirements to be complied with in much the same way as compliance to laws. The authors assert that the recent changes to ISO 14001 introduce an ethical dimension to the standard. The authors assert that business ethics as a discipline now finds relevance in ISO 14001 via contemporary stakeholder theory and discourse ethics. Finally, the authors postulate implications of (not) addressing these requirements before July 2018 when transition to the revised standard must be complete globally.

Keywords: Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics, ethics practice, ISO 14001:2015

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