Environmental Ethics

Volume 30, Issue 3, Fall 2008

Integrating Ecological Sciences and Environmental Ethics into Biocultural Conservation in South American Temperate Sub-Antarctic Ecosystems

Eugene C. Hargrove
Pages 263-271

A Traditional and Multicultural Approach to Environmental Ethics at Primary and Secondary School Levels

Translating environmental ethics into something that can be taught at the primary and secondary school levels may never be feasible. In addition, what needs to be taught may vary in different cultures around the world. A good noncontroversial starting point may be to begin with the values that are often listed in the purpose statements of environmental laws. Teachers could teach the history of ideas behind those values and their relationship to environmental concern. This approach is needed as a counter to the value approach of modern economics which treats noneconomic values as meaningless expressions of personal emotion. Comparative value discussion can be used to clarify traditional values and in countries with indigenous populations with values originating in different histories of ideas, such as the values of the First Nation peoples in Canada and the Mapuche in Chile, which can be used to promote better understanding between major social groups.