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Nature Protection

  • Date Submitted: 05/11/2011 10:21 AM
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ESR 0: 1–2, 2004


Published May 21, 2004

Protecting Nature
Otto Kinne*
International Ecology Institute Nordbünte 21 & 23, 21385 Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany

Humanity has evolved over millions of years in an intact nature and it continues to depend on an intact nature for its future development. But humanity also depends on nature as the provider for its needs. Maintaining the intactness of nature and exploiting her contain contrasting, even mutually exclusive elements. Only a carefully balanced compromise, based on scientific knowledge and on insight, can disentangle this Gordian knot. There is a rapidly growing necessity for protecting nature from increasingly excessive impacts due to the activities of one of her millions of species that has relatively recently entered the scene: Homo sapiens. What drives H. sapiens to invest considerable thought, work and money into responding to that necessity? Which are the forces that incite our intentions for protecting nature? In essence there are 2 different types of such forces. The first type is primarily based on egocentric perspectives. It focuses on how we can maximise and sustain the exploitation of nature for human ends. The second type is primarily based on eco-centric (altruistic) goals. It focuses on how we can protect nature for nature’s ends. The egocentric forces are very strong. They are based on the powerful drives that characterise all forms of life: exploitation of opportunities and maximisation of advantages. They place human interests at the centre of their ideas and actions. A thought-provoking book documenting, evaluating and discussing aspects of utilising nature for human ends has recently been presented by Ray & McCormick-Ray (2004). The eco-centric forces are still very weak. They reflect rare potentials of humanity: insight and ethics. Eco-centric forces place the intactness of nature at the centre of their thoughts and actions. For a...


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