Global Jurisdictions Affect Decision Makers in Balancing Social Economic Interests With Environmental Interests?

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  950 Words
Date:  2022-04-04

Over the decades, the environment has continued to experience recurrent climate changes, a matter that has attracted global attention. The concern is prevalent with some issues becoming evident due to the increasing human activities that have resulted to degradation of biodiversity, diminishing sea levels, ocean degradation and more prominently, a deteriorating climate (United Nations 2008). That has posed a grave concern on the noting the increasing human activity in all parts of the world, which continue to present an enormous danger to the planet and the limited base of resources. This factor has, in turn, affected the wellbeing of the human race and other species. The effect is more prominent in the third world nations.

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In the wake of reality, environmental stakeholders have continued to develop environmental ethics that include the debate between the need for ecological sustainability and social, economic interests. Anthropocentric have built an argument on the need of prioritizing humanity and its interests first, while the environment scientists have maintained the necessity of valuing the inherent value of the environment first (Thompson 1994). The primary concern in this debate is whether a community's economic prosperity, justice, and human rights are justifiable when the resource base is diminishing and the climate changing with deathly effects such as global warming.

Quite bluntly, humanity and nature are distressed as anthropocentrism is adopted, and the argument to eco-centrism is somewhat legit in developed economies due to their over-reliance on resources and mega generation greenhouse gases (Wapner 2009). Going by the recent developments in many jurisdictions, human right crusaders have formed the moral reasoning behind the current environmental policing. This essay is built in itself primarily with the contemporary approaches in our jurisdictions and policies, questioning whether they have affected decision-makers and other key stakeholders in balancing the social economic and environmental interest in their decisions. It will also investigate possible approaches to integrating all policies into a balancing act and more so to save the environment.

First, it is prudent to underscore the fact that most of the policies being developed and adopted in many jurisdictions favor the ecocentric school of thought. To support this argument, I shall delve into materials that uphold the view that the ecocentric perspective is more superior and informed moral approach over anthropocentrism in formulating environmental policies. For instance, there have been cases in Apex courts of the land that have ruled in favor of the ecocentric ideals. For example, the US Court of Appeal issued a permanent injunction against all activities that could destroy or modify the Snail Darter's only habitat in the Tennessee Valley Authority vs. Hill case (Fisher Lange and Scotford, 2013). The ruling strengthened policy makers and decision makers to legislate in favor of the ecocentric approach. Additionally, there are international bodies like The World Commission on Environment that has ratified their decisions in favor of this approach. The authority noted that development should be controlled avoid endangering nature, i.e. living beings, soils, waters and the atmosphere. (Gatson 2005) These documents support this argument as they advance an eco-centric focus.

It is also important to highlight that the eco-centric school of thought is not entirely successful without borrowing a few ideas of the anthropocentric approach while developing environmental policies. That is because some of the discourses in the world have adopted anthropocentrism thus would be problematic to ignore them. Going back to Tennessee Valley Authority Vs. Hill case, though the court ruled in favor of the eco-centric, there were those who dissented in their ruling. For instance, one the dissenting judges, Dworkin, argued that the endangered fish species had no purpose. One of the anthropocentric believer and environmentalist, Eckersley, notes that "that the greatest concentration of ecocentric activists can usually be in organizations, campaigns, or movements that promote the protection of the wilderness (Fisher Lange and Scotford, 2013). Environmental policy should favor both anthropocentrism, a clean platform to the analysis of contemporary environmental practices.

Also of essence is to understand is that in global jurisdictions, the eco-centric approach is the best for decision makers to ensure environmental sustainability. I will focus on a study that highlights that supporting eco-centric viewpoints are more operative in drafting policies that will guide decision makers. They will also guide in balancing social-economic interests; with those touching the ecosystem as they are take actions consistent with their attitude towards environmental conservation. Again the study showed that those of the contrary mindset were less likely to involve themselves in environmental protection and had apathy for ecosystem issues. It would also be essential to link the idea of conserving the environment, which the United Nations in 1968 December acknowledged that there was a relationship between human rights and environmental protection.


Conclusively, it is evident that the world is shifting its focus from the anthropocentric approach to an ecocentric mindset in formulating policies to guide policymakers make decisions that will achieve environmental sustainability as well recognize human interests. Abandoning anthropocentrism and ecocentrism should not be seen as unorthodox but as a way of distinguishing our nature consumption outcomes and engage in it where survival is critical. Making the right ethical decisions may be tough, but jurisdictions must adopt policies that are harmless to the environment and nature in general.


Fisher, E., Lange, B. and Scotford, E., 2013. Environmental Law: Text, Cases & Materials. Oxford University Press.

Gaston, K.J., 2005. Biodiversity and extinction: species and people. Progress in Physical Geography, 29(2), pp.239-247.

Thompson, S.C.G. and Barton, M.A., 1994. Ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes toward the environment. Journal of environmental Psychology, 14(2), pp.149-157.

United Nations. Department of Economic, 2008. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008. United Nations Publications.

Wapner, P. and Matthew, R.A., 2009. The humanity of global environmental ethics. The Journal of Environment & Development, 18(2), pp.203-222.

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Global Jurisdictions Affect Decision Makers in Balancing Social Economic Interests With Environmental Interests?. (2022, Apr 04). Retrieved from

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