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  1. Value EthicsbehindBiodiversity Conservation Law Fulya BATUR, LL.M. Unité BIOGOV - Centre de Philosophie du Droit Institut pour la recherche interdisciplinaire en sciences juridiques Faculté de Droit

  2. WE ARE LOSING BIODIVERSITY

  3. WE ARE TRYING TO CONSERVE IT BUT WHILE DOING SO… IS IT MORAL TO PUT A MONETARY VALUE ON NATURE?

  4. STRUCTURE • IntroducingEthics • Valuingbiologicaldiversity(Askwhy do we conserve beforeestablishing how to do it?) • Enactingregulatorytools for conservation(Define normative prescriptions) • Adjustingpolarized value systems (Humanistapproach to economicvaluation?)

  5. 1. IntroducingEthics and LegalTheory • What are norms? • Where do theyfindtheirlegitimacy? Theirvalidity (or existence)? • To whatextent do moral judgments impact regulatorydecision-making and the creation of norms? • To whatextent do moral judgments impact the content of norms?

  6. VALUE JUDGMENT AXIOMS (RIGHT or GOOD): « This OUGHT TO BE…» Geneticdiversityshouldberestored(as insuranceagainst future diseases) DESCRIPTIVE JUDGMENT FACTS (observed / verifiedthroughexperience) : « This IS… » Geneticdiversityislostbecause of the uniformisation of modern seedvarieties NORMATIVE JUDGMENT PRESCRIPTIONS: « WeOUGHT TO DO… » At least 10 per cent of modern seeds’ revenue shouldberedistributed to genebankpreservation programmes From Descriptive Judgment to Normative Discourse

  7. Defining « OUGHT TO BE » • Ethics: attempts to definewhat « ought to be » • Environmental Ethics; Aldo LEOPOLD (“land ethics”) • "An ethic, philosophically, is a differentiation of social from anti-social conduct. • An ethic, ecologically, is a limitation on freedom of action in the struggle for existence.” • Objective? Articulate moral grounds for the protection or restoration of humanenvironment • Means? Establish the foundation for the moral consideration of non-humannatural or animal entities • Do wefeelobliged to conserve biologicaldiversity? Why?

  8. 2. ValuingBiodiversity in EnvironmentalEthics • Reasonswhyyouthinkbiodiversityshouldbeconserved? • Weneedittoday / mightneedit in the future • Use values (associatedwithresource exploitation) • Food, fiber, fuel… • Production of scientificknowledge • Weappreciateit • Aesthetic value (Pleasure/appreciation) • Wethinkweshould conserve it • Moral value ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS Non-Use Values

  9. Value Systems: PolarizedEthics • Strongvs. WeakSustainability • StrongSustainability (H.E. DALY) • Maintenance human and natural capital intact (highestlevel) • WeakSustainability (J. STIGLITZ, R. SOLOW) • Conservation natural capital unnecessary in view of growth • Optimal use of reproducibleassetsimproves life standards (since capital substitutable) • Ethical transcription • John PASSMORE (1974), Man’s Responsibility for Nature • Ethicaldichotomybetween: • Cooperativestewardship • Despoticdominion DUTY TO PROTECT CAPACITY TO USE DUTY TO PROTECT CAPACITY TO USE

  10. Value Systems: PolarizedEthics

  11. Anthropocentric vs. Ecocentric : The Shallow and the Deep? DEEP SHALLOW

  12. Anthropocentrism: Human-centredEthics • Why? • Humandominion over nature • Nature is instrumental to ourwell-being • Value system? • Utilitariantheory: moral worth of actions determinedthrough contribution to utility, beithappiness, pleasure or satisfaction • Nature valuable in proportion to the benefitsbrought to society • Cultural, educationnal, aestheticconsiderations, financial gains • How? • Hierarchicalvalue scalewithhumankind on top : all other values subordinatedto ourpriorities • Rio Declaration’92: « Humanbeings are at the center of sustainabledevelopment. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmonywith nature »

  13. Anthropocentrism: Shortcomings • Disregard for Evolutionary nature of valuedobject • Anthropocentricapproachonly cares for the « being » ratherthan the « becoming » (Ilya PRIGOGINE and Isabelle STENGERS, 1984) • Biodiversityis not static • Processesinherent to nature maybe more ‘useful’ thanentities in themselves (plant breeding, development of insectresistance…) • Humanwelfaredoes not alwaysneedenvironmentalpreservation • All instrumental values canbefulfilledthroughotheroutlets (ourneed for beauty and calmcanbefound in fine arts) • Exception for thosefunctionsensuring the continuity of life (food, air and water), weneed nature but maybe not in the future? Technologicalchange • Failureto achieveenvironmentalpolicy or conservation objectives • Conqueror image preventspreservationenvironment and will lead to itscompletedestruction • Not environmentalethic but humanethic! • « Arrogance of Humanism » (David EHRENFELD, 1981) • Failure to recognize the gravity of environmentaldegradation and humankind’sresponsibility • More value to nature thanmerelyitscapacity to satisfy us?

  14. Ecocentrism: Life-centredEthics • Why? • All life forms are interdependent • Wildernesshas intrinsicvalue and is non-renewable, therebyrequires new ethics system • Solelyreferring to human-centered values is « shallowly arrogant » • Rejects central tenet of anthropocentrism (no exclusive or arbitrarilypreferentialconsideration for humaninterests) • Value System? • Ecocentric / holistictheorywhere nature isvaluable in itself • Need to describe non-humannatural world in non-anthropocentricterms • Recognition of intrinsic value to nature best way to describesuchpremise • Certain « weakecocentric » authorsrecognize the need for certain utilitarian values that go beyondmereresource value

  15. Ecocentrism : Conceptualisation • Mysticistapproach: DeepEcology(Arne NAESS, 1973) • Holistic conceptualisation of nature as a self-regulating, interdependentwhole: « Nature is more than the sum of its parts » • Rejects conception of « man-in-environment » : always in relation with nature • Modern ecological version of traditionalmysticism: if no « greaterwhole », then no reason to value nature for itself? • Promise of self-realizationthrough communion with Nature (Cosmos, Gaia…) • Secularapproaches: Obligation-basedpragmatists? • Humanscale of values isdisturbed by nature independently of spirituality, welfare or contentment (David WIGGINS) • Not moral standing as such but ratherLegalconsiderability of nature, as a subject of legalrights (Shouldtrees have standing? Christopher STONE): « weakecocentrism »

  16. Ecocentrism: Shortcomings • Is DeepEcologygoingtoo far? • Eco-fascism: need population decrease to saveenvironment • Distinction between misanthropic (hate humanity - get rid of all human beings) and anti-anthropocentric (humans aren't most important species) • Is nurturing nature alwaysgood, since nature isinherently destructive? • HIV, malaria, cancer are all part of nature, which has an inherent destructive and selective instinct • Whyshould nature becompletely inviolable? • Can Ecocentrismeverbe non-anthropocentric? • Can intrinsic value existobjectively? Always subjective!! • How canintrinsic value begranted to beingswithoutanysense of justice as weunderstandit? • Can the subject of valuation (nature) beseparatedfrom the author of moral valuation (humanbeing)? • Lack of implementing force to constrain public policy • Globalisednon-interventionist culture and economiclibertarianism • If no economicincentive or proof of financialinterest, no legislative change?

  17. Economics in EnvironmentalEthics?

  18. RejectingMonetaryvaluation? • Many ethical and social commitments constitute a refusal of monetary valuation (RAZ, 1986) • Criticismtowards « orthodoxcost-benefitanalysis » based on assumptionthatmonetary value canbefixed • How much are weprepared to pay to preservenaturalecosystem, species, or individual? • How much are weprepared to accept as compensation for itsloss? • How muchbenefits do wethink are going to arise fromits destruction? • Is itreally a « value-neutralscientific basis to environmentalpolicy? » • Surveys on the rejection of monetary valuation • Monetary values will never be able to capture what nature is to humanity (e.g. Bonaiuto et al. 2002) • Valuation is a not only a purely economic affair. Biodiversity is not simply a resource, but the object of ethical and social values which cannot be captured in monetary valuations (O’NEILL, 2007)

  19. Economics of EnvironmentalEthics? Example of Invasive Species • Ecocentricapproach • Need to beprotectedsince have intrinsic value on theirown • No monetaryvaluationshouldnormallytake place as they are part of a greaterwhole • There isneveranybenefit to the destruction of nature « except to satisfy basic needs » (what are those basic needs?) • Anthropocentricapproach • Need to beprotectedso far as theycontribute to welfare: species’ contributionneeds to bedetermined • Cost-benefitanalysis • Can youmake fuel with the species? Doesitprotectanotherspecies? • Whatis the damage done to agricultural biodiversity and production? The pressure put upon local diversity? BOTH TOO SIMPLISTIC ON THEIR OWN ?

  20. Conundrums in « Visions of Nature »? Common limitations and recurring interrogations in EnvironmentalEthics VIS-A-VIS THE OBJECT (Biodiversity) • EnvironmentalHolism (more in Ecocentrism) • Defining the scope of the valuedobject • Do we value and shouldwethus conserve species as a whole? Ecosystems? Individualorganisms? • Especially in ecocentricapproaches, how to define values if no fixeddegree of preferenceexistbetweendifferent components? • Territoriality • Defining the borders of valuation • Nationally trivial maizespeciesmightbe crucial for local population

  21. Conundrums in « Visions of Nature »? VIS-A-VIS THE SUBJECT (Humanvaluator) • Whose vision? • Policy-makers? Scientists? Economists? Practicing lawyers? All citizens (national, regional, local levels)? • Based on? • Constructivism: Social constructs, tied to social interactions and underlying cultural values • Realism: Reality on the field, geographical and biologicalthruth: nature exists and needs to beconserved • Intergenerationalconsiderations • Defining time-frames and regard for future generations: externalityfromour ‘successive dictatorships’ • Shouldwetakenintoaccount the needs and benefits of future generations? As future / option values? Throughotherconstruct?

  22. Inter- and Intra- generationalEquity : New value system? • Why? • Feeling obliged to leavefairlegacy in naturalenvironment to future generations • Feeling obliged not to destroy livelihoods and naturalenvironment of otherhumanbeings living on thisplanet • Inherent instinct for equity? Common ideal of social and environmental justice? • Value System? • Inter-generationalequity: fairheritage for future generations • Intra-generationalequity: fair use for currentgenerations • How? • Safe minimum standards of biodiversity existence: no trespassing line • Benefit sharing obligations: compensation of biodiversity-rich by technology-rich

  23. Inter- and Intra- generationalEquity : New value system? • ShouldIntergenerationalequityviewed as inherentlyanthropocentric? • Is itjustAnthropocentricethicsviewed in framework of distributive justice? • Doesitreinforce the fact the environmentissimply a humanresource?

  24. STRUCTURE • IntroducingEthics • Valuingbiologicaldiversity • Enactingregulatorytools for conservation • Adjustingpolarized value systems

  25. 3. EnactingRegulatory instruments • Difficulty to seepractical implications of environmentalethics? • Moral valuationexists, yetbiodiversityisstilllost? Do people lie, whyaren’ttheymotivated? • Responsecouldmaybefound • Studying the effect of polarizedethics on objectives enshrined in conservation law • Studyingsuccessfulbiodiversitygovernanceschemes and identifyingcommon grounds: BIOMOT project

  26. VALUE JUDGMENT DESCRIPTIVE JUDGMENT • Biologicaldiversityislost • Geneticuniformityisextending NORMATIVE JUDGMENT PRESCRIPTIONS - Public Policy Choices ANTHROPOCENTRIC Biodiversity has value as long as itcontributes to humanwelfare ECOCENTRIC Biodiversity has intrinsicvalue From Descriptive Judgment to Normative Discourse

  27. Polarized Normative Discourse

  28. Anthropocentrism and Normative Discourse • Principle? • Environmental and nature protection issues shouldbesimplyreduced to questions of science, technology and rents in economicterms • Normative prescriptions shouldmaximize the well-being of all humankind: focus on those issues valuable to humanbeings • General policy goals? • Public interest in conservation insofar as it serves humanwelfare (no universalinterest) • Assessment of all specific values foundwithineach component of biodiversity; throughconcretetools: • Economicvaluation of biodiversity, coupledwith • Ecologicalvaluation of biodiversity (emphasis on regulativefunctions…) • Privatepropertyviewed as essential means to avoid « tragedy of the commons »

  29. Anthropocentrism and Normative Discourse • Examples? • List of endangeredspeciesthat are the most important resources for humankind (whether on the basis of financial or sentimental values), • WWF list of speciesincludingdolphins and not sharks? • Environmentalimpact assessment obligations • Cost-benefitanalysis • Creationof artifical habitats: • Either for the sole purpose of humanenjoyment: smallrecreationalparksthat are counted as « green areas » in urbanlandscapes • Or for the protection of wilderness: still affirmation of humanmastery over nature? • Grant of agricultural subsidies • Promotion of organic/biodynamicfarming for foodquality or landscapepreservationpurposes

  30. Ecocentrism and Normative Discourse • Principle? • Nature isused as an external normative framework, independentfromhumanvaluation • Nature becomes a subject of rightssince all sensible and insensible beings have inherent values: recognition of bioticrights (to nature and animals) • Translation in general policy goals? MORE RARELY DONE IN LITERATURE • Global / Universal public interest in conservation • Prohibit the reduction of natural richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs • Duty to restore comesdirectly and uniquelyfrom the damage caused • Comprehensive / Inclusive policieswithegalitarianview on value of biodiversity (no component of higher value from the other) • Development of policies for « bioregions » • Emphasis on cross-speciesidentification • No cohesiveecocentricpropertytheory but rejectsbilateralismsinceuniversalinterest and generalreductionpolicy (population and pressure)

  31. Ecocentrism and Normative Discourse • Examples? • List of endangeredspeciesbasedsimply on theirnumbers (IUCN Red List) • CBD article « commonconcern of mankind » / « commonheritage » doctrine • CGIAR centers : Obligation to holdgeneticmaterial « in trust » for humanity • Neither an instrument nor a commodity? • Adoption, implementation and enforcement of strict precautionary principle-based environmental measures • Promotion of organic/biodynamicfarmingdue to stewardshipideaswithin

  32. Normative Actions: Anthropo- or Eco-? • UNESCO Biospherereserves? • National parks ? • Zoos ? • Ex situ gene collections ? • Support Plant breeding programmes? • …..

  33. Competing Values? Whatdetermines the content of normative prescriptions? • Relativism: no absolutetruthtranscendingotherexisting value systems (numerous and valid) • Internalcoherence (John Rawls : reflexive balance)? Ethical stance if competing values? • Anthropocentric : trade-off (economic) • Ecocentric : sacrifice Nature for humankind

  34. STRUCTURE • IntroducingEthics • Valuingbiologicaldiversity • Enactingregulatorytools for conservation • Adjustingpolarized value systems

  35. 4. Adjustingpolarized value systems? • IS THERE ONE ABSOLUTE TRUTH? • A pragmatiscallyhumanistapproach to biodiversityvaluation: Movingbeyondpolarized value ethicssystems • Middle waybetweenanthropocentricwelfarism and ecocentricmysticism?

  36. The Need for a Hybridvalue system? Anthropocentrism is a key concept to motivate the general public and policy makers to act for biodiversity • Anthropocentric values are best-suited to push for soundregulatorydecisions, as theyallow for • concreteevaluation of biodiversitybenefits and budgeting of conservation costs • Internalization of externalities in public policydecisions • Nature conservation NGOs focus on the economic benefits of nature in their mission statements (Campagna and Fernández 2007; Butler and Acott 2007)

  37. The Need for a Hybrid system? Ecocentrismishere to stay! • Biodiversity values are “incommensurable”, (priceless) not ordinary commodities sold on marketplace • Value claims so diverse that there can be no fixed degree of preference between them (protection of an in situ agrobiodiversity hot spot against invasive species) • Research results of people’s ‘visions of nature’ in Europe (DE GROOT et al. 2009); surveys conducted in France, the Netherlands and Germany in the framework of the EU (Interreg) project ‘Freude am Fluss’, • the old image of human Mastery over nature is massively rejected, • the far majority of the respondents strongly adhere to notions of Stewardship or even more ecocentric images of the human/nature relationship (value of nature is infinite, because without nature, we would not exist at all)

  38. The Need for a Hybridvalue system? • Holmes ROLSTON (1994) • « Values are intrinsic, instrumental and systemic and all three are intertwoven, no one withpriority over the others in significance » • Millenium EcosystemsAssessment, BiodiversitySynthesis (2001) • “Human well-being is the central focus for the MA, but biodiversity and ecosystems also have intrinsic value. • A full assessment of the interactions between people and biodiversity requires a multiscale approach, as this better reflects the multiscale nature of decision-making”. • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, TEEB (2010) • « In addition to economicvaluation, otherways to analyze the importance of ecosystem services includelivelihoodsassessments, capabilities, opportunities and vulnerabilityassessments ; • Necessary for integrating dimensions of humanwell-beingthatcannot (or should not) bemeasured in terms of money, such as freedom of choice, humanrights and intrinsic values ».

  39. Food For Thought : Moving Beyond PolarizedEthics? ?? ECO-PRAGMATISM ? PLURALISM ? TOTAL ECONOMIC VALUE ?

  40. Eco-Pragmatism • Pragmatism in Philosophy? C.I. LEWIS, Holmes ROLSTON • Valuingismerely an activitywithoutfixedends/objectives that guide all our actions: inter-relatednature of all human values • Not understood in philosophy as in commonlanguage: not necessarily short-sighted or inherentlyanthropocentricsince • Values cantranscendhumanconcerns (subjectivism not necessarilysubject-centric) • Eco-Pragmatism in EnvironmentalEthics? Andrew LIGHT (1992), Daniel FARBER (1999) • Need to be free frombipolarextremism of environmentalpolicy • « Walkawayfrombothtreehuggers and beancounters »

  41. Total Economic Value • Ecosystem services (ES) have rapidly become the mainstream concept to express the benefits of nature (ecosystems, biodiversity) to society. • The concept is now used for many purposes, among which: • a basis to calculate the ‘Total Economic Value’ (TEV) of ecosystems in smaller or wider regions • End the « economicinvisibility of nature » • How can TEV be seen as a hybrid? • Broader mindset than pure market valuation of goods (even though based on anthropocentric cost-benefit approach) Encompasses different sets of values: • Ecological benefits • Based on related value paradigm: importance attached by people to the environment; both as instrumental and intrinsic • Socio-cultural benefits • Economic benefits • Use (direct or indirect) • Non-use values: Option (protection for future use) or Existence (ethical reasons, bequest) Room for ECOCENTRIC Considerations ?

  42. TEV: Shortcomings? HOWEVER • Ecosystem services are more based on bio-mass and bio-productivitythan bio-diversity (not enoughecocentricconsiderations?) • Methodological problems: system boundaries, double-counting and omissions (Turner et al., 2010) • Difficulties of ‘value transfer’, when local assessments are scaled up to higher levels or to different places (territorial conundrum) • Limitations of ‘willingness to pay’ and likewise statements in contingent valuation methods, hypothetical compensation projects, defensive expenditures and other methods of monetarisation(Bockstael et al., 2000). • Against this background, economists have been developing less abstract, e.g. more qualitative, discourse based and ‘embedded’ methods of economic valuation of biodiversity (e.g. Chee, 2004; Kumar and Kumar, 2008; Spash 2008; see also the VALVE project of the EU). • Much of this state of the art is at present embedded in the European TEEB project (‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’)

  43. Whatnext? BIOMOT Project FP7 “MOTivationalstrength of ecosystem services and alternative ways to express the value of BIOdiversity” 1. Starting point: Interrogation of economic valuation methods • Is the economic value of nature not much more than the value of a collection of services? • Do people value nature in quite different realms than current economic approaches elicit? • Could more embedded and contextual methods of economic valuation perform better in motivating people to act for nature? 2. Assessment of Biodiversity value in successful governance for biodiversity • Survey of successful governance actions (policies, directives, agreements, programmes, projects) across Europe • in order to analyse which (economic and non-economic) ways to express the value of biodiversity have been at work CPDR- BIOGOV Unit http://biogov.uclouvain.be/index.html

  44. ConcludingWords: Aichi BiodiversityTargets(CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020) WhichEthicalchoices do thesetargetsreflect in your opinion? • Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society • Target 1 : By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably. • Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use • Target 5: By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced. • Target 7: By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.

  45. ConcludingWords: Aichi BiodiversityTargets(CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020) • Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity • Target 11: By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes. • Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services • Target 16: By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation • Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building

  46. Hopingthat the presentation has givenyoufood for thought as to the moral considerationslyingbehindourdesire and willingness to protectbiodiversity, and its translation into normative discourse Thankyou for attention CPDR- BIOGOV Unit http://biogov.uclouvain.be/index.html