Lecture 4: Forest Values & Ranking Forest Projects

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13 Jan 2011
Lecture 4: Forest Values & Ranking Forest Projects
Forest Values &/ Forest Ethics
·two approaches
oinstrumental approaches-humans are the basis of moral agency, forests have value if they
provide things we value, this dominates Euro-American (EA) thought
onon-anthropocentric-humanity not the root of moral agency, forests have a value in itself,
forests have values for humans as well as other living beings, forests have value for the
existence of life on earth
·utilitarianism: accord. to Jeremy Benthan, maximize the greatest good for the greatest number
obut questions raised:
§but aren't somethings right/wrong regardless of the consequences
§ how to quantify happiness
§ how to consider everyone's happiness
§but most ppl live far from forests, & get more pleasure from the products which
come from the forest than the forest itself
ounofficial basis for all EA public policy
·deontology: the ethics of duty & rights
obegan with Kant, focus of ethics are principles upon which we act, not the consequences
owe are ethical when we are rational, & we are rational when our principles are universal
& ultimate
oimplies a set of duties adhering to all rational beings (ppl)
§forests can't be rational, so they have no rights, but ppl do have rights & may
have a right to forests existing in a certain state
·but only ppl are rational, so only ppl matter
·what 'bout ppl who aren't rational
othis is the basis of modern democracy & human rights
·property rights
otwo streams:
§liberal (Jeffersonian): need to own land to be free (both from other ppl & the
·ppl own themselves & their labour
·land, in it's "natural" state, is unowned
oforests have value if they are owned, & to be owned must have some sort of human
development taking place
§but biased to management (ex. agri., forestry)
§but assumes availability of ample land
owhen nuanced with the "bundle-of-sticks" approach to property, it forms an important
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