From Environmental Ethics to Nature Conservation Policy: Natura 2000 and the Burden of Proof

Article

Abstract

Natura 2000 is a network of natural sites whose aim is to preserve species and habitats of relevance in the European Union. The policy underlying Natura 2000 has faced widespread opposition from land users and received extensive support from environmentalists. This paper addresses the ethical framework for Natura 2000 and the probable moral assumptions of its main stakeholders. Arguments for and against Natura 2000 were analyzed and classified according to “strong” or “weak” versions of the three main theories of environmental ethics – anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism. Weak (intergenerational) anthropocentrism was found to underlie the Natura 2000 network itself and the positions of environmentalists, while strong (traditional) anthropocentrism pervaded the positions of economic developers. Land users seemed to fall somewhere between weak and strong anthropocentrism. The paper discusses the relation between ethics and different attitudes towards Natura 2000, highlighting some of the implications for the network’s ongoing implementation. It is shown that Natura 2000 achieves a strong reversal of the burden of proof from conservation to economic development and land use change under anthropocentrism. It is argued that the alleged theoretical divide between anthropocentrism and non-anthropocentrism in relation to the burden of proof does not seem to hold in practice. Finally, it is predicted that the weak versions of anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism, are likely to converge extensively in respect to nature conservation policy measures.

Keywords

anthropocentrism biocentrism burden of proof convergence ecocentrism environmental ethics Natura 2000 network nature conservation policy 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alphandèry, P., Fortier, A. 2001Can a Territorial Policy be Based on Science Alone? The System for Creating the Natura 2000 Network in FranceSociologia Ruralis41311328Google Scholar
  2. Buckwell A. (2001). The Blues and the Greens: Complementarities and Conflicts between Landowners and Environmentalists, draft scooping paper for the European Landowners Organization (ELO) bureau, 5 p., retrieved July 29, 2003, from ELO’s webpage at http://www.elo.org/documents/ELO84254.pdfGoogle Scholar
  3. Cafaro, P.J., Primack, R.B. 2001

    Ethical Issues in Biodiversity protection

    Levin., S.A. eds. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity Vol.2Academic PressNew York593607
    Google Scholar
  4. Callicott, J.B. 1995

    Environmental Ethics 1.Overview

    Reich, W.T. eds. Encyclopedia of BioethicsSimon and SchusterMacMillan, New York676687
    Google Scholar
  5. Dobson, A. 2000Green Political Thought 3rd ed.RoutledgeLondon and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Ecologistas en Acciòn, La Red Natura 2000 en España, Manifiesto de Sectores Interesados e Involucrados para una adecuada Implantaciòn y Financiaciòn, (2002), 3 p., retrieved July 29, 2003, from the website of Ecologistas en Acciòn at http://www.nodo50.org/ecologistas/accion/espacios/manifiesto_red_natura.rtfGoogle Scholar
  7. European Commission, Managing Natura 2000 Sites: the Provisions of Article 6 of the ‘Habitats’ Directive 92/43/CEE, (Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 2000), 69 p., retrieved July 29, 2003, from http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/nature/art6_en.pdfGoogle Scholar
  8. European Commission, Final Report on Financing Natura 2000, Working Group on Article 8 of the Habitats Directive, (2002), 36 p., retrieved July 29, 2003, from the European Commission’s nature conservation homepage at http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/nature/final_report_en.pdfGoogle Scholar
  9. European Council, Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the Conservation of Wild Birds, Official Journal of the European Communities L 103, 25.04.1979, retrieved November 7, 2002 from http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/consleg/pdf/1979/en_1979L0409 _do_001pdfGoogle Scholar
  10. European Council, Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora, Official Journal of the European Communities L 206, 22.07.1992, retrieved November 7, 2002 from http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/nature/habdir.htm.Google Scholar
  11. FNSEA, Dèclaration commune, Le “dègel” de Natura 2000: les conditions sont remplies pour que la concertation s’engage sur de nouvelles bases, (1997), retrieved January 30, 2003 from the website of FNSEA, Fèdèration Nationale des Syndicats d’èxploitants Agricole, at http://www.fnsea.fr/actu_suite.asp?IdArticle=178Google Scholar
  12. Fox, W. 1993What Does the Recognition of Intrinsic Value EntailTrumpeter10101Google Scholar
  13. Gonzàlez, A., Amèrigo, M. 1999Actitudes hacia el medio ambiente y conducta ecològicaPsicothema111325Google Scholar
  14. ICN, Rede Natura 2000, Implementação em Portugal – Nota Informativa, 2ª Fase da Lista Nacional de Sítios ao Abrigo da Directiva 92/43 CEE, report on the public consultation process of Natura 2000, Instituto de Conservação da Natureza (Lisboa, 2000).Google Scholar
  15. Leopold, A. 1991A Sand County Almanac, with Essays on Conservation from Round RiverBallantines Books [1949]New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Norton, B.G. 1987Why Preserve Natural Variety?Princeton University PressPrincetonGoogle Scholar
  17. Norton, B.G. 1991Toward Unity Among EnvironmentalistsOxford University PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  18. Norton, B.G. 2003Convergence Corroborated, a Comment on Arne Naess on Wolf Policies in Searching for Sustainability, Interdisciplinary Essays in the Philosophy of Conservation BiologyCambridge University PressCambridge7887Google Scholar
  19. Paterson, J.L. 2003Conceptualizing Stewardship in Agriculture Within the Christian TraditionEnvironmental Ethics254358Google Scholar
  20. Pouta, E., Rekola, M., Kuuluvainen, J., Tahvonen, O., Li, C.-Z. 2000Contingent Valuation of the Natura 2000 Nature Conservation Programme in FinlandForestry73119128Google Scholar
  21. Primack, R.B. 1995A Primer of Conservation BiologySinauer AssociatesSunderland MAGoogle Scholar
  22. Rekola, M., Pouta, E., Kuuluvainen, J., Tahvonen, O., Li, C.-Z. 2000Incommensurable Preferences in Contingent Valuation The Case of Natura 2000 Network in FinlandEnvironmental Conservation.27260268Google Scholar
  23. Rolston, H.,III 1989Philosophy Gone Wild, Environmental EthicsPrometheus Books BuffaloNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Salazar, D., Alper, D.K. 2002Reconciling Environmentalism and the Left Perspectives on Democracy and Social Justice in British Columbia’s Environmental MovementCanadian Journal of Political Science35527566Google Scholar
  25. Stenmark, M. 2002The relevance of Environmental Ethical Theories for Policy MakingEnvironmental Ethics24135148Google Scholar
  26. Taylor, P. 1986Respect for Nature A Theory of Environmental EthicsPrinceton university PressPrincetonGoogle Scholar
  27. Thompson, P.B. 2002

    Land

    Comstock, G.L. eds. Life science EthicsIowa State Press, Blackwell Publ.Co.,Ames, Iowa169190
    Google Scholar
  28. Varner, G.E. 1998In Nature’s Interests? Interests Animal Rights and Environmental EthicsOxford University PressNew York OxfordGoogle Scholar
  29. Wallström M., Statement as EU’s Commissioner for the Environment at the 10th anniversary of the Habitats Directive (2002), retrieved January 29, 2003 from http://www.natura2000benefits.org/uk/index.htm.Google Scholar
  30. Weber, N., Christophersen, T. 2002The Influence of Non-Governmental Organisations on the Creation of Natura 2000 During the European Policy ProcessForest Policy and Economics4112Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de Ciências Centro de Biologia Ambiental/Centro de Engenharia BiològicaUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

Personalised recommendations