Sunday, September 21, 2014

Environmental Ethics

by Antonio C. Antonio
September 15, 2014

Everyone should have ethics, a system of right or wrong, as their guide in their daily trials and tribulations.  And everyone who embraces an environmental advocacy must also have environmental ethics.  On a very personal level, if I were to state my own environmental ethics this is what I will come up with:


I am a Filipino and I believe in the capacity and capability of the Filipino race to embrace environmentalism as way of life.  I also believe that Filipinos can yet be the primary exponent of environmentalism in the world.  Having said this, I firmly believe that:

  • The Filipinos are God-fearing and believe that Mother Nature is God’s gift not only to the Filipino nation but to the rest of humanity.  The Filipino also believes that respect for Mother Earth translates to respect for our Divine Creator. Filipinos likewise acknowledge the fact that God’s provision of a liveable environment is not only intended for the present generation but for future generations as well.  It is therefore the duty of every Filipino to make sure that sustainability is the primary consideration in every human activity;
  • The Filipino family is the basic social unit in the Filipino’s social structure.  It is therefore incumbent among Filipino parents, who provide leadership in these social units, to accept the challenges and responsibility of molding their children into stewards of the environment in their youth and the rest of their adult lives.  This can best be exemplified by being role-models to their respective families;
  • As a Filipino parent, I am aware of the importance of a healthy planet and committed to living a pro-environmental life as a means to educate my children to be pro-earth crusaders; and,
  •  As a Filipino, I am committed to tooling myself with the necessary knowledge and relentlessly share these information not only to my family, my countrymen but to as many people from other parts of the world as well.

My nurtured dream and aspiration is along the line of (a) sustainable environmental management, (b) protection, preservation and development of natural resources, and (c) the promotion of social justice.  Sustainable development, in the purview of social justice and the environment, is the equitable distribution of opportunities for wealth and comfortable existence by the present generation while leaving the same opportunities for wealth and comfortable existence to future generations.  Towards this end, I shall:

  • Prioritize my life in this order: (a) God; (b) Family; (c) Country; and, (d) Environment;  Environment, being fourth, doesn’t necessarily be low in terms of priority;
  • Maintain a “clean” and “green” lifestyle on a personal and family level;  This is anchored on the concept of “Leadership by Example”;
  • Endeavor to relentlessly evangelize about ways and means to protect, preserve and develop natural resources by whatever means available to me and within my personal capacity;  The most cost-effective and cost-efficient means is through social media;
  • Enlist the support, cooperation and participation of a broad spectrum of stakeholders most especially the upland communities affected by environmental programs and activities;
  • Join other such activities that are aimed at the sustainable environmental management;
  • Join efforts to review and harmonize existing laws governing environment and natural resources management matters and concerns and then lobby for the enactment of ideal pro-environmental laws consistent with the protection, conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources; and,
  • Ascertain that all activities environment-related activities are geared towards sustainable environmental management to promote economic development that translates to social justice.

The Philippines is a democracy and, therefore, governed by laws.  Although most laws are pro-environment, some laws are not and are the cause of over exploitation and utilization of natural resources and, therefore, more harmful than protective and progressive.  Aside from increasing environmental awareness and encouraging pro-environment programs and projects (such as clean air, reforestation, waterways clean up, solid waste management, etc.), a more effective measure is by way of environmental legislative reform.  Towards this end, I, on a personal and/or organized level, am willing and totally committed to:

  • Encourage the institutionalization of both government- and civil society-sponsored pro-environment projects, plans and programs;
  • Enlist as much support, cooperation and participation from a broad line-up of stakeholders using the principles of participatory management as a means to mold public opinion;
  • Endeavour to review and harmonize existing laws, rules and regulations with the aim of crafting ideal public policies that would promote pro-environmental plans and programs;
  • Make certain that the new public policies are responsive to the needs of both man and environment; and,
  • Conduct reviews and oversight functions to make sure the intent of the laws, rules and regulations are followed to the letter; and, if re-calibration of public policies is needed, craft and lobby for amendments.

That whether on a personal capacity or organized movement, I am totally committed to pursuing environmentalism through the following methodology:

  • Tooling myself with knowledge on environmental matters and concerns (from institutions such as the academe and other sources of environmental information);
  • Increasing awareness of people within and beyond my sphere of influence on environmental issues (using environmental communication); and,
  • Crafting the necessary laws and orders to promote pro-environmentalism (by involving myself in the review, deliberation and crafting of workable and effective pro-environment public policies);
That I shall exercise good participatory management concepts to arrive at environment- and people-friendly public policies towards achieving social justice;

That I shall be relentless in these pursuits until sustainable environmental management means are institutionalized to protect Mother Earth from environmental degradation and man from the ill effects of environmental neglect; and,

That I hereby wilfully and whole-heartedly commit myself to these tasks without mental reservation or purpose of evasion.  So help me God.

Just my little thoughts…

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