Tag Archives: Environmental Conservation; Bukusu Environmental Wisdom and Virtue; Shallow Ecology; Deep Ecology; Eco-sustainability; Limanya; Kinship.

Reflections on Bukusu Ecological Wisdom and Virtue in Environmental Ethics Discourse (Published)

Conservation, protection and care of the natural environment is a major issue of concern in the 21st century. It’s in recognition of this fact that environmental issues occupy significant space in various fields of scholarly pursuit. Philosophical reflections on these issues have been rife. This paper is premised on the position that present environmental crisis is largely caused by human actions and inactions, particularly due to increased human capacity to interfere with natural processes. In this paper we have shown that the human-nature encounter raises serious ethical concerns and hence the need for an ethical response. However we are cognizant of the theoretical controversies in environmentalism particularly regarding the appropriate framework to articulate the ethical dimension of human-nature relationship. It is against this backdrop that this study from which this paper has been developed was conceived. This paper is therefore based on the findings of a study carried out in an African cultural context to assess the contribution of culture and tradition to the aforementioned debate in environmental ethics. The study is a reconstruction of the Bukusu (one of the Kenyan ethnic communities) environmental values gathered through intensive oral interviews and subjected to rigorous critical scrutiny and analysis. The study reveals an environmental an ethic which recognizes inherent value in nonhuman nature while emphasizing the unique place of humanity in nature. The Bukusu environmental wisdom and virtue support principles and values aimed at achieving ecological balance and harmony. This is perfectly consistent with Bukusu morality which emphasizes harmonizing relationships. Finally and most significantly the findings support eco-sustainability as the ideal human-nature ethical theoretical framework.

Keywords: Environmental Conservation; Bukusu Environmental Wisdom and Virtue; Shallow Ecology; Deep Ecology; Eco-sustainability; Limanya; Kinship.