Do you believe that New Environmentalism is a legit theory?
These approaches can help us in the transformation of environmental law from the anthropocentric perspective to an ecocentric perspective on a short-term basis. But the reality of having an environmental, human right could be perceived to be self-contradictory in the long run. Another way to this is by developing every human right to demonstrate that humanity is an integral part of the biosphere and display the innate value of that nature and that humanity is responsible for nature. Summarily, there is a need to add ecological limitations and obligations to human rights discourse.
There are some actions targeted at overcoming the anthropocentric approach. One of them is the documentation on the concept of nature’s rights has after an article ‘Should Trees Have Standing?’ by Christopher Stone’ was published. Following after for some years is the debate on the concept among lawyers, philosophers, theologians, and sociologists. A variety of ethical and legal approaches have been given as a result of the debate. Some of the ethical and legal approaches include: “legally rights that can be enforced for nature (as envisaged by Stone); so-called biotic rights (being moral imperatives which are not legally enforceable); moral responsibilities; and rightness (a norm which prescribes a need for a proper healthy relationship between humanity and nature)”. The major similarity in these approaches is the effort to give concrete and meaningful recognition to the innate value of nature. However, the difference is in the ways of achievement. It was suggested by some scholars that this should be considered within the context of rights that are enforceable in a legal sense while others opine that recognition could be through annunciation of values or status, which must go with the consideration of the interests of nature by humanity and to prioritize these interests that they might not otherwise be granted.
In conclusion, it is clear that New Environmentalism was to a rather large extent anthropocentric as it inspired the inception of environmental, human rights and social and political change in accordance to human satisfaction. New Environmentalism from its original roots, when it became politicized and a bridge was built from environmental matters and political and social matters; it highlighted the innate anthropocentric roots.