Connection to Nature – Exploring the Construct of Relational Values

Why should nature be preserved and protected? This question is often answered from an instrumental or an intrinsic position (Tallis and Lubchenco, 2014). The fundamental postulate of the intrinsic perspective is that biological diversity has a value of its own, regardless of the potential use or benefit for humans. Species have value because of their pure existence, and this value is seen as inviolable (Soulé, 1985; Sandler, 2012). In terms of the instrumental point of view, the focus is on ecosystem services for the protection of nature. Instrumentalists argue that this beneficial approach is more effective than an intrinsic value of nature (Reid et al., 2006). Furthermore, the protection of nature for its own good is considered as outdated and impractical (Soulé, 2013). A weakness of the instrumental view is the existence of natural things that have little or no value to humans. For this reason, intrinsic values should not be disregarded. However, instrumental arguments are more often effective for the general public and should, therefore, be used in contexts where conservation is crucial (Tallis and Lubchenco, 2014).


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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