Environmental Ethics and the Ecological Crisis: ZHOU Jinfeng Talks about Lessons from Madagascar Rosewoods
2023/5/15 9:35:00 本站

Dr. ZHOU Jinfeng, Secretary General of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), was invited to give a lecture titled "Contemporary Ecological Crisis and Environmental Ethics" as part of the "Famous Lectures on Science Ethics and Technology Ethics" series at Southern University of Science and Technology on April 14, 2023. The lecture was hosted by Professor Tian Song from the Humanities and Social Sciences Center at SUSTech. Below are some excerpts from Dr. Zhou's speech for readers' reference.

The Earth is facing the sixth mass extinction, and the entire ecology of the planet is under extreme pressure. Unlike the previous five mass extinctions, the main driving force behind this one is human activity. Our insatiable desire for consumption has long surpassed the level necessary to sustain life, replaced instead by a large amount of unnecessary and extravagant consumption.

There is a limit to growth. Therefore, the excessive exploitation of nature will inevitably bring catastrophic consequences for the future of humanity. The "rosewood" crisis in Madagascar is a typical example. Driven by economic interests, rosewood in Madagascar has been overexploited, causing widespread destruction of the original forest ecosystem. This has left many animals and plants that once depended on the forest without a home and worsened land desertification.

Illegal logging in Madagascar has been a serious problem.

40 years ago, the forest coverage of the island of Madagascar was as high as 95%. But today, decades later, forest coverage has plummeted to less than 10%. Imagine, after such a large-scale loss of forest, where would all the wild animals that used to inhabit the forest go?

The massive loss of biodiversity has occurred mostly in the past 50 years, which is a very serious reality. Think about it, if in just 50 years, humanity's life support system - the ecosystem - has declined by 80%, what will happen to us? What can we do? Can we still inhabit the earth?

Back in 2016, the CBCGDF has launched an initiative called "I Love Forests and Will No Longer Collect Rosewood", calling for collectors to stop collecting new ones. Humanity is moving towards a new era of ecological civilization, and we must change our luxurious way of life and learn to think comprehensively. Only by constantly innovating and developing can we have the ability to meet the challenges of this new era.

Rosewoods in Madagascar is an important part of nature ecosystem of Madagascar. Today, we must learn a new ecological civilization, which will cause a drastic "unprecedented change." Everything, including ethics, will change as a result. Today, rosewood furniture is no longer a necessity in our lives. In the past, it was a luxury item, a collectible, a show of status and wealth; but in the near future, people will certainly no longer collect rosewood furniture - because it will eventually be prohibited for sale, just like ivory. Collectors will only be left with a worthless item in their hands, unable to do anything with it. Collecting will only mean keeping it forever.

That's why it is vital for us to learn to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity. We must abandon our previous unsustainable lifestyle and learn to think comprehensively in order to adapt to the new era of ecological civilization. Let us work together to protect the planet and its precious resources for future generations.

Writer: Daisy

Editor: Daisy

Contact: v10@cbcgdf.org; +8617319454776


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