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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

versión On-line ISSN 2222-3436
versión impresa ISSN 1015-8812


DE WIT, Martin. Another Look at Economic Approaches to Environmental Management and Policy with Reference to Developments in South Africa. S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. [online]. 2016, vol.19, n.5, pp.690-701. ISSN 2222-3436.

The wide acceptance of economic approaches to environmental management and policy, masks increasing heterogeneity in the field. This editorial addresses the question whether the economic approach is still warranted and under which conditions. A broad outline of the trends in both orthodox and heterodox economic approaches is also presented. The traditional split between environmental and ecological economics is not doing justice to recent developments in the field. Instead it is proposed to rather refer to Environmental, Resource and Ecological Economics (EREE), Ecological-Economic Systems (EES) and Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) approaches as well as Heterodox approaches to Environment and Sustainability (HEES). The contributions made to this special issue are placed within their respective subfields of influence. It is concluded that a deeper, self-critical exposition of moral philosophies and values as well as models of reality are needed. A strategy of engagement in an attitude of self-criticism, humility and in participation with others is proposed as a viable way forward. For such a process to be successful two conditions are required, namely valuing the human person and accepting the reality of a non- determinate world full of meaning.

Palabras clave : environmental management; environmental policy; environmental economics; ecological economics; heterodox economics; sustainability; ethics; values; ontology; participation.

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