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  • First, spend some time considering your own perspective in relation to two of the discussion statements shown on page 2 of this handout.
    • Think about whether you agree or disagree with the statement, or whether you would modify it in some way to reflect your own view.
    • Consider how the statement relates to the different worldviews and knowledge systems we have discussed in class and relate these to your own views on human-environment relations and/or how nature and human needs are valued.
    • Draw on examples of contemporary environmental issues to explain your reasoning or to support your viewpoint.
  • Summarize your thoughts on the two discussion topics you have selected and then post these to your assigned group discussion forum on eLearn. Make it clear which discussion point you are responding to.These posts do not need to be long but should convey your careful consideration of each discussion topic. As a general guide ~150 words should suffice for each topic.Please carefully check grammar and spelling before posting and check that your key points are clearly and concisely written.
  • Once you have posted your own discussion reflections you should review those of the other students in your group. Post responses to at least two other posts in the discussion forum (these can relate to any of the topics listed below) and offer your own thoughts in relation to the views of other students in your group.

A further note on responses:Please remember to be respectful in your responses and to aim for a constructive discussion rather than any criticism of others’ views. Be thoughtful in making responses and offer some further substantive thoughts (i.e., do not just say “I agree/ disagree with your point”, explain why this is the case). Try not to repeat points that others have made, instead offer a new idea or perspective to extend the discussion. Respect diversity in other peoples’ worldviews and open up to perspectives that are different from yours.If you do have any concerns about others’ comments, please contact the instructor.


The activity will be marked out of 6 points.Marks will be awarded for (i) well-considered reflections that relate to concepts discussed in class and draw on relevant examples, (ii) clearly formulated summaries in the eLearn discussion forum; and, (iii) thoughtful and insightful responses to the posts of other students that extend the discussion.

Discussion statements (** select two of these for your discussion summary)

  1. The intrinsic value of nature is more important to consider than its utilitarian value when developing sustainable management plans.
  2. Traditional ecological knowledge should take precedence over scientific evidence in developing ecosystem management frameworks.
  3. Human advancement cannot occur without adversely affecting the natural environment and attempting to balance ecosystem needs with human resource needs is futile.
  4. Prioritizing technological innovation is the best way to ensure that we can reverse damage to ecosystems and sustain future generations.
  5. It is no longer possible to talk of ‘natural’ systems or of ‘nature’ given that the earth has been wholly colonized by human beings during the Anthropocene.
  6. Before taking action to protect the environment we should wait for full scientific certainty and consensus about the key causes of environmental degradation.


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