Environmental Ethics of Forest Health: Alternative Stories of Asian Longhorn Beetle Management in the UK
Management responses to invasive forest pathogens and invertebrates have significant consequences for both humans and non-humans. In this chapter, we draw on environmental and non-human ethical frameworks to critically reflect upon the anthropocentrism intrinsic to contemporary ‘emergency modality’ forest health management, which is founded on utilitarian claims of environmental protection, ‘native’ species conservation, and prevention of economic damage to commercial forestry. We generate three novel narrative accounts, or stories, of the 2012 ‘outbreak’ of Asian longhorn beetle in the UK that focus on the moral status of, empathy for, and flourishing of non-humans. This chapter demonstrates how alternative ethics may demand revised approaches and result in different outcomes. Taking greater account of non-humans would demand increased prior analysis and inspection efforts, although management methods may remain similar.
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