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The purpose of this study is to scrutinize the indigenous environmental ethics of the Gedeo people, in Gedeo zone focusing on sage and elite informants on three randomly selected woredas. It is assumed that the views of both sage and elite informants represents the indigenous environmental ethics of the Gedeo people is holistic and implicit. Methodologically, qualitative research approach has been employed. Theoretically, the meaning, nature, significance and the roles of environmental ethics were discussed with the informants and a nexus has been sought vis-à-vis scholarly perspectives. Besides, the moral relations between the Gedeo people with their environment were discussed. Despite the divergent meanings given by informants, the meaning of indigenous environmental ethics for the Gedeo people, undoubtedly, is understandable implicitly and found in unwritten form in their cultural practices, institutions, religious systems, history, and oral traditions. It is also holistic in its nature since it encompasses both anthropocentric (weak) and non-anthropocentric views. Besides, they provide utilitarian and non-utilitarian, intrinsic and extrinsic values and both the power of domination and stewardship for humankind towards the environment. Morality, religion, culture, history, indigenous knowledge, social institutions are the Archimedean points of environmental obligation. Generally, for the Gedeo people the issue of justice, integrity, and stability is not merely human virtues but they also extend them to the environment as well.
Rosane Cavalcante Fragoso, Brasil
Chief Scientific Officer and Head of a Research Group
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