“Living Well Rather Than Living Better”

Measuring Biocentric Human-Nature Rights and Human–Nature Development in Ecuador

in Volume 5 (2015): Issue 2 (Dec 2015)
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Drawing on the first attempt worldwide to implement human rights indicators at the national level in Ecuador (2009–2014), as well as on a critical review of the uneasy relationship between human rights and human development discourses, this article calls into question the prefix “human” in contemporary human development and human rights thinking. By alternating case study and reflection, it argues that a systemic and biocentric focus on human–nature relationships, extending the concepts of capabilities and functionings to ecosystems and human–nature interactions, is important for designing adequate tools for human–nature development, monitoring and for moving beyond ascribing merely instrumental value to nature. In order to shift the common understanding of human rights and human development from anthropocentric frameworks toward a more realistic biocentric focus, a focus on life as such is proposed, including inherent moments of arising and passing that express the necessary limitations to all human conduct and striving.

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

in Volume 5 (2015): Issue 2 (Dec 2015)