In Munamato Chemhuru (ed.), African Environmental Ethics: A Critical Reader. Springer Verlag. pp. 93-109 (2019)

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Abstract
The human race is experiencing climate change and the catastrophic ripple effects, e.g. increased levels of droughts, flooding, food insecurity, etc. It is cardinal that humankind adopts post-haste collective behavior to mitigate climatic changes. Interestingly, although Africa contributes less greenhouse gas emissions than more developed continents, it is one of the most vulnerable continents when faced with climate change. International stakeholders are motivated to implement climate change adaptation strategies, e.g. sustainable development and the introduction of genetically modified crops in Africa’s agricultural sector, to lower the continent’s vulnerability. However, when developing and implementing adaptation strategies, cognizance must be allocated to the unique cultural values of various stakeholders. This is often not the case as cultural value systems of communities are neglected in these processes, e.g. the African values system of Ubuntu. It is imperative to investigate and compare individualistic-capitalistic Western values and the values of Ubuntu as it pertains to environmental ethics. Both value systems attribute different significance to relationality between humans, non-humans, and the natural environment. From this, I argue that the individualistic-capitalistic West has much to learn from Africa’s Ubuntu and the ensuing potential for climate change adaptation. Subsequently, a call for a universal paradigm shift will be made, away from the economic and development foci of individualistic-capitalistic values, towards Ubuntu degrowth which prioritizes communitarianism, and the principle of sufficiency. I suggest that relevant and diverse stakeholders meet around the “global roundtable” to consider and discuss different perspectives and cultural values when developing climate change adaptation strategies on a global level.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-18807-8_7
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