How Applicable is the Idea of Deep Ecology in the African Context?
In this paper, I outlined and discussed the idea of deep ecology as defended by Arne Næss (1973) as well as Bill Devall and George Sessions (1985). I especially looked at how deep ecology has responded to the dominant view in ecological ethics, especially its attendant theory – anthropocentrism or homo-centrism or simply the reason-based account – which I outlined and explained in the first section of this paper. In the final analysis, I looked at the feasibility (or lack thereof) of applying deep ecology in Sub-Saharan African ecological contexts focusing particularly on the Shona ecological matrix of Zimbabwe. My intention was to answer the question: How applicable is the idea of deep ecology in the African context? Having reviewed Zimbabwean literature, I came to the conclusion that the Shona enviro nment had a different form of deep ecology that was not only anchored on spirituality but that it also interpreted cosmology and ecology from a communitarian viewpoint.
Keywords: Deep ecology, the dominant view, anthropocentrism, spirituality, the human world, the non-human world