Eco-Civilization: The Chinese Vision of Prosperity

Eco-Civilization: The Chinese Vision of Prosperity

Publication details

  • Monday | 14 Sep, 2020
  • Shakeel Ahmed Ramay
  • Research Reports,Project Publications
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Background Human race is undergoing the most difficult period of its history. It is struggling with multidimensional problems, including poverty, food insecurity, climate change, diseases, and security issues. Howbeit, environmental degradation has overshadowed all problems. The severity of the problem can be judged by the intensity and sphere of impact. It is widely debated that environmental degradation has threatened the very existence of the mother earth. The conscious minds of the world are urging the world leaders and governments to act urgently and decisively to save the planet. Responding to the call, the United Nations have created a good number of bodies and institutions, e.g. United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCC) etc. These bodies are instituted to speed up the process of policy formulation and implementation. Regional organizations and small groups like European Union, SAARC, ASEAN, G-7, G-20 and many others are also showing willingness to work to combat the environmental degradation. Despite all the institutional frameworks, talks and strong calls for action by governments, the problem is getting worse by the day. The situation can be best understood by analyzing the current state of environment and environmental degradation. It is evident that floods are increasing, heatwaves are on the rise, waste problem is getting bigger, air & water pollution is haunting humans, and are creating numerous problems. The dream of human prosperity has been impacted severely by environmental degradation. Human are compelled to live in a polluted and disaster risk prone environment. Experts believe that there can be many reasons for this state of affairs, but the most important one is blindly following GDP led growth model put forward by the capitalist system. It is widely accepted that the Capitalist model which follows the anthropogenic-centric development model has undermined the prosperity of mankind and violated eco-ethics. The model has disregarded the environment and nature as part of system and treated it as external factors to fulfil the material objectives. It led to exploitation of natural resources and burdened the environment with pollution, waste, harmful gases and irreversible process like climate change. The other prominent side effect of the model is concentration of wealth in few hands and widespread in-equality. Environmental degradation is further enhancing the in-equalities. Human race achieved the goal of modernization but at the cost of environment and wide-spread in-equalities in every part of the world. It has been mentioned time and again that the resources are exploited and concentrated in few hands and large majority of people are suffering. Unfortunately, the regional and international organizations are still trying to find a solution inside the existing model of development. The efforts have proven futile because the real problem is being ignored. The real problem is system, which is root cause of current state of environmental degradation and in-equalities. Hence, there is need to change the existing system and replace it with a system that can help the environment and humanity. The system should be more responsible in terms of environment and equitable in term of human, which can ensure prosperity. The debate has been started on the concept during the last few decades. Eco-civilization has been proposed as an alternative to solve the existing problems of environmental degradation and prosperity. The theory of eco-civilization has been built on two important concepts: 1. Constructive Post-modernization 2. Ecological Marxism There is a need to understand these concepts to understand the importance and relevance of eco-civilization. The concepts have evolved during the last three decades. These concepts are basically emphasizing on the prosperity instead of accumulation of wealth or resources and evade exploitation of nature. The experts and scholars like Griffin, Cobb, Kang Ouyang, Fred Magdoff and Foster etc. are suggesting the world to apply these concepts to realize the dream of Eco-civilization and ensure a safe and healthy life for our future generations and mother earth. China is the only country which has started to pay heed to this new thinking and started to work towards it. President Xi Jinping has made it a top priority of government and has asked everyone to follow it. He categorically said thatGDP should not be the only focus of China, China should look at development as a tool of prosperity, that care for the environment and humans equally. President Xi has linked his thoughts with the vision of shared prosperity, shared future and shared destiny.