Contesting ‘Environment’ Through the Lens of Sustainability: Examining Implications for Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)


  • Helen Kopnina The Hague University of Applied Science, The Netherlands



Anthropocentrism, biodiversity, conservation, deep ecology, education for sustainable development (ESD), environmental education (EE), ethics, pluralism, sustainability, sustainable development


This article reflects on implications of presenting nature as a social construction, and of commodification of nature. The social construction of nature tends to limit significance of nature to human perception of it. Commodification presents nature in strict instrumental terms as ‘natural resources’, ‘natural capital’ or ‘ecosystem services’. Both construction and commodification exhibit anthropocentric bias in denying intrinsic value of non-human species. This article will highlight the importance of a deep ecology perspective, by elaborating upon the ethical context in which construction and commodification of nature occur. Finally, this article will discuss the implications of this ethical context in relation to environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD).


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Theme: Sustainabilities