Participation in Environmental Decision Making as an Imperative for Democracy and Environmental Justice in Colombia

Gloria Amparo Rodríguez, Iván Vargas-Chaves

Abstract


Restrictions on the scope of government action by forcing authorities to act exclusively to the extent permitted by law are a guarantee against abuses of power when authorities’ decisions have environmental implications. Such control ensures that this becomes a reality because it provides a way by which to overcome administrative inefficiency and avoid departure from the essential aims of public institutions. Environmental commitment is necessary for denationalization of the state; it appears as a subsidiary to the initiative and participation of citizens, which, by shifting functions to the private sphere, is also linked to destatization strategies. In light of these assumptions, and the consideration that decisions should not be taken without the input of communities, this article advocates the inclusion of citizens’ voices in environmental policies and management. These issues are addressed from the perspective of Hans Jonas’ ethic of responsibility, with the aim to develop socially responsible and participatory projects.

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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