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2019年第3期   DOI:10.22217/upi.2019.166
如何应用“防患于未然原则”于社会—生态实践?
How to Apply “The Precautionary Principle” in Socio-Ecological Practice?

王昕晧

Wang Xinhao

关键词:防患于未然;不确定性;韧性;生态智慧;变化

Keywords:Precautionary Principle; Uncertainty; Resilience; Ecological Wisdom; Change

摘要:

社会—生态实践研究旨在支持与人类社会可持续发展相关的社会实践,包括政策和法规的制定。人类赖以生存的社会生态系统是一个复杂系统,充满很多不确定因素。有些变化是人们有意而为的,如改善生活环境,而有些变化是不希望发生的,如犯罪事件增多。当这些变化对生命财产或正常生活造成严重危害时,我们就称之为灾害。伴随最近两百多年的工业化和城市化,越来越多的人口集中在城市。自1970 年代以来,由于人口、环境问题的日趋严重,很多学者和决策机构提倡将“防患于未然原则”作为制定公共政策的指导方针。虽然越来越多的国家和国际组织在制定政策时遵循防患于未然原则,但反对和质疑的也不在少数。回顾有关防患于未然原则及其应用的争论可以看出,双方其实对该原则的概念并无异议,但在面对潜在的危害时,就该原则对决策的指导功能的评价却大相庭径。究其原因,争论的主要症结在于双方都无法给出确定的答案以说服对方。可是,防患于未然原则的兴起正是因为社会生态系统中的不确定性,因此要求这一原则能给决策者提供具体指南本来就是不成立的。那么,对于这个在缺乏精准科学知识支持下必须做出决策的非理性问题,我们应该如何应对呢?近年来兴起的生态智慧和韧性思维可以为在社会—生态实践中应用防患于未然原则提供必要的支持。生态智慧作为智慧的一种,追求的是基于知识、经验和道德规范构建生态和谐的社会生态系统的能力。韧性思维促使我们关注发展以外的系统特性,承认对系统有威胁的灾害总会发生而且其发生的时间、地点、规模、频率等都是不确定或不可预测的。因此系统必须具备随时应对突如其来的灾害袭击、保障系统功能持续的能力。目前有关防患于未然原则的争论很大程度上是因为我们把趋利避害分开考虑,将趋利看作私人行为而将避害看作公共行为。本文意在通过提倡生态智慧与韧性思维的结合,使每个人都愿意担当起“审慎避害”的责任和义务。如果我们在面对不可预测的未来,必须做决策时都以实现人与自然环境和谐共存为目的,减少人类诱发的灾害,就可以恰当地应用防患于未然原则提高社会生态系统的质量和韧性。


Abstract:

The socio-ecological practice research aims at supporting practices related to sustainable development of human society, including policy and regulation development. The socio-ecological system in which human beings live is a complex system with many uncertainties. When people intentionally make changes to improve their living condition, some unintended changes may occur, such as the increase of crimes and the increased exposure to natural disasters. Disasters happen when some changes severally threaten people’s lives, properties, or routine activities. Along with the industrialization and urbanization progress more people are concentrated in urban areas. Since the 1970s many scholars and policy makers have promoted the precautionary principle as the basis for public policy development, in response to the increasing problems associated with population growth and environmental degradation. While the precautionary principle has been widely adopted by various governments and international organizations, it is always associated with debates about its value in decision-making. A review of the debates reveals that the core of difference is not on the value the precautionary principle stands for. Rather, people debate the implementation of the

precautionary principle. Some of the debates have revealed the misuse of the principle and the need for clarification and specification. Other differences of opinions can be attributed to the uncertainties of the future since neither the proponents nor the opponents of the principle can be certain about the outcome of a proposed action. Therefore, how to make decisions in the face of this “wicked problem” of decision-making without precise scientific proof? The recent progress of ecological wisdom and resilience thinking have the potential to provide a fresh perspective for applying the precautionary principle in socio-ecological practice. Ecological wisdom requires all involved stakeholders integrate scientific knowledge, local knowledge, experience, and ethical values in developing the humanenvironment harmonious socio-ecological system. Resilience thinking urges us to pay attentions to other system characteristics besides development, to recognize that disasters will happen and we can never be sure about their nature such as time, location, scale, and frequency. Therefore the socio-ecological system must develop the capacity to respond to disasters and sustain the system functions. Many of the debates about the precautionary principle are due to the separation of pursuing benefits and avoiding problems. The aim of this paper is to remove this separation through the integration of ecological wisdom and resilience thinking. Facing the uncertain future, everyone has the same obligation in making decisions to sustain the harmonious human-environment relationship, that is, to properly apply the precautionary principle to improve the quality and resilience of the socio-ecology system.


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作者简介:

王昕晧,博士,北京交通大学海外讲席教授, 美国辛辛那提大学设计、建筑、艺术、规划学院教授。wangxo@ucmail.uc.edu

译者简介:

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