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Earth Ethics

AELA believes that in order to build an Earth-centred (ecocentric) society, we must promote the understanding and practical implementation of Earth-centred ethics.

'Ethics' are the principles of conduct that govern an individual or group. Our ethics reflect the way we think about ourselves and understand the world, and they inform the governance systems that guide our societies - so we view Earth ethics as a critical part of the roots for wider systems change.

In Australia, like many other countries with governments and institutions created by Western systems of knowledge, our ethics and governance systems are dominated by a human-centred world view.  This world view sees humans and nature as separate, and values human economic interests above the sustainability of ecosystems and life on Earth.  In contrast, Earth-centred ethics  aim to orient people towards recognising the interconnected systems of life that live through us, and respecting the critical ways that the living world supports us and all that we do.

AELA’s Earth Ethics Program aims to help people learn and share information about: what ethics are and how they work;  how Earth-centred ethics can be built in a time of global ecological crisis; and how human societies can continue to build hope and resilience as we face ever increasing environmental, psychological and spiritual challenges. Our work is multi-disciplinary and engages with wisdom and insights from First Nations Peoples, Western ethics, law, economics, politics, education, psychology, philosophy, deep ecology and the arts.

Earth Ethics Events

In 2024, AELA will be hosting a number of online and in-person workshops and events, focusing on Earth-centred ethics. More details will be available soon.

Earth Ethics Australia Journal 2024

Earth Ethics Australia is an online, peer-reviewed journal hosted by AELA. Volume 1 was released in 2019, and while COVID interrupted plans for Volume 2, we are now pleased to be planning our second volume in 2024.

The journal aims to share knowledge and explore options for living an Earth-centred life, and building an Earth-centred governance system for organisations, businesses and society in Australia.

The Call for Abstracts will be announced shortly, and the 2024 journal will invite articles exploring a range of topics, including:

  • the meaning and practice of Earth-centred ethics, from different cultural traditions in Australia;
  • the differences and similarities between human-centred and Earth-centred ethics;
  • what public, political and organisational governance might look like in Australia if it was based on Earth-centred ethics; and
  • how individuals can embrace and practice Earth-centred ethics.

Inspiring Earth Ethics: Linking Values and Action

Inspiring Earth Ethics: Linking Values and Action
Earth Ethics Australia - Volume 1 This publication is the first produced by the Australian Earth Laws Alliance’s “Earth Ethics Program”, which offers a space for people to explore ideas and actions that stem from our interconnectedness with, and dependence upon, the living world. Our ethical values are critically important; the way we think about...

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Opportunities to connect and get involved

  • We are also working on developing formal and informal platforms for continuing dialogue around the key thematic areas we have identified within Earth Ethics: First Nations Perspectives, Eco-Psychology, Environmental Education, Arts, Faith and Eco-spirituality, Philosophy and Law and Governance.

For more information about AELA's Earth Ethics projects, or to explore how to collaborate on a project, event or publication, please email:

Past Projects

  • 14 May 2016, Brisbane – “A Walk with a Difference in Toohey Forest”.  Evening seminar.
  • Tuesday 27 October 2016, Brisbane – “The significance of the Pope’s Encyclical“. Evening seminar.
  • 5th September 2015, Blue Mountains – “Cosmic Walk“, 1 day event co-hosted by Pagaian Cosmology.
  • 18 August 2015, Melbourne -“Exploring Ecospirituality: Faith, Earth Ethics and Professional Life” – Evening seminar, co-hosted with Earth Song.
  • 23 June 2015, Brisbane – “Nurturing a Spiritual Approach to Climate Change”. Evening seminar.
  • 23 March 2015, Brisbane – ‘Exploring Ecospirituality in Harmony Week’.
  • 11th December 2015, Brisbane – “Journey of the Universe: Film Night and Discussion” – Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, Griffith University.
  • 22 November, 2014 – Perth.  1 day "Exploring Ecospirituality" workshop.
  • 25 July, 2014 – Brisbane  – 1 day ‘Exploring Ecospirituality Workshop. This workshop explored ecocentrism and ecospirituality from indigenous, Buddhist, Islamic, Pagan, Christian and secular points of view.  100 people joined us for the presentations and the day also featured open space and small group discussions.