Forests throughout the world continue to be in danger as a result of human activity. Although the average rate of deforestation has recently slowed, in some countries the rate of forest degradation remains high. Currently, numerous management efforts are underway to address this environmental crisis. In some cases the achievement of forest preservation has been related to ethical choices. One moral posture, anthropocentrism, which views human beings as central and the most significant species on the planet, is believed to be a primary cause of environmental degradation includes deforestation.
This paper aims to address deforestation with the reconfiguration of an ethic of environmental stewardship. Environmental stewardship is outlined as the sustainable and accountable consumption of natural resources that takes a full and balanced account of the interests of society, future generations, and other species. A religious interpretation would require the phrase “and ultimately to God” to be added. Environmental stewardship is, as a rule, based on an ecocentric model of morality (with the environment as the focal point); however it can also be based upon a theocentric model (God is at the center). Theo-centric ethics include the idea of accountability to God and are driven by religious faith, where God the creator and sustainer of the Earth.
As indicated by the teachings of Islam, the individual has a critical role in the protection of natural resources and the assets of the environment, which can also be described as fulfilling the role of God’s vice-regent, trustee or steward on Earth. Such perspective can provide a functional guide to the preservation of natural resources, wildlife and forests. The idea that the concept of stewardship can be found in diverse philosophies and religions does not diminish its significance or its critical importance to all like on the planet. In fact, it can encourage Muslims and non-Muslims alike to safeguard the natural world that has been entrusted to everyone. This is a universal notion of protecting t the ecosystem with which almost everyone can concur.
Key words: Deforestation, forest degradation, environment, environmentalism, nature, ethic, moral, philosophy, stewardship, anthropocentrism, eco-centrism, theo-centrism, God, Islam, Islamic, khlifa, caliph.