in coastal regions and in small islands
Dominica workshop papers
The Ethical Dimensions of Coastal Zone Management: The Case of the Portland Bight Protected Area, Jamaica
philosophical foundation of the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology)
is positivism and empiricism,
which deny any role for ethics
and morality in the search
for knowledge. This approach to epistemology has been useful in separating
belief from fact, especially in an age when the influence of religion on
politics and society was substantial. One only has to recall the difficulties Galileo and
Copernicus and Darwin had with religious authorities over their scientific views
to realize that science must be separate from faith and belief – however
reasonable – if it is to be considered to have objectivity and validity.
The natural sciences study ‘things’, which are wholly other from the
observer (objects) and can only be observed from the outside.
The natural scientist as a subject cannot interact with the object of his
research directly, which preserves the objectivity of the observation.
In the face of
this, the social sciences (sociology, economics, politics) have had difficulty
justifying their continued classification as sciences, since their subject
matter (humanity) is sentient, and possesses culture and ethics.
Although Emile Durkheim argued that ‘social facts must be treated as
“things”’ so that they can become the object of scientific study, one
cannot simply equate the two realms. Human
beings hold opinions and values, which can be the object of social research, but
humans hold those opinions and values as subjects in their own right, which
causes methodological problems for pure natural scientists.
The social scientist may appear to be just as positivist and empiricist
as the natural scientist, but the social researcher will have difficulty
separating himself as human subject from the human object of his research
because the very nature of the research involves inter-subjectivity, which is
absent from the natural sciences. And
so social scientists have had to accept the classification that even though what
they do is scientific, it is not ‘hard’ science, a term reserved for natural
science alone. Social science,
then, is ‘second class’ science in the eyes of the natural scientist.
Nevertheless, and despite their
philosophical differences, there are many natural and social scientists who
agree that ethics
have no place in their disciplines. Ethics
is the study of ‘the ought’, while both the natural sciences and social
sciences study ‘the is’. Even
though norms and values may become the object of study, they must not interfere
with the scientific method used to study them (which is value-free).
And so both the natural and social sciences are careful to distance
themselves from questions of right and wrong, about assigning more or less value
to one belief or another, and to separate the science (the knowledge itself)
from its use in the real world. Historically both the natural and social
sciences have officially and dogmatically eschewed ethics in an effort to shake
off the influence of the Church and religion on their disciplines.
However, if both groups of
scientists are honest, there are concepts used in both the natural and social
sciences, which are value-laden. Having
rejected the idea of having norms and values at all (to avoid taking on the
norms and values of the dominant Church) science has adopted its own set of
norms and values, which I hope I can demonstrate below.
Value-laden Concepts in the
Remember that both the natural
and the social sciences set themselves the task of description,
saying what something is.
If it can be demonstrated that any natural or social science has begun to
say what ought to be, then this will
have proved that they have drifted into the realm of ethics,
that they have incorporated value-laden (and therefore moral) concepts into the
corpus of their theory.
It is easier to show it for the
social sciences, but let us first look at examples from the natural sciences.
Ecology is a natural science
discipline, which studies the relationship between animals and plants, and the
ecosystems within which they are located. Ecosystems
can be healthy or degraded, and all shades in between, and describing their
exact status is the stuff of pure science.
Once the scientist suggests a preference for healthy ecosystems, and puts
forward a strategy for conservation,
ethical concepts have been let in the door.
is an overtly value-laden concept, demanding that certain choices be made
between competing uses of the terrestrial, riparian, coastal, aquatic or marine
A concept related to ecosystem
health is biodiversity,
which refers to the types and numbers of animal and plant species present in an
may be adjudged high if the full range of animal and plant species are present
in an ecosystem in quantities high enough for sustainability over time.
Again just describing the biodiversity
state of an area is pure science, but when the scientists suggest that high biodiversity
is to be preferred to low biodiversity,
questions of value have been unmistakably introduced.
The premium placed on endemic
species, unique to a large or small region, and the concern about reversing
trends towards species extinction, have been raised as issues of environmental ethics
requiring action from the state. Over
millennia, millions of species – some incipient – have become extinct as a
result of natural selection after variation due to genetic recombination or
mutation. Extinction and speciation due to evolution are both natural
processes, and describing what is happening can be value-free science.
Once the scientist decides to recommend measures to prevent species
extinction, he has introduced the element of value into the equation and has
become an activist.
Fish stocks and therefore fish
catches are declining across the world. Fisheries
biologists have developed tools such as the Surplus
Production Model which seek to guide fisheries managers towards strategies
for optimising either yield (MSY = maximum sustainable yield) or economic
returns (MEY = maximum economic yield). The
recommendation for total allowable catch (TAC) is based on a judgement as to the
relative weight to be given to MSY or MEY.
All of these determinations by scientists are value judgements.
The very adoption of the concept
of sustainability is value-laden.
The idea that fish catches or timber harvests should be at rates equal to
or less than the rate of reproduction or regeneration is an ethical position. It happens to be an ethical position supported by many (not
by all), because it is a surrogate for long-term ecosystem health.
Nevertheless it represents the intrusion of ethical norms and values into
the science of ecology.
A final example closer to home
should suffice. Beaches
erode and accrete naturally in an annual cycle, and understanding and
quantifying this process is pure science, including a determination of the
impact of coastal erosion on structures built on the coastline, and the impact
of coastal structures on coastal erosion. Other
factors such as global warming may exacerbate the process, and understanding and
measuring these effects is also pure science.
Even prescribing strategies based on the understanding of the processes
that will promote erosion or accretion may be pure science, but once the
scientist decides that coastal erosion or accretion is good or bad, he has
crossed the line and has introduced concepts of value.
There will be few (except certain
purists) who will criticize scientists for introducing these value-laden
concepts into their disciplines. Indeed, scientists have received much praise and acclaim for
performing ‘useful’ research.
Value-laden Concepts in the
The task of demonstrating that
value-laden concepts are integral to the social sciences is easy, since there
are so many. The very concept of development
– the preoccupation of all nations – contains many imbedded values such as
advancement, improvement and progress. The
more limited concept of economic development
has its specific definition of ‘increase in per capita gross domestic product
(GDP)’, which may be value-free, but broadening the idea of development
to include concepts like sustainability introduces ethical issues.
The concept of development
also includes the idea that poverty, illiteracy and disease are not desirable,
and innumerable social scientists of all disciplines have been enlisted in the
process of planning for a human and social development
where these conditions are minimised. In
decades past, this was unthinkable, not just because of the obviously ethical
and moral content, but development theory before 1950 did not assert that
development could be created or avoided. In
fact there was the view that there was an invisible hand working behind the
scenes and that there were inexorable laws uplifting some and relegating others
to backwardness. Once development
theory admitted the possibility of charting the course of national and local
development, then the scientists doing the charting found themselves in the
position of having to decide on the suite of items which would constitute
‘development’, a profoundly ethical and moral choice.
history of humanity demonstrates evolution in social and political institutions,
from, for example, slavery to feudalism to democracy.
Different countries are at different points in the process, and there
is definitely the feeling that some countries are more advanced
than others based on their evolutionary stage.
The pattern variables of Talcott
Parsons clearly posit that societies which distribute social rewards based
on achievement are more advanced than those which distribute on the basis of
ascription; and the like. The social
sciences definitely pass value judgments on societies with respect to their
level of development.
judgment that democracy is the best form of government because of the role it
gives to its citizens, is a value
judgment. The maxim
‘no taxation without representation’ is a moral prescript.
The principle of subsidiarity
(that decisions which can be taken at a lower level should not be taken at a
higher level) is a value judgment.
would the social sciences be like without the value-laden concepts discussed
above? Certainly much less useful.
A Value-driven Approach to
Natural Resource Management
If it is agreed that there are
many ethical statements already in scientific discourse – both natural and
social – and that they enrich the discourse rather than impoverish it, the
definition of the nature of science needs to be modified to openly accommodate
this new dimension.
Scientists, then, will be able to
welcome moral ideas into their discipline, which means that discussion of the ethics
of natural resource management or coastal zone management will become central
rather than a sideshow. The upshot
of applying one set of ethical values rather than another, may also be studied. Not every set of moral values will be consonant with the
goals of natural resource management, and this must be openly discussed.
For example, the logical outcome
of holding anthropocentric values as dominant (requiring everything to be
subject to the demands of economic development)
might be environmental degradation, while the logical outcome of holding
ecological values as dominant (forbidding any activity which damages the
environment) might be economic stagnation and poverty.
If all political decisions were subject to some set of holistic values
surrounding sustainable development, where both conservation
and economic growth were simultaneous goals, then we might be able to achieve
some consensus as to the way forward in human history.
The ‘Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands’ (CSI) platform of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted a framework for evaluating the field projects it supports, which involves assessing how each project measures up to a suite of criteria which are overtly ethical, whether it uses that term or not. The overarching concept is ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’, and the sixteen criteria for knowing whether a project evinces wisdom and sustainable development are the following:
|1.||The project must have long-term benefits.|
|2.||The project must provide for capacity building and institutional strengthening.|
|3.||The project activities must be sustainable.|
|4.||The capability to perform project activities must be transferred to locals.|
|5.||The project activities must be interdisciplinary and intersectoral.|
|6.||The project activities must incorporate participatory processes.|
|7.||The project activities must provide for consensus building.|
|8.||The project activities must include an effective and efficient communication process.|
|9.||The project activities must be culturally respectful.|
|10.||The project activities must take into account gender and/or sensitivity issues.|
|11.||The project activities must strengthen local identities.|
|12.||The project activities must shape national legal policy.|
|13.||The project activities must encompass the regional dimension.|
|14.||The project activities must provide for human rights.|
|15.||The project activities must have been documented.|
|16.||The project activities must have been evaluated.|
The process of evaluation, of
deciding on a score representing the extent to which the project activities
achieve each criterion of ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human
Development’, may be objective
and scientific; but by virtue of the fact that each criterion is a value
judgment of the project, suggesting that a particular situation is desirable and
its opposite undesirable, the exercise is an ethical one.
these criteria and using them for evaluation, UNESCO-CSI
is defining the norms and values, which should guide activities in the coastal
zone. In this sense, UNESCO-CSI
is promoting a value-driven approach to coastal zone management.
These ethical criteria are concerned both about the condition of the
natural resources (natural sciences) and the human resources (social sciences)
– although it is weak on the former – and it draws a clear boundary
encompassing the suite of activities UNESCO-CSI
considers to fall under the umbrella of natural resource management in the
Portland Bight Protected Area: A Locus
for Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development
On the Caribbean island of Jamaica,
the government has committed itself to creating fourteen parks and protected
areas as a part of its natural resource management programme.
The Jamaican government has decided not to create a state agency to manage
national parks and protected areas, but to delegate
management responsibility to suitable non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
On Earth Day (April 22) 1999, Jamaica’s Minister of the Environment signed
an Order creating the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA) – by far Jamaica’s
largest – and the Caribbean
Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation expects to be delegated management
is 1,876 km2 in size – 520 km2 terrestrial (5% of
Jamaica’s land area) and 1,356 km2 marine space (48% of Jamaica’s
island shelf). Falling within the
civil parishes of Clarendon and St. Catherine, the PBPA
is of major environmental importance. It
contains the largest relatively intact dry limestone forest left in Central
America and the Caribbean (ca. 210 km2) with high plant and animal biodiversity;
Jamaica’s largest remaining mangrove wetlands (ca. 82 km2);
Jamaica’s largest concentration of sea turtle nesting sites; populations of
rare and endangered wildlife including birds, crocodiles, iguanas, skinks,
manatees and bats; and some of the healthiest coral reefs left on the island
About 50,000 persons live within
the boundaries of the PBPA,
and the area is of major economic importance.
Located there are: two ports, two sugar estates, a bauxite-alumina plant,
two power plants and a number of manufacturing enterprises (all with their
respective discharges). Woodcutting
in the dry limestone forests and mangrove stands (for charcoal, fuel wood, fence
posts, etc.) is another major economic activity, which has environmental
implications. Because of the large
areas of sea grass meadows, mangrove wetlands and coral reefs in Portland Bight,
the PBPA is the most
fecund fishery on mainland Jamaica, supporting 3,000 of Jamaica’s 16,000
fishers. There are eight fish
landing sites within the PBPA,
including Jamaica’s two largest (Old Harbour Bay and Rocky Point), each with
over 1,000 fishers.
Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation is an environment and development
NGO as much committed
to human development as to conservation
of the natural environment. C-CAM
believes that protected areas, in addition to their importance for biodiversity
protection, are useful vehicles to foster all the facets of human development:
social and economic advancement, and empowerment.
plan for the PBPA
(approved by the Jamaican government) outlines how it expects to work towards
the twin goals of natural resource conservation and human development with co-management
as its main tool.
Co-management cannot take place in a vacuum, and C-CAM has begun to midwife a series of stakeholder councils through which co-management will operate. The Portland Bight Fisheries Management Council (PBFMC) formed in June 1995, has representatives of all the stakeholders in the fishing industry in the PBPA – including several government departments. At its fiftieth monthly meeting in November 1999, a litany of its achievements was compiled by the members, including: the review of existing legislation, the drafting of fishing regulations to apply within the PBPA, fisheries management education on the fishing beaches, and the enforcement of existing legislation by about fifty Fisheries Inspectors appointed by Jamaica’s head of state from among local fisher-folk (including women). The PBFMC has contributed significantly to the management plan for the PBPA mentioned above. Other councils existing or to be formed include a watershed management council, a tourism council, a citizens’ council, and enforcement council and an industrial (pollution) council, each with their own roster of stakeholders. To oversee the whole process, the Portland Bight Sustainable Development Council with delegates from all the other councils and the government, will be formed.
Neither human development nor environmental conservation are possible without the availability of the necessary information, and the PBPA Management Plan also calls for a series of biophysical and socioeconomic baseline surveys to support both management planning and evaluation of the management strategies employed.
is under no illusions: its activities in the PBPA
have profound ethical content. In
their management plan mentioned above, they state their ethical position in a
number of appendices. First they
state the relationship they perceive between the earth and humanity in ‘The
Earth Rights Credo’. Then
they state their understanding of protected areas and their role in conservation
in ‘The Socio-Biosphere: Man in Harmony with Nature’.
Since co-management is so important to achieve both conservation and
development goals, this mechanism is explored in ‘Co-Management:
An Optimal Framework for the Management of Socio-Biospheres’.
Finally, the concept which links development with the environment is
explored in ‘Sustainable
Development: a Tautology’.
A detailed examination
of all these documents is not possible in a short paper.
They have been attached for reference.
philosophy documents require little explanation as they speak for themselves.
They were plainly written for easy understanding.
Listed below are some of the key ethical themes contained therein; some have already been mentioned above.
|Co-management of the natural resources of the PBPA.|
|The empowerment of local communities to manage their own affairs.|
|Development that is sustainable.|
|Optimisation of the use of the natural resources of the PBPA.|
|Interdisciplinarity, particularly between the natural and social sciences.|
|The training and empowerment of local leaders.|
|Improvement in the quality of life of the residents.|
|Diversification of the local economy within the PBPA.|
|Respect for culture (contemporary, historic and prehistoric).|
It remains to be seen how the activities undertaken by C-CAM within the PBPA will measure up to the high ethical standards set by UNESCO-CSI. Nevertheless, it cannot be gainsaid that the framework for the evaluation is ethical. Indeed the task of encouraging ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ is fundamentally ethical, and properly so. Both the natural and the social sciences need to redefine themselves to overtly include ethical concepts, since they are already there, unacknowledged.
The Earth Rights Credo
The Concept of a Socio-Biosphere
THE SOCIO-BIOSPHERE: MAN IN
HARMONY WITH NATURE
The fundamental concept of a wildlife refuge
or ecological sanctuary is that natural areas with their flora and
fauna should be set apart from human society and economy. Humans who visit to watch or study are at best tolerated;
they are considered an intrusion.
The use of land and marine space needs to be planned.
The Biosphere Reserve should be zoned in terms of the types
of usage, which will be permitted and encouraged in that zone.
For example, the marine space may be divided into shipping
priority areas, fishing priority areas, recreation priority areas,
fish sanctuaries, coral reef sanctuaries and aquaculture priority
areas, each of which will have a different management plan.
Some areas will be managed as wilderness, others as
residential or commercial or industrial areas.
The nature of each activity and its extent must conform to
the principle of sustainability.
One of the types of management area in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification is the Biosphere Reserve. This is an international designation, which like World Heritage Sites, are declared by UNESCO. It is hoped that eventually the Portland Bight Protected Area will be declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, which would bring full recognition to its environmental importance.
AN OPTIMAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF SOCIO-BIOSPHERES
Even though humans are sentient, individuals do not usually possess all the information necessary to take the best management decisions. Actions which benefit some individuals may impede others. The best approach would seem to be collaborative, where sentient beings share information and agree on management measures which strike a balance between individual benefit and the common good.
The model of
state management of natural resources, which has come down to us, has not been
very successful. The state has
sought to directly manage the environment, using its own staff and drafting
its own plans. This approach has
largely failed, due to staff and cash shortages in the state sector, but
mainly because of the lack of co-operation from the community at large,
especially the users of the natural resources under management.
The cost of state management of the environment in the face of
widespread flagrant abuse of the laws is prohibitive.
Another approach has to be found which is cheaper and which promises to
Any sort of local management that fails to take into account the big picture (national and global issues) is not likely to produce sustainable development (the ‘think globally’ part of the famous slogan). Further, any approach which seeks to take all power away from the state, is not likely to succeed. Co-management does not eliminate the state, but renders it more immediately and fully transparent and accountable to local communities.
Governments are elected by the
people to oversee the good management of the resources in the nation or state.
They cannot be expected to divest themselves of their mandate to manage
natural resources, and so they must be full partners in any co-management
regime. The state is expected to
spend tax dollars in this partnership effort, must be transparent in all its
processes and must be accountable to those who elected them.
Representative democracy has weak corrective mechanisms. The electorate has to pile up lists of grievances until it loses patience and removes the whole government in an election. It then puts in another government and repeats the process. This is a crude and inefficient corrective process, both because of the long delays in making the correction, and the sweeping approach as good policies may also be thrown out with the bad.
This arrangement may need to be brokered by some intermediate agency (an NGO such as the C-CAM). The very goal of sustainability will be compromised if the NGO creates dependence upon itself among the stakeholders. The broker institution must see to the emergence and strengthening of local co-management institutions such that the presence of the NGO becomes redundant. Besides, no NGO can expect to exist forever, and concrete plans must be put in place for the stakeholder councils to be able to function in perpetuity. Nevertheless, such broker institutions are necessary in the early stages.
No matter how large a socio-biosphere reserve is, it cannot be a closed system. Adjacent socio-biospheres must be in harmonious interaction. There is scope for socio-biosphere management councils to collaborate across their boundaries, towards sustainable development at the regional, national and possibly even global levels.
Inherent in the nature of man is the urge to progress. Concepts of progress differ between individuals, cultures, geographic boundaries and eras. Near-term views of progress are often primitive and conditioned by relatively immediate survival requirements. Long-term views are conditioned by personal philosophies and cosmologies, including religion, science, philanthropy, and may even include matters beyond the grave.
Mankind is endowed with a portfolio of assets over which he exerts a managing influence. These resources include people, animals, plants, land, water, air, minerals, places, things, values, knowledge and technology. Interactions (biological, social, etc.) between resources produce systems, which achieve synergies (the whole is greater than the sum of the parts). These systems, which add value, themselves become part of the portfolio of assets to be managed.
Using sociological language, sustainable development may be defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (inter-generational equity). Sustainable development is being fair to the future; it means progress today without reducing (but preferably enhancing) the capacity of future generations to progress; it is about leaving the next generation a similar or better resource endowment than which was inherited. Sustainability matters because future generations matter.
Sustainable development is both goal and process. It is a target to be attained, and once attained must be maintained over time. So an important part of the target is establishing a process which will eventually achieve and then perpetuate sustainability.
With such a strict definition of sustainable development, which manufacturing, farm or construction project could pass muster? Won’t an insistence on sustainability lead to a head-on clash between investors (and the government) on one hand and environmentalists on the other?
A principle which is often invoked is that where substantial damage is done, the investors should be required to pay for environmental rehabilitation (as much as is possible) at their site, and/or at some other site (substitution). Applied to surface bauxite mining, this principle is appealing; and do-able; removing topsoil, extracting the bauxite and then replacing the topsoil, returning the land to agriculture or settlement, is not such a difficult proposition. The principle is not so appealing when applied to natural forests and wetland wilderness areas, which are not easily replaced or rehabilitated. Where proper compensation cannot be made, the project must be considered unsustainable, and permits refused.
Some may argue that a focus on sustainable development will lead us to adopt policies that will make the current generation worse off now, will depress economic growth and standards of living, with little certainty that we have avoided an unsustainable future for our children. Indeed there can be no guarantee of success, but it is clear that some societies are non-sustainable because of national policies and the behaviour of its members. Is it right for contemporary society to consume resources at a level, which will disadvantage future generations? Is this potential trade-off between present and future well-being not collective selfishness?
Whether for animals or plants in the wild or for humans, there is an upper limit to the number of individuals of each species, which can be accommodated in any ecosystem/habitat. This is the basis of the concept of carrying capacity. In the case of animals in the wild, there are natural mechanisms, which limit population size [e.g. availability of food, or growth in number of predators (since more food is available)]. Except where species have no natural predators (e.g. the crocodile) no special management measures should therefore be necessary in the event of dramatic increases in population size of any species in the wild.
There are some who argue that population control strategies must be put in place as an essential part of sustainable development policy. It is well accepted that the most reliable method of reducing fertility and population growth is to increase the standard of living of the population in general and of women in particular. Mean family size among the poor is higher than among the better off; one of the benefits of successful development efforts is a lower rate of population growth. Since the industrial revolution, First World countries have observed falling population growth rates; many of these countries currently experience negative rates of natural increase, and depend upon immigration to complete their labour force, especially at the lower end. Efforts to reduce population growth in underdeveloped countries are likely to fail, or at best, to have limited success. Sustainable development is the best contraceptive.
So, sustainable development is a global planning concept whose principles extend into every facet of human behaviour. Humans affect every animate and inanimate object on earth, and have multiple and conflicting impacts on the quality of everything on the globe. This concept should be taught in schools and widely disseminated, and its realization should be the goal of all.
Presently, there are three principal stumbling blocks to achieving sustainable development. The first is that the term is often used loosely, resulting in different and fairly subjective interpretations. Second, there is no properly defined and generally accepted standard for determining when sustainability has been achieved, or when a course of action is on a sustainable path. The third is partly caused by the first, and that is that the concept, by whatever definition, is understood and accepted by only a small minority. Put in other words, at this time sustainable development as a planning tool and as a civilizing culture has limited value because of loose definitions, lack of objective standards and poor distribution. Provision for distribution of the principles and methodology of sustainable development must be inherent in the planning concepts, which flow from the best definition of sustainable development. Clearly then, the process begins with obtaining a useful definition which will be open to scrutiny and consequent evolution. Through this medium, the C-CAM is outlining its own understanding of the concept and putting it on the table for debate. We are also using it as our own standard for pursuing our institutional objectives.
Glossary of Terms
|Biodiversity||The types and numbers of animal and plant species present in an ecosystem.|
|Conservation||The preservation, management and care of natural and cultural resources so as to main them in as healthy condition as possible.|
|Development||Change leading to advancement, improvement or progress.|
|Ecology||The study of the relationships and interactions between living organisms in their natural or developed environment.|
|Empiricism||The philosophical view that all knowledge is derived only from the experience of the senses. Therefore knowledge can be acquired only through the application of observation and experiment rather than theory.|
|Epistemology||The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, in particular its foundations, scope and validity.|
|Ethics||A system of moral principles which define appropriate conduct for an individual or group; the study of moral standards and how they affect behaviour.|
|Morality||Relating to issues of right or wrong and to how individuals should behave. Based on what someone’s conscience suggests is right or wrong rather than on what the law says should be done.|
|Objective||Free of any bias or prejudice caused by personal feelings; based on facts rather than on thoughts or opinions.|
|Positivism||The philosophical view that knowledge can be acquired only through direct observation and experimentation rather than through metaphysics and theology.|
|Progress||Gradual development or improvement in something.|
|Value judgement||A judgement of the worth, appropriateness or importance of someone or something made on the basis of personal beliefs, opinions or prejudices rather than facts.|