Cosmic harmony: revitalising international space law for ethical space colonisation through an ecocentric lens

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Antonaki, Agapi
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In the age of the Anthropocene, plans for human settlements in outer space pose one of the biggest threats to the enjoyment of human rights and the protection of the environment per se. This thesis explores how an ecocentric perspective, combining cosmocentrism and environmental principles, can enhance international space law to govern space colonisation as an environmental issue. Emphasising the intrinsic value of celestial bodies and recognising the interdependence between humans and the cosmic ecosystem, a cosmocentric ethic offers a promising pathway for ethical space colonisation. Through a multidisciplinary methodology involving international space law, environmental law, human rights and ethics, this research highlights the relevance of an ecocentric approach in addressing the ethical challenges introduced by space activities and advocates for responsible stewardship of the environment in space colonisation endeavours. By applying environmental principles such as precaution, common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and sustainability, this study strengthens the international space law regime to address potential ecological impacts. The research demonstrates the significance of a cosmocentric perspective in establishing an inclusive and equitable framework that protects the rights of nature and future generations, promoting harmonious relationships with the celestial environment on Earth and beyond.
Second semester University: Åbo Akademi University
outer space, international law, environmental law, ethics, human rights