The Dynamics of Culture on Environmental Sustainability

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Abstract

Indigenous African socio-cultural practices are distinguished by complex and diverse variations of evolving attitudes and behaviours that play a significant role in the development and conservation or depletion of the environment. This study aims at assessing the cultural dimensions of indigenous people and their effects on the sustainability of the environment. An ethnographic research design was conducted with two respective communities living in the equatorial forest and included 248 participants from each. The specificity of the dimensions was assessed, and suitable indicators helped determine their state of environmental sustainability, including ecosystem well-being (EWB) and human well-being (HWB). The stepwise regression method revealed a strong correlation between culture and environment. Evolving individualism and masculine cultures respectively showed a significant contribution to the depletion of EWB and the deterioration of HWB. Nevertheless, power distance and long-term orientation respectively correlated significantly with environmental sustainability. There was a paradigm shift of indigenous cultural dimensions, which contributed to damaging the forest ecosystems with adverse effects on human life. This study recommends the emphasis of collectivism and feminine approaches that would give priorities to the living environment and contribute to sustaining the development of these communities as well, thus mitigating and avoiding environmental problems.