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Theme 1
Searching for the common ground
The three challenging papers in this theme presented the triad of religion, science and the environment from three different perspectives: those of a renowned Christian theologian; a concerned scientist dedicated to communication with the general public; and a Muslim with a profound knowledge of international institutions and their role in contemporary society. The three papers did not attempt to be comprehensive in their analysis but, taken together are highly effective in opening the door to a significant re-evaluation of the linkages between science and ethics today...
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Theme 2
Living resources

Despite the implications of the title of this theme, 'living resources', the presentations did not treat the ecosystems in which people live as entities that are separate from them and available for indiscriminate use by our species. Rather, this theme, as did the others, recognised the physical and spiritual inseparability of humanity and nature...
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Theme 3
Degradation and conflict

About 60% of the people in the world now live within 100 kilometres of a coastline. Within the next three decades, 75% of the population could reside in coastal areas. The population of the world doubled between 1950 and 1985 and today it is growing at a rate that adds a billion people every 11 years. The next decade might represent the last chance to stabilise human population at something less than double the current world population of 5.7 billion by the middle of the next century. The next doubling of the world's population will be of far greater significance in terms of energy, resource consumption and stress on the environment, especially the coastal environment, than any previous doubling of world-wide population. Today's vague concept of 'sustainability' will take on very real proportions as we move into the next millennium...
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Theme 4
The human perspective
In our travels in the Black Sea region, participants in the symposium encountered again and again the puzzle that although there might be theoretical understanding and incontrovertible scientific evidence to pinpoint the causes of some serious environmental problem, this did not by itself translate into effective action. Often we know what ought to be done, but we do not do it. The presentations within this theme demonstrated different kinds of human perception and the translation of those perceptions into ecologically beneficient action...
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Theme 5
The beauty of coastal landscapes
Coastal landscapes are the mirrors which reflect the health of the rich coastal ecosystems and the way human beings deal with them. Many natural features and a great variety of habitats are presented by coastal landscapes. Man-made additions to coastal landscapes indicate the cultural vigour of the maritime nations which have historically lived, or are presently living along the coast and the beauty of coastal landscapes has been an effective factor in the boom of coastal recreation and tourism. This theme dealt with the value of the Black Sea coastal landscapes, the perception of order and beauty in nature in general and of the landscape in particular, and tourism, an ever-growing industry which is much interrelated with coastal landscapes...
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Theme 6
Industrial impact
In 1971 the British author C.P. Snow wrote cogently about what he called the 'two faces' of technology, benign and threatening. 'All through history it has brought blessings and curses. It was true when men first made primitive tools and clambered out into the open savannah: one of the earliest uses of those tools seems to have been made for homicide. It was true of the discovery of agriculture, which transformed social living but also made some sort of organised armies practicable. It was true of the first industrial revolution. Perhaps the sharpest example of this two-faced nature of technology is the effect of medicine. It has reduced infantile mortality, even in the poorest countries? Yet it has led us straight into the flood of population which is the greatest danger of the next fifty years.'The unexpected environmental consequences of pollutant discharges from industrial sources, the cost of pollution control (estimated to be about US$125 billion annually or over 2% of Gross Domestic Product for the United States alone), and continuing population growth and technological development are causing engineers to rethink the basic concepts of engineering design, as they relate to environmentally compatible technologies...
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Theme 7
The implications of the global economy
While religion and science can and must come together, neither of them affects the political process directly. And it is, of course, the political process, local, national and global, that must be changed to stop and reverse current trends which, in the tradition of this symposium, can be labelled 'Apocalyptic'...
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